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Tip # 94 : Vector PDF to CAD

By Sudam Fernando posted 12-13-2019 14:25


PDF drawings of plan sets contain copious amounts of useful information such as line works, structures, elevations, contours and other information. However, did you know that you can convert these PDF’s into CAD objects to be used for data prep, surface creation and other operations straight within Trimble Business Center ?


Before we get started two things are necessary for this to work 

  1. A Vectorized PDF.
  2. Two points in TBC that will be used for georeferencing the PDF. 



Let's take this PDF as an example, we want to bring this into TBC and convert them into CAD entities. 


To begin, open up your TBC project with your points that will be used to georeference your PDF and then drag and drop your PDF into the project. 


With your PDF loaded, the following dialog will open up. From this dialog we will select ‘Georeference Vector PDF’ shown in the red arrow 








In this window, if needed, we can apply a clipping boundary to our PDF if there are unnecessary information. With our desired PDF size chosen, we can go ahead georeference the  PDF by matching the pixels in the drawings to the corresponding points in your project. 


With our georeferencing, our PDF will be scaled and rotated accordingly to match the two points precisely. 




Now, we can navigate to the project explorer and right click our PDF under the imported files and select ‘Import Vector PDF data’ 



In the ‘Import Vector PDF data’ pane, we can specify which type of dashed line extraction method we prefer as well as the Layer extraction method. 




Once we are satisfied with the options, we can select ‘Import’ 



and our PDF line work has been converted into CAD objects. Using these lines, we can perform data prep, elevate our lines, create surfaces and much more ! 




Hope this tip comes in handy, the next time you are using Trimble Business Center !

1 comment



01-15-2020 16:29

Would be nice to be able to import into a group so they would be isolated from the actual line work you will use in a model.