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PostPosted by epare » Thu Apr 30, 2015 5:55 pm

Hi All,

Does anyone know if there's reasonably priced software that can convert a PDF drawing file or JPEG drawing file to a DWG or DXF file. If not, are there companies that might provide that service for a fee?

Thanks in advance,

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Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2014 1:40 pm


PostPosted by Tom Albright » Fri May 01, 2015 1:15 pm

Hi Ed,

Vincent recommended this program a few years ago:


Its $49, but well worth the cost. I bought it a while ago and have used it numerous times. It has its limitations, especially with editable text.

They have free trials for all their software.

There are two kinds of CADD PDF files:

1 - RASTER - PDF's that are produced from scans are raster based and harder to convert to DXF/DWG/GXD - The line work won't be as crisp and exact, and text will be rough, at best.

2 - VECTOR - PDF's generated from a CADD program will be vector based. These convert the best. These are created directly from CADD programs using PDF printer drivers. Line work comes in great, though it will be all one color. You will get layers, only if the PDF driver that was used supported layers. Text is readable, though in my experience, not editable.

Raster to vector software creates CADD files from JPG's or other bitmaps. Its tough and time consuming to do. The results are rough and need lots of cleanup work. CAD-KAS has something like this, though I have never tried it. Also, in the past, I have used Win Topo (http://wintopo.com/). They have free and paid versions. Its been 8 years since I've used it. Good to know they're still around. Again, its a lot of cleanup work, depending on the quality of the original. Both of these programs have a myriad of settings. I have not delved too far into them. In talking to the CADD printing company we use, they said its still a tough thing to do, expensive for the results you get and generally not worth it - This from a company that provides that service for a fee.

I have found its easier and quicker to IG a JPEG/bitmap file into General CADD, RZ to get the scale correct, rotate if necessary, fade the image (SHFT+R-click) and then trace over it with a bright color like 11 or 14 and a LW of 3 or so. I have used this method for floor plans and site plans. It works great to "CADD" paper plans. And with the image on your screen, it saves you the constant back and forth looking as you scale the paper image on your desk.
Tom Albright
Tom Albright
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Joined: Mon Jun 02, 2014 6:53 pm
Location: Billings, MT


PostPosted by Josh » Fri May 01, 2015 5:03 pm

Great points by Tom.

Regarding your 2nd question:
"If not, are there companies that might provide that service for a fee?"

Yes. This is what I do all day, everyday. Nice clean 'hand-made' raster to vector via mouse and 2 letter commands : ) If I ever found better conversion software - I'd be using it.

Haven't found it yet.

Feel free to contact me if you like.
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PostPosted by epare » Fri May 15, 2015 3:57 pm

Thanks Tom and Josh,

My investigation into the matter has resulted in similar conclusions.

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Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2014 1:40 pm

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