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TBC Does That: Convert PDF Files to CAD

What TBC does:

The Import PDF function in TBC allows a PDF to be dragged and dropped and georeferenced. Features from a vector PDF are automatically converted to CAD. A raster PDF can be dragged, dropped and digitized manually.

How this helps you:

Converting a PDF file into a digital CAD file allows you to work in the CAD environment of your choice, such as SketchUp and AutoDesk, to add information, complete measurements and experiment with new designs. If every vector must be manually digitized, it can be quite time-consuming. The streamlined workflow in TBC speeds up the process by automatically digitizing all lines in a vector PDF. A raster PDF still requires manual digitizing, but by georeferencing it in TBC, it becomes a great background map for reference.

How it works:

Starting with a vector PDF, you can choose how you want to place the PDF into your TBC project (e.g., line with distance and bearing, scale bar and known bearing), or select the Georeference Vector PDF option. This allows you to clip out unwanted title block information and enter coordinates for two points to georeference the image.

Then select Import Vector PDF Data to import as a 2D file. Other tools in TBC allow you to elevate the linework into 3D to build a surface, create contours, generate quantities, etc.

For a raster PDF, you can drag and drop your file into your TBC project and georeference it to be a background map; however, lines still need to be manually digitized if you plan to convert them to CAD objects.

The “TBC Does That” series, written by the Trimble Business Center (TBC) Team, focuses on the broad range of functionality that TBC delivers to you. Periodically we will release information to help you improve productivity by making the most of TBC’s built-in tools.