Insert PDF for Visio
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Open and Edit PDF Diagrams in Visio
Do you need to edit a step in your workflow, or change an office layout, but don’t have the original Visio file? Now, using a PDF, you can edit to your heart’s content without having to waste time redrawing the file from scratch. Simply insert the PDF in Visio, ungroup it and get to work. All objects, text and attributes such as fills, fonts, line-weights and more can be changed.
Work with PDF graphics in Visio using the Insert PDF in Visio add-in from Visual Integrity
Insert PDF in Visio makes it easy to use PDF drawings and diagrams in Microsoft® Visio®. As the PDF file opens, objects are automatically ungrouped, and all elements are available for editing. You can work with layers, groups, attributes, objects, scale, and text.
Try it yourself in 5 easy steps,
- Download and install the free 15-day trial of Insert PDF in Visio add-in.
- Access the Insert PDF add-in from the ribbon in Visio and select a computer-generated PDF file (vector PDF) to ensure an editable result. Note – Scanned PDFs are limited and open only as a bitmap image, useful as a tracing layer.
- Select the PDF page you want to open and any options such as rotation, page size, objects to ignore and objects to recognize.
- Watch as your diagram promptly renders in Visio. If you did not select the ungroup option when converting, right-click on the file and choose “Group, Ungroup” to explode the diagram into individual, editable elements
- Make your modifications and save the drawing as a Visio file.
Until now, technical drawings and diagrams saved in the PDF format have been inaccessible. Gaining the ability to work with them in Visio is a game-changer. The Insert PDF in Visio add-in gives you full control over all elements in the PDF file.
PDF documents often include logos, illustrations, diagrams, drawings, charts, and designs. All of this is rich vector content that’s searchable and accessible. PDF graphics are scalable and resize without breaking down or getting grainy. They are superior to screenshots or scans which lose clarity when enlarged.
Beware of False Claims and Free Conversion Sites
If you want to convert a file to Visio for free, use our ConvertPDF.Today and choose WMF as your output format. It’s free with no strings attached. In testing the competition, we found sites that say they convert to VSD but when you upload the file, it displays, “Sorry, VSD is not supported; please select another format”. Another company uploaded the file into their online editor and when trying to save it as VSD, it wasn’t offered as an output format, plus, they wouldn’t provide a link to the resulting file without creating an account.
There were several sites that claimed to convert to Visio but they only generated a bitmap image instead of an editable vector. Image files are good underlays or tracking layers but they are not files you can work with at the object level. It’s frustrating and a time-sink.
Text as curves
Some CAD drawings use “plotted” characters. This text becomes a series of pen strokes or “curves” in a PDF losing all character information. Because you can’t edit plotted text, you will be limited to a graphical representation once you convert PDF to Visio.
If you can select text in the original PDF file, then it will be editable in the Visio file. If it doesn’t look quite right, the specific font may not be on the target system or it may go by a different name. The font mapping feature handles these issues when you convert PDF to Visio. This happens because of font incompatibilities across systems.
As odd as it seems, the very same font can have a different name on two different PCs. Because of this, we offer font mapping. Using this feature, you can create a link between the two font names so the text appears as intended in Visio.
If a font in the PDF file does not exist in Visio, we’ll choose a close substitute. This will be one of the standard PostScript fonts installed on all PCs. Usually, it will be close enough and you can adjust the point size in order to get close. If you want the correct font when using PDF in Visio, you can license it from any font supplier like Adobe, FontShop, fonts.com, or Monotype, to name a few.
Objects or shapes?
When creating a PDF, application-specific definitions about shapes and scale disappear. Visual Integrity has developed many options to recover or compensate for these limitations. More information is available on these options in the product’s Help file.
Mind your Memory
Many Visio drawings coming from PDF contain a large number of objects. This is especially true if you are trying to open a complex CAD drawing in Visio. You’ll need a well-equipped PC. Every file is different so it’s hard for us to make general recommendations. If you find that the file is slow to open or takes a while to refresh, you’ll need more memory. It’s not unusual for a converted PDF file to contain more than 50,000 individual objects. This may sound intimidating but pdf2picture makes quick work of it!
Ungroup and Ungroup Again
One of the top questions we get is from people who open the WMF or SVG file in Visio and don’t know to ungroup the page. When first opened, the diagram displays as one group to prevent unintended editing. To start working on the individual elements, ungroup per the steps above. This is the key step for using PDF successfully in Visio.
Regroup before Resizing
When using PDF in Visio, if you want to scale the drawing, always “regroup”. Do this by selecting Grouping, Group so that everything. Grouping makes one entity out of many and ensures that everything scales proportionally.
We have seen PDF files that contain hundreds of thousands of objects. These are not the norm and require a very capable system as well as a lot of patience when ungrouping. Regular success is high with less than 50,000 objects but when the count is much higher, it can hit a wall. When using PDF in Visio, if you have a file that won’t open or ungroup, please contact us to see if we can help.
Choosing an Import Format
If you use the Insert PDF add-in for Visio, your diagram will open in the native Visio format. But, if you use a stand-alone program like pdf2picture or PDF FLY, you’ll need to choose a format to hand off to Visio. The best options are WMF, EMF, SVG, and DWG. Depending on the type of diagram or drawing you have, WMF is almost always the best choice because it’s closest to the Visio format.
The exceptions are CAD drawings with layers. Visio has special options for converting CAD objects and they may be useful for your files. Performance may take a hit because CAD files are usually larger than WMF files.
How do I ungroup and edit PDF in Visio?
Opening PDF Diagrams in Visio
Insert PDF for Visio is a simple yet powerful add-in enabling you to open and edit PDF drawings with Visio.
Steps for using PDF in Visio.
Perform the following steps to open PDF drawings in Visio.
1. Install Insert PDF on your PC. After this, launch Visio. You see that an icon to “Open PDF” has been added at the end of the “Insert” menu ribbon. Click on this button and then select your file.
2. Once you have selected your file, you’ll see some options to optimize your conversion. These are:
- Import Page: When you have a multi-page file, you’ll need to specify which page you want to open.
- Page Size: You can choose to open the drawing based on the page size specified in the PDF file or fit the drawing to your page size.
- Rotate: You can rotate the page 90-degrees to the right or to the left.
- Object Options: Select the Object options as needed. You’ll find details for each of these in the Help file.
3. Once you have clicked “Insert”, you should now see the converted drawing on your screen. Important! The drawing is imported as one grouped object and needs to be ungrouped if you wish to edit, remove or add parts of the drawing. To Ungroup your drawing, right-click and select Grouping, Ungroup.
3. When ungrouped, Visio will highlight every individual object in pink. In order to deselect everything, you need to click anywhere on the page outside of the drawing boundaries.
Key Details of Insert PDF for Visio