How To Convert PDF To Autocad In Scale


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How To Convert PDF To Autocad In Scale

Converting a PDF to an AutoCAD drawing in scale is essential for architects, engineers, and designers who need to work with accurate dimensions from existing drawings or scanned blueprints. PDF files are commonly used for sharing documents since they preserve the layout and content without allowing direct editing. However, when it comes to drafting and design, the ability to manipulate and measure elements accurately within AutoCAD is crucial. This conversion process allows you to take a non-editable document and turn it into a scalable, editable CAD file.

Benefits of Converting PDF to AutoCAD in Scale

  • Accuracy: Ensures that all measurements and drawings are true to the original specifications.
  • Editability: Allows for modification and editing of the design, which is not possible with a PDF.
  • Efficiency: Saves time by using existing drawings instead of redrawing them from scratch.
  • Integration: Facilitates the integration of the converted PDF into existing CAD projects seamlessly.
  • Scalability: Provides the ability to scale drawings up or down without losing detail or accuracy.

Preparation for Conversion

Before you start the conversion process, ensure that you have the following:

  • A PDF file with the drawing or blueprint you want to convert.
  • AutoCAD software installed on your computer.
  • An understanding of the scale used in the original drawing (e.g., 1:100, 1:50, etc.).

Step-by-Step Guide to Convert PDF to AutoCAD in Scale

Launch your AutoCAD software on your computer.

Use the ‘ATTACH’ command or go to Insert Tab > Attach option to open the ‘Attach PDF Underlay’ dialog box.

Browse for the PDF file you want to convert and select it. Click ‘Open’ to proceed.

In the ‘Attach PDF Underlay’ dialog box, specify insertion point, scale, or rotation if necessary. Ensure that the ‘Specify On-Screen’ options for insertion point and scale are unchecked if you want to type them manually.

Click ‘OK’ after adjusting settings. The PDF is now attached to your drawing as a reference. Use the ‘REGEN’ command if the PDF does not appear immediately.

If the PDF was not inserted at the correct scale, use the ‘SCALE’ command to resize it based on known dimensions within the PDF. Select a base point, then specify the reference length and target length.

Trace over the elements of the PDF using AutoCAD’s drawing tools. For precision, use object snaps (OSNAP) to pick exact points on the underlay.

Organize your tracing by using different layers for various elements of the drawing. This will make editing easier later on.

After tracing is complete, remove the PDF underlay by selecting it and pressing ‘Delete’. Ensure all elements are scaled correctly and positioned as needed.


Purchased and installed on your computer.

A computer capable of running AutoCAD software efficiently.

For precise tracing over the PDF underlay within AutoCAD.

Time required: Around 1 hour depending on complexity.

Keep in mind that this process can be time-consuming, especially for detailed or large-scale drawings. For complex conversions, there are also specialized software and services that can automatically vectorize PDFs into DXF or DWG files, which may save time but come at an additional cost.

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