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Converting PDF to CAD files - Raster and Vector PDF files

When you attempt to convert a PDF file to CAD, you have to consider whether the PDF file you are going to use has been created as a raster or vector PDF file.

Raster PDF files look like bitmaps and when zoomed in you can see the lines, arcs and any entity looks pixelated. This kind of PDF file is difficult for most programs to convert to PDF files due to the innacuracy of bitmap points to determine the exact position of any entity on the screen. This is more noticeable when zooming in.

On the other hand, Vector PDF files represent a very accurate description on where the entities have been drawn. No matter how much you zoom in, your entities will always look sharp and well defined.

For a more comprehensive explanation, keep reading below:

Raster PDF

Raster PDF's are the first type. All scanned drawings are raster, or bitmap, PDF files.

Raster images are often called bitmap images because they are made of millions of tiny squares, called pixels. You can identify a raster or bitmap image by looking at it very closely. If you zoom in enough, you will be able to see the square outlines of each pixel (especially around edges where there are dramatic color contrasts).

Raster graphics typically have larger file sizes than their vector counterparts. Higher DPI (dots per inch) and PPI (pixels per inch) settings also contribute to larger files because software must keep track of and be able to render each pixel. File size can become a concern if storage or server space is limited or if files have to be transmitted electronically.

PDF Raster Example

Vector PDF

The second type is vector, or scalable, PDF files.

Vector images, which are made of thin lines and curves known as paths, are rooted in mathematical theory. Vector graphics must be created in computer software that is designed to create this intricate wireframe-type image and each line includes defined node positions, node locations, line lengths and curves. Any of the lines and curves in the image can be assigned a color value. Because of this defined, formulaic approach to drawing, each image can be sized and scaled repeatedly and limitlessly without losing resolution or beginning to look cloudy or pixelated.

You can identify a vector image by looking at its edges — a vector image will always appear smooth no matter how large you make it or how close you zoom in. Text is one of the most common types of vector image. No matter how much you increase a font's size, for example, its look never changes.

Another advantage to using vector images is file-size efficiency. Because the files are only identified by mathematical descriptions and not individual pixels, files are often much smaller than those of the raster counterparts. Vector images, therefore, are often easy to transmit from one computer to another and over the Internet.

PDF Vector Example

If you are looking for the best PDF to CAD converter, you may contact us and we will help you to choose the right program for your needs.

 

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