Import PDF into AutoCAD free

People love PDF after it was created by Adobe. Many AutoCAD engineers output their drawings as the PDF documents before the DWF is popular. So we often want to import the PDF documents into our drawings. Unfortunately there isn’t a convenience tool to complete this task. The following are the free methods I can find on Internet.

Method #1: Import PDF to AutoCAD as image

  1. Download GSview and Ghostscript, install them.
  2. Open the pdf document with GSview.
  3. Go to the “File” menu, select “Convert…”.
  4. Select an image format in the “Device” list.
  5. Select a resolution you want. I recommend you select the highest resolution.
  6. Click the “OK” button to save the PDF document to an image file.
  7. Use the “imageattach” command of AutoCAD to insert the image file.

Method #2: Import PDF to AutoCAD as dwf underlay (this method is only for AutoCAD 2007 or later)

  1. Download Autodesk DWF writer and install it.
  2. Open the PDF file with the free Adobe Reader.
  3. Go to the “File” menu, select “Print…”.
  4. Select “Autodesk DWF Writer for 2D” and click the “OK” button.


  5. Launch AutoCAD, and go to the “Insert” menu, Select “DWF underlay…”.

Method #3: Import PDF to AutoCAD as DXF

  1. Download GSview and Ghostscript, install them.
  2. Download pstoedit plugin for GSview and copy the plugins.dll to the same directory where you install the GSview (for example, C:\Program Files\Ghostgum\pstoedit\).
  3. Go to the “Edit” menu, select “Convert to vector format…”.
  4. Select “dxf: CAD exchange format” in the format list of the “PS to Edit” dialog, and click OK button to export the PDF file to a dxf file.
  5. Launch AutoCAD, and insert the DXF file.

Method #4: AutoCAD 2009 – Bonus Pack 2 – PDF Attach

Autodesk releases two PDF enhancements in “Bonus Pack 2”. One of the PDF enhancements is “PDF Attach”. The command is PDFATTACH. And If you attach a vector PDF, you can use object snaps to snap to geometry in the PDF file.

But the enhancements is only available for AutoCAD 2009, AutoCAD Revit Architecture Suite 2009, and AutoCAD Revit Structure Suite 2009. You can log in to the subscription center of autodesk to download it.

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