Inkscape has made a name for itself when it comes to the drawing of vector graphics. This is because it is an open-source program that sees a lot of development channeled towards it on top of the fact that you can obtain it absolutely free. When you are not using Inkscape to draw, it is a very handy tool that also delivers a nifty feature where it helps to convert between certain file formats. In this article, we are getting to know this program better in regard to the process to convert pesky PDF drawings into the DXF card format equivalent.
As we all know, PDF files do not offer an easy time when it comes to editing and therefore unless you are sharing a drawing as it is, it is advisable to convert it into a CAD format so that it can be manipulated further when the need arises. When called to the task, Inkscape promises to deliver outstanding results without taking a lot of time or requiring too much effort. Actually, in the tutorial you will go through in the subsequent section of this article, you will come to learn of just how simple it is to get started with this powerful software. Although batch conversion is not supported, working on single PDF files will not prove any tedious once you have the procedure outlined for you.
How To Convert PDF To DXF Using Inkscape
In order to have an easy time getting around any piece of software, you need to have knowledge of how it works and more importantly how to tackle the task at hand with the same app. Inkscape delivers a plethora of features that largely depend on what you are looking to achieve at the end. In that case, when it comes to PDF to DXF conversion, this guide will take you through the process in the most direct and convenient way so that you can avoid any mixups when bombarded with all the features all at once. As we mentioned earlier, file conversion is not the main feature of this program and therefore, arming yourself with this guide will go a long way to save you a great deal of time that would have been taken by a steep learning curve. Here is the tutorial to follow.
Step 1: Launch Inkscape
After grabbing Inkscape from the official website, install it just like any other normal software you have installed before and then start it once the installation process is done. Dismiss any pop-ups that may appear so that you can finally arrive at the graphical user interface below. It will be a blank space in the middle waiting for you to either add a file or create a drawing from scratch.
Step 2: Import a PDF File
Since Inkscape can only convert one PDF file at a time, simply click on the “File” menu and pick the “Import…” option as shown by labels 1 and 2 respectively. This program does not happen to offer the drag-and-drop feature and so this is the advised method when adding a file that is not natively supported by this program. For convenience purposes, you can use the Ctrl+I hotkey to achieve the same.
Following the steps above will open up the native file explorer method of browsing for files. Under Label 1, pick the source directory for the target PDF file, select the file like the one shown by Label 2 and finally click on the “Open” button labeled 3 to complete the importation process.
Immediately you do that, you will be presented with the popup windows below with various options to tinker with. Adjust the options appropriately and if you are unsure about how they work exactly, you can just rock the defaults and hit the “OK” button to continue. Actually, the default option will just work ok with most of the PDF files you import.
Inkscape will seem like it has frozen and even show a “Not responding” message but that should not scare you. It just means that the file is being processed and will be loaded within a few moments. On successful processing, your PDF drawing will be displayed like the one shown below. This will mean that you are ready for the next step for the actual conversion.
Step 3: Save As DXF
Inkscape does not give you a direct way to convert PDF into DXF like how other apps do it but instead lets you save the PDF in another format as shown below. Simply hit the “File” menu and pick the “Save a Copy…” option as directed by labels 1 and 2 respectively. Alternatively use the Shift+Ctrl+Alt+S hotkey to achieve the same conveniently.
You will immediately be opened up to the file saving dialog below in which you will pick the saving directory in the area label 1, pick the DXF output format in the drop-down menu labeled 2 before giving your preferred filename as shown by Label 3. Once you have done all that, simply hit the “Save” button labeled 4 to finally save the output DXF file.
You are almost there. The dialog box below will appear for you to make necessary adjustments like the base unit to use so that the output is just as how you would want it to be. Click on the “OK” button to save the changes and continue.
Inkscape will not show any other notification or dialog box past here but you can rest assured that it has made the conversion the moment you clicked the button above. How fast the output file is delivered is tantamount to the size of the input file. You can confirm this by navigating to the output directory you chose, locate the file carrying the name you specified and should also have the DXF format as the extension. As a reference for this guide, we named the file “drawing.dxf” and can be seen below in the saving directory.
Easy peasy! You have managed to convert your PDF file into the DXF format equivalent in a process that has proved to be very interactive besides simple to follow. Without spending a single penny, any pesky PDF drawing that you have will be an editable DXF file without much hassle. You need not necessarily have any form of expertise when it comes to this program when this comprehensive tutorial has got you covered. At the end of the day, you have a reliable program that will deliver not only excellent but also satisfactory output.