Good afternoon everybody.
It's a while since I've done one of these!
I realise that most Softplan users are aware of this (and aware that there's a current thread with much the same question), but I've had a friend who is new to Softplan reach out to me about creating accurate drawings from PDF's.
Now before we go too far, I'm going to explain a little bit about PDF's that it seems some people aren't aware of - feel free to skip ahead if you already know this!
PDF's can encompass a whole range of different file types. It is what it says on the "wrapper" - PORTABLE DOCUMENT FORMAT - it's been developed to make a whole host of different formats readable by almost everyone. I can create a CAD document and export it as a PDF so that you can read it whether you have a CAD system or not.
It's because of this flexibility that Softplan has two imports for PDF's - IMPORT AS SHAPES and IMPORT AS IMAGE. Depending on how the PDF was created you sometimes don't get an option. if your PDF was created as a VECTOR entity (Lines, point's, curves, text etc.) then it can be imported as shapes and manipulated. If it was created as a RASTER entity (dot's ... for example a scanned document or a bitmap), then all you are ever going to have is an image, and no matter what you do, you generally can't do anything with it (There are RASTER to VECTOR convertors, but they are another subject).
So for the purposes of this exercise, we're going to assume you have a PDF with Vector Data.
Here we go ... If you skipped ahead earlier, THIS is where you should stop skipping ...
Open a new drawing - this can be in your current project - FILE > NEW > DRAWING
Import a PDF (I'm going to use a 48" x 48" neo-angle shower base drawing I downloaded from BESTBATH) - FILE > REVIEW > PORTABLE DOCUMENT FORMAT > IMPORT PDF (SHAPES) - if your PDF was an RASTER, it will still come in as an image - and this will open a Windows Explorer menu for you to select the relevant PDF. Search for your file and click OPEN.
2022.04.23_13h50m17s_002_Import PDF Shapes.png 39.14KB 5 downloads
If this is a multipage PDF, then you would select the relevant page and POSITION. I don't worry about SCALE as you really have no idea what the original scale was. We'll fix that later anyway.
Then CLICK to drop the object somewhere near the centre of your screen
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Since this is vector data the standard CAD tools should work on it, to do anything you need. I typically use CROSS ERASE to delete anything that I don't need (which in this case is everything except the plan itself).
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Now we need to get it to scale. We know the size (I hope - otherwise this is all rather pointless) so go to EDIT > ADJUST SIZE and draw a expanding box around the object to resize. In the ADJUST SIZE dialogue box click DISTANCE and enter the known size. In this case 48"
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and click OK - Then click on the two points that are the known distance apart (Have SNAP enabled at this point) - The object will resize accordingly. Then add a SOFTPLAN DIMENSION POINT to verify that everything is - in fact - scaled correctly.
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Assuming everything was drawn accurately in the first place, you should now have a perfectly "to scale" line drawing, that you can manipulate further as you wish, or save as a SOFTPLAN DRAWING, a SYMBOL or even EXPORT as SOMETHING ELSE.depending on what you need.
I typically use it to make sure I have a reasonable representation of whatever I need on plans, even if I have to fake the 3D with a blank cube.