Scott Sheppard, current program manager for Autodesk Labs published this comparison chart of DWF and PDF file formats in June of 2006 on the Beyond the Paper blog. With Scott's permission, we have copied this table and added our own thoughts to this comparison based on changes in the last 7+ years.

With the recent acknowledgement that the long time standalone DWF viewer (Design Review) is being discontinued, we wonder if this will have any impact on your usage of DWF files? Please leave a comment with any thoughts on this. Thanks. Read more about DWF vs PDF revisited


If you are printing from AutoCAD using the DWG to PDF.pc3 file, the resulting PDF file may open in your PDF application when the print action is complete. If you do not want this to happen, follow these steps. Read more about Prevent PDF from displaying after printing from AutoCAD

Over six years ago, we published a table of tools that could be used to convert a PDF file to a DWG file. At the time, this list was composed of programs that you installed locally. Today, we want to tell you about a FREE online service that you might want to consider named ConvertPDFToAutoCAD.com - there is nothing to purchase or download, you simply upload the file to the service and provide an email address. When the file conversion is complete, you will receive an email containing a link to your file.

We know, the first things that probably cross your mind at this point are security and privacy. Their privacy policy states that they "will not share, lease, disclose, transfer, transmit, or rent any personal information you submit" This includes your email address and any files you upload. Moreover, the privacy policy states that files you upload are deleted as soon as the conversion is made and the converted files are only stored for 24 hours. Read more about Tool for converting PDF to DWG

With regard to last week's post on modifying the PDF sheet display, I've taken another approach and come up with the following lisp code that will allow you to import some or all of the sheets of a multi-sheet PDF all at once. I realize that the built-in PDFATTACH command allows you to place multiple sheets at once, but you can't see the sheets as you place them. This lisp code is also more of a "how-to" for use in larger routines perhaps - and because such, this is raw lisp code with no error checking. Feel free to dress it up and append the header.

Load the lisp file and then type in the command PMP. Select a multi-sheet PDF file, and then enter the number of sheets you want to insert (this should be equal or less than the total number of sheets in the PDF). At this point you can start picking the lower left corner for each sheet until you reach the end. Read more about Placing multi-sheet PDFs into AutoCAD, semi-automatically

When you attach a multi-page PDF file as a reference in AutoCAD, you can choose which sheet to display (see below).

But what if you want to change that reference to a different sheet in the PDF file, later on? There is nothing in the Ribbon to do this, and "Page Number" is a read-only property in the Properties Palette. You could detach the reference and add it again with the new sheet number, but the following lisp function is quicker.

The lisp function below allows you to pick the PDF Underlay object on the screen, and then enter a new sheet number. The image on the screen is updated as soon as the command completes. Make sure you choose a valid sheet. If the PDF file contains 9 sheets and you enter 10, then the PDF reference will disappear. Read more about Changing sheet to display in PDF Underlay

Autodesk presented a webinar this morning to review the new version of AutoCAD WS 1.4 that is now available for download. If you are not aware of it, AutoCAD WS is a free web and mobile application for viewing and editing DWG files stored in the cloud. The "cloud" in this sense generally refers to storage space allocated to the user by Autodesk, but it was reminded to us that the "cloud" can mean other things such as SharePoint, Buzzsaw, and even your own servers, with the proper setup. It was even hinted that we might see some object enablers appear soon for WS.

ISM Technical Marketing Manager Kate Morrical presented a list of the top five reasons to use AutoCAD WS. Read more about New - AutoCAD WS 1.4

I see a lot of posts in the discussion groups where someone creates a PDF from a drawing and the PDF file size ends up being several times larger than the drawing itself.

OLE objects or images in the drawing. Both can cause the resulting PDF to be large. Remember that images are referenced into drawings and they are not included in the file size of the DWG file.

If you have not already heard by now, Autodesk has released "Bonus Pack 2" for AutoCAD 2009. This update includes two PDF enhancements. The first gives you the ability to attach PDF files as underlays. The second includes enhancements to PDF output.

The download is only available for AutoCAD 2009, AutoCAD Revit Architecture Suite 2009, and AutoCAD Revit Structure Suite 2009. Of course it is also only available to subscription customers. Read more about AutoCAD 2009 - Bonus Pack 2 - PDF enhancements

Have you ever needed to Xref (or reference) a PDF file? One way would be to save the PDF as a TIFF and reference the image. Read more about Xref a PDF?


You are probably reading this because you have a PDF file that you want to convert to editable geometry in a DXF or DWG file.

First off, if someone gave you a PDF instead of a DWG, it was probably for a reason. Ask the DWG author for the DWG file. This is the easiest method, and you don't have to worry about data loss during the conversion.

If you cannot obtain the source DWG file, try these steps. Read more about Convert PDF to DWG



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