Converting PDF vector lines into AutoCAD lines


A new feature in AutoCAD 2017 and in fact AutoCAD LT 2017 is that you can reference a PDF file and then convert the PDF lines into AutoCAD lines.

The significance is huge as you don’t have to redraw or trace over the PDF as what we did in the past because the lines get created automatically over of the PDF imported file.

The process to do this conversion is the following. In AutoCAD xref the PDF file by Going to the Insert ribbon tab and then Attach tool in the Reference Panel.


Browse to the PDF file and place the file.


If you select the PDF file you will notice it is a PDF underlay and is one entity.


If the PDF object is selected you can click the Import as Object contextual button or …


If the PDF is not selected you can visit the Insert Ribbon tab and click the PDF Import button.


The next step is to select the Area to Import.


You would basically draw a rectangle over the area you want to import/convert. In the case I use one of the floor plans.


The next option is to select what you want to do with the original PDF. In this case I detached it. Removing the original PDF.


You’ll notice that the entities are created within the area that I selected.


With closer inspection you’ll notice polylines have been created in place of the normal PDF lines and also text have been converted into polylines.


Looking at the Layers you’ll notice that there are layers depending on how to PDF was created and in this case I switched off the Door layer and all the door are invisible.


So using this tool will allow you to be more productive. As an example if you are doing architectural additions to an existing building and you only have the PDF copies of existing building you can easily convert the existing scenario and then add your additions to the converted PDF using normal AutoCAD entities.