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  1. #1
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    Default Is there a way to attach PDFs permanently?

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    I'm using AutoCad 2015 to convert PDF files into drawings, but every time I access the files on a different computer the PDF is gone. In its place is a message saying "missing or invalid reference", so I have to reattach the PDF. Can I attach the PDF permanently, instead of as a reference? If so, how?

    Thanks in advance for any helpful replies.

  2. #2
    Quantum Mechanic ReMark's Avatar
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    Do the two computers (yours and this other one) share the same network?

    It sounds like a "path" problem to me or you did not copy the PDF over to the other computer and put it in the same folder as the drawing. Do you specify a "full" path when you attach PDF's to drawings?

    Path Type
    Select the full (absolute) path, the relative path to the PDF file, or No Path, and the name of the PDF file. For the No Path option, the PDF file must be located in the same folder as the current drawing file.

    And as far as I know one cannot "convert" a PDF file into a drawing using AutoCAD. While there are PDF to DWG conversion programs available the best one can do in AutoCAD is "attach" a PDF.
    Last edited by ReMark; 31st Dec 2014 at 12:55 pm.
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  3. #3
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    If you're moving from one location to another, such as going from work to home, use the ETRANSMIT command to create a zip file containing your drawing and all associated xrefs, fonts, image files, etc. Then, once you get to the new location, simply unzip the file to a folder and all your associated files should be there when you open the drawing.
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  4. #4
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    I guess I worded that pretty poorly. I'm not so much trying to convert the PDFs to drawings, what I'm doing is using the PDFs as underlays and creating the drawings over them. So what I'm basically hoping to do is attach the PDF as a permanent underlay rather than as a reference to a separate file. Is that possible?

  5. #5
    Quantum Mechanic ReMark's Avatar
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    I don't know of a way to do that unless inserting it as an OLE object is an option with a PDF. Not sure because I studiously avoid the insertion of PDF's in my drawings. Be advised that if it is possible the solution would come with its own sets of problems. You would just be trading one for the other.
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  6. #6
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    Yes, you can insert a pdf as an OLE object using the INSERTOBJ command. Just run the command and choose "Adobe Acrobat Document" as the Object Type, then click OK and choose your pdf. I've never had much luck with OLE objects though. Always a bit problematic.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cad64 View Post
    Yes, you can insert a pdf as an OLE object using the INSERTOBJ command. Just run the command and choose "Adobe Acrobat Document" as the Object Type, then click OK and choose your pdf. I've never had much luck with OLE objects though. Always a bit problematic.
    How true that is. I have found that the object image does not change its view size while zooming. In other words, the image stays the same size while the image background/frame zooms in and out. It is simply an unmanageable mess.

    Another way is to convert the pdf to a png image in a photoshop-like program at the absolute highest resolution possible and at actual size (to preserve scale), and then insert the png as a "paintbrush picture". You will then have to scale it up to trace over the image, and this will degrade the resolution somewhat.

    The best way to handle it is to stay with the pdf underlay xref file, and just be sure to copy the xref(s) along with the dwg file any time you transport the dwg outside of its original directory location. Save both the dwg and xref file into the same folder and AutoCad will have no trouble locating the xref. Looking in the same folder first is an Autocad default if it finds the stored file path not workable.

    At least with a pdf underlay xref, if it is a vector pdf, one can actually find lines and things to snap to. I have one of a floor plan from the Amelia Island R*** C****** hotel that I am currently using as a key plan to locate my project installation areas. Since it is only a key plan, I don't have to scale it, simply viewport it at 1:1, and put my page reference call-outs in paperspace. However, I did have to trace a couple of ballroom doorway areas right off this pdf because neither the arch or ID drawings had an enlarged plan view of the areas. I traced while snapping to the vector lines in the pdf, then scaled my lines up from 1/16" = 1'-0" to full size. It was only an inch or two off the eventual field dimensions I got, so good enough for indicating a crown, wainscot & chair rail reno in plan view for my shop drawings.

    Reno project plans are always terrible. Designer types forget that we all cannot BE THERE to conceptualize what is going on.
    Last edited by Dana W; 1st Jan 2015 at 03:20 pm.
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  8. #8
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    I stick with my original suggestion.

    1. Run Etransmit command and create Zip file
    2. Move to new computer and extract all files to new folder
    3. Open Autocad and continue working

    Simple
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  9. #9
    Forum Deity Dana W's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cad64 View Post
    I stick with my original suggestion.

    1. Run Etransmit command and create Zip file
    2. Move to new computer and extract all files to new folder
    3. Open Autocad and continue working

    Simple
    Agree. The point is to take the xref and the drawing with you.
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  10. #10
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    We make sure all pdf's jpg's etc are in the same location as the dwg you are opening running on a server network this way they are found automatically. Its annoying when we get Can't find C:\jpgs\jpg123xxxx thats a quick yell across the room move your JPG. But like all the other suggestions once off the server they must all be together.
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