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  1. #1
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    Default How do you ensure an attached PDF is at the right scale?

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    I'm using AutoCAD 2010 and have tried to insert a PDF which I intend to trace and add my element of the design to. Where things stop making sense are when I set the drawing units. I work in decimal and prefer setting my unit scale to meters. How ever I have notived that when measuring something on PDF in model space regardelss of my unit scale, the length is the same ie 6mm or 6m. this means that a line drawn in mm is 1000 times longer than a line drawn in mtrs which means in order to scale the drawing to something that can be printed larger than a pin prick I have to go mm and then it still doesnt print to scale. I have tried so many options and come up wrong each time.
    I am a beginer and probably trying to run befor I can walk but I learn best when doing. I am sure there is a simple solution to this, thanks for your help.

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    Congrats on your first post, and welcome to the forums!

    The process I use for incorporating EFF (electronic flat file) data into my projects is to open the PDF, and export it to .TIFF file. Once inserted into my drawing, this enables a transparent background, and the line work can easily be colorized to make my drafting easier to differentiate (no solid white background).

    As for the units... Typically, the EFF I am incorporating has some sort of scale reference (i.e., baseline stationing, ROW corners, etc.), which I use to orient my EFF (scale, rotate, etc.) to my project line work.

    If all of your distance measurements are coming out to be the same, chances are you have your OSNAPS turned on, and when you pick a point on top of the PDF raster image, your getting an endpoint or something. Try hitting the F3 key to toggle your OSNAPS on/off.

    Also worthy of note... Draw everything within the model at *FULL* scale (hence the scale mentioned earlier).

    Hope this helps!
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonoR View Post
    I'm using AutoCAD 2010 and have tried to insert a PDF which I intend to trace and add my element of the design to. Where things stop making sense are when I set the drawing units. I work in decimal and prefer setting my unit scale to meters. How ever I have notived that when measuring something on PDF in model space regardelss of my unit scale, the length is the same ie 6mm or 6m. this means that a line drawn in mm is 1000 times longer than a line drawn in mtrs which means in order to scale the drawing to something that can be printed larger than a pin prick I have to go mm and then it still doesnt print to scale. I have tried so many options and come up wrong each time.
    I am a beginer and probably trying to run befor I can walk but I learn best when doing. I am sure there is a simple solution to this, thanks for your help.
    What's happening is that your inserted image of the pdf is coming in at its actual physical size in units. If it were supposed to be printed on 24" x 36" paper, then the inserted image is 24 units by 36 units no matter what a 'unit' is. Figuring out your scale factor for the pdf image using math (which I cannnot seem to manage ) will get you a close approximation, but it will probably not be spot on accurate enough for machine work. Besides, the only osnaps on an image are along the frame. They have nothing to do with the lines in the image so it is still not measurable accurately.
    Last edited by Dana W; 16th Sep 2010 at 03:48 pm.
    The S197 gen Ford Mustang, and the F-4 Phantom both prove the same theory. "With enough power applied, a school bus will fly."

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    Once I had a multi-acre lot survey to draw. Drawing units (insertion and dimensions) were surveyor's feet. (Size 14 five E )

    I had a pdf of some of the features I needed that did not have to be accurate down to the mm. I inserted the pdf in the drawing, found a long (400 feet) straight line on the pdf with a known dimension. I then drew another line off to the side in model space that same length. Then I moved the line over the pdf as close as I could get it to one end and aligned to the pdf image line with Osnaps OFF. I did a 'send to back" draw order command on the pdf cuz it covered up my line. Then I fiddled and twiddled the image scale by dragging one corner in and out until both lines were as close to the same size as they were ever going to be. I then moved the pdf under the drawing of my lot and traced in my gravel driveways, satelite dishes, rabbit droppings, etc....

    I only ended up a ~foot off. Over 24 acres, that is probably good enough for a meandering 700 foot gravel driveway not by any means encroaching adjacent lots.
    The S197 gen Ford Mustang, and the F-4 Phantom both prove the same theory. "With enough power applied, a school bus will fly."

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    RenderMan and Dana W, thanks for your advice, it has left me still a little confused.



    when I first inserted my PDF I incorporated its scale reference, which was in inches, to the scale factor of 1. I then treid to change the properties of the PDF to cm which seemed to change the scale factor to 0.85 something. I then changed the page and ruler units preference to cm in the PDF and re inserted it incorporating the baseline reference to the size. when I look in the proporties the info is all there and the size of the PDF is as per A1 size. my scale is 1:500 so to measure on the PDF 1 to 1 it should measure 12 mm but it doesnt. I have scaled it up by measuring a known point on the drawing, working out the scale factor and incorporating that. What I dont understand is why if I work in mm is my drawing bigger than if I work in mtres? If I measure the width of a raod and my unit to scale is mm I will measure 6000 units, if my unit to scale is in mtres then I only measure 6 units. What have I missed here? Am I being thick?

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    If you don't mind I'd like to give this a shot since I do this quite often.

    Do you know what one length or distance of a line is on the PDF? If you do, use scale and reference, then type in the length it is supposed to be. It doesn't matter how you inserted it.

    Do you know the scale of the PDF? If you do insert the PDF as the original size, then scale with a factor of the scale. For 1:500, try 6000.

    1:10 factor=120
    1:20 factor=240
    1:30 factor=360
    1:40 factor=480
    1:50 factor=600
    1:60 factor=720
    1:70 factor=840
    1:80 factor=960
    1:90 factor=1080
    1:100 factor=1200

    catch my drift.....

    There are a couple of other ways but try these first and see if you can make one of them work.

  7. #7
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    Agreed.

    To scale my raster objects IAW my project, I move the raster to a known point, then set the rotation (using another known location for reference), then scale from a known point, as a reference to the second known point, to the actual location in my project.

    Otherwise, I would scale as reference from one station to another, the unit distance (i.e., 100 FT, etc.)

    Good luck!
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonoR View Post
    when I first inserted my PDF I incorporated its scale reference, which was in inches, to the scale factor of 1.

    When inserting the image make sure your units are set to inches first. Insert the image, then draw a line at 100". Then change your units to cm, then scale the PDF and line and reference the line to 100 cm.

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    Thanks Toberino and RenderMan,

    I have successfully inserted my PDF/TIFF and got in to the right scale (in model anyway), what I have done in is set one drawing up in mters and another in mm, the PDF is scaled to the "right" size so that when I measure a known reference point ie the width of a driveway I get 6m in one and 6000mm in the other. now the confusion begins for me again as when I check the properties of the drawings the one with units set at mtrs the dimentions are width 416.09 ht 293.91 scale 12.57 the drawing with units set at mm dimentions are width 64013.42 ht 45217.52 scale 1933.29 when I look at drawing in mtrs in layout 1 it is a small little spot in the bottom right corner and when I look at mm drawing in layout 1 it fits the page. Why??? It seems to me that regardsless of the setting between mm, cm, m a unit in model space in the same regardless of what setting you have and infact to draw something to full scale as model is supposed to be then we draw in mm only. ???? this is a bit like time vs eternity.... what is it I am failing to comprehend here??? and then the million dollar question how do you scale something to 1:500 or what ever when the scale factor is 1933.29 ?????? Should I have done quantum physics first?

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    Quote Originally Posted by JonoR View Post
    Thanks Toberino and RenderMan,

    I have successfully inserted my PDF/TIFF and got in to the right scale (in model anyway), what I have done in is set one drawing up in mters and another in mm, the PDF is scaled to the "right" size so that when I measure a known reference point ie the width of a driveway I get 6m in one and 6000mm in the other. now the confusion begins for me again as when I check the properties of the drawings the one with units set at mtrs the dimentions are width 416.09 ht 293.91 scale 12.57 the drawing with units set at mm dimentions are width 64013.42 ht 45217.52 scale 1933.29 when I look at drawing in mtrs in layout 1 it is a small little spot in the bottom right corner and when I look at mm drawing in layout 1 it fits the page. Why??? It seems to me that regardsless of the setting between mm, cm, m a unit in model space in the same regardless of what setting you have and infact to draw something to full scale as model is supposed to be then we draw in mm only. ???? this is a bit like time vs eternity.... what is it I am failing to comprehend here??? and then the million dollar question how do you scale something to 1:500 or what ever when the scale factor is 1933.29 ?????? Should I have done quantum physics first?
    Model space should 1:1, therefore, get the PDF to the right scale in model space first, then in your viewport in paperspace type z, then hit enter, then type "1/6000xp". This will zoom in to the model space thru the viewport and set a scale of 1:500. Lock the viewport or double click outside the viewport to get out of model space and back into paperspace so that you dont mess up your scale.

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