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Thread: Inserting PDF's in Revit, can it be done?

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    Inserting PDF's in Revit, can it be done?

    Is there a way to import PDF's directly into Revit?

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    Member cganiere's Avatar
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    Open the PDF in Photoshop or GIMP. Use the "Save As" function to make it a PNG or JPG. Import the PNG or JPG into Revit.

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    Forum Co-Founder iru69's Avatar
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    As insane as it is, it's not possible to directly insert PDFs into Revit. It's a feature that is needed and sure would be convenient though.

    You'll need to convert it to a supported graphic format as cganiere suggests. Acrobat Pro as well as a couple free PDF utilities out there can convert PDFs to JPG/PNG/TIFF as well as the one's already mentioned.

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    Forum Addict gdoherty0102's Avatar
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    I personally feel that using a PDF to DWG converter works the best, the line weights get taken away but you and snap and dimension to a DWG where you cant to an image file. It is well worth the $95 cpst of the program.

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    Forum Co-Founder iru69's Avatar
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    That might be interesting on occasion for converting PDF "drawings" to a Revit detail or something. I'll have to try that.

    But I think the main point of being able to insert PDFs into Revit would be for text/photo/graphic-heavy stuff. For instance, I might want to embed a cut-sheet of a building product right next to a detail. Or a bunch of specs on the same sheet as a floor plan.

    As soon as you have to start messing with converting lineweights and text formatting, it starts to defeat the purpose.

    Quote Originally Posted by gdoherty0102 View Post
    I personally feel that using a PDF to DWG converter works the best, the line weights get taken away but you and snap and dimension to a DWG where you cant to an image file. It is well worth the $95 cpst of the program.

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    Forum Addict gdoherty0102's Avatar
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    What we use this for is when we get PDFs from consultants and I want to do them as an overlay so I can get my layout correctly. I use it much more as a coordination so lineweights don't really need to be there for me...

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    Member JeffreyMcGrew's Avatar
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    If you've got Adobe Illustrator, you can easily open up a vector-based PDF and then export it as a DWG file. That's what we do for floorplans and details.

    Inkscape might be a free option, haven't tried it for that yet.

    It is sad we can't just insert them into Revit. I always have thought that the Project Browser should have a section of imports where we could attach Word docs and PDFs and such, place them on sheets like any other view, and work that way instead of what we have to do now...
    billyearnest likes this.

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    Administrator Gordon Price's Avatar
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    What I find interesting is, not only can't you insert a PDF, you can't insert a DWF. The only use of DWF in Revit is for markup, while in AutoCAD you can "print" a DWF from, say Excel, and bring the resulting table into AutoCAD, to scale. Or get an underlay from a consultant as a DWF rather than a DWG. Wouldn't that be useful in Revit? And I suspect that better DWF support will come well before any effort at all is made that admits that Adobe was right and Autodesk was wrong.

    Gordon
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    Autodesk Scott D Davis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gordon Price View Post
    that admits that Adobe was right and Autodesk was wrong.
    Which is why Adobe has divested their intertest in the 3D PDF technology.... :-)

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    Administrator Gordon Price's Avatar
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    But Scott,
    I am not talking about 3D stuff. Nor is anyone who is asking about linking/inserting a PDF. Simple 2D text and images is what we are talking about, and what my example included. Simple 2D stuff that is totally missing and yet needed on every project, not every day but certainly a lot. Not sexy stuff, just useful stuff.
    But I can see where I might have been unclear. I am talking about DWF as a replacement for dumb 2D DWG underlays. Because DWF is a simple, lightweight format that does everything we need in a graphic underlay (think 2D kitchen layout from a consultant still on Acad 2002). I needs to be nothing more, and likely with much much less impact on Revit stability. When it comes to 3D data, it has to be linked Revit. Linked 3D DWG is a gawd awful nightmare. Now if linked 3D DWF could help with that, great. But as I pointed out, we still can't link DWF in Revit. In any way.
    We also have a desperate need for placing things like well formated text and tables, which Word and Excel do well and Revit does not at all. AND Autodesk has been pushing the DWF printer for a decade. Well, if I COULD put a DWF in Revit as a link, I WOULD use DWF. A lot.
    But my point about Adobe being right and Autodesk wrong is that whole sets that we might want to reference are PDF for a reason, because it is a better format for the task. Cut sheets from manufacturers are PDFs because it is a better format for the task. And yes, I would love to link some PDF cut sheets into a family while working. Maybe have them behave like a SAT file where I can choose to not have them visible when placed in a project, so I can leave all sorts of good info in the family for reference.
    In any case, pushing DWF as a PDF replacement is stupid, and Autodesk has done it for years. And failing to use DWF where it would actually be really helpful is stupid. And Autodesk has done it for years.

    As for 3D DWF, it looks like, um, something we will never put in front of a client. 3D PDF was problematic, but at least the results didn't look like crap. Not that it matters, because even 3D PDF didn't look like a live Revit model with ambient occlusion, shadows and consistent colors. I would have loved it if the new "Viewer" mode actually made the entire UI go away, so a live Revit presentation could actually focus on the work. No UI and a Space Navigator, presentation nirvana? Maybe next year.
    Now if we can just have a lightweight viewer that works on an iPad using the live RVT file, with no Revit UI kruft, but with the full Revit graphics engine. Technically VERY possible. The hardware can more than handle it.

    Gordon
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