ArchiCAD Insights: Placing PDF Drawings into ArchiCAD Projects

6 Jul, 2006 By: Angi Izzi

Add standard details and specifications from product manufacturers to your project file.

ArchiCAD v10 can now import pages from PDF documents as drawings into layouts or model views. This method is a great way to bring in a standard detail or manufacturer's specifications directly onto a layout sheet.

Importing a PDF
You can place a PDF file (like any drawing) by going to the File/External Content/Place Drawing command (figure 1).

Figure 1. Start with the Place External Drawing command.

When you select the PDF file in the Open File dialog box, you will have the option to check the Store Path as Relative to Project box (figure 2). Selecting this box will enable you to store the path of the imported PDF file relative to the location of the project file. If you leave this box unchecked, the program will store the full path of the PDF files. Basically, this option provides the ability to work on a server and move the project folder back and forth from the server without losing the link to the associated PDF file.

Figure 2. The Store Path as Relative to Project option.

After selecting the PDF files to import, another dialog box appears if the PDF file contains more than one page. Here you can graphically select the desired page of the PDF file from the list of available pages and click the Place button (figure 3).

Figure 3. The Place PDF Page dialog box.

Now you can place the page in any position within your model view or layout (figure 4).

Figure 4. Imported PDF files in a layout.

Editing PDFs
After you have selected your content and placed it on the page, you may make changes to the inserted documents by selecting the placed file in the layout and using the editing tools. Simply select the image and place your cursor on the edge of the image (figure 5). You will see the editing tools that will allow you to stretch the image, subtract from the image, change the shape of the image, etc.

Figure 5. Editing tools.

If you would like the placed PDF to automatically update or if you wish to change the path of the inserted file at any time, you don't need to delete the image and reinsert. Simply select the inserted PDF and go to the Edit Selection Settings tool. This command will enable you to select Auto as the Update Type so the drawings will automatically update if the PDF is replaced with the same name in the stored drawing location path (figure 6).

Figure 6. The Drawing Selection Settings dialog box.

This feature in ArchiCAD v10 will aid in the use of standard details and specifications from product manufacturers as they are specified in your project.

About the Author: Angi Izzi

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