What is Scan2CAD

 

Scan2CAD is a two-in-one solution. It is:

A raster to vector converter – a software program that automatically converts raster images into vector files that can be read into a CAD program and edited just like any other CAD drawing.
A PDF to vector converter – a software program that automatically converts PDF files into vector files that can be read into a CAD program and edited just like any other CAD drawing.

 

Raster images

A raster image is the type of image that is created when you scan a paper drawing into an electronic format that your computer can read. It is made up of a grid of little squares called pixels. Lines and arcs are represented by coloring the appropriate pixels.

 

 

Raster images can be saved as various sorts of file including BMP, CALS, GIF, IMG, JPEG, PCX, PDF, PNG and TIFF.

Some types of raster file take up more space on your hard disk than other types. For example, BMP files take up more space than TIFF group 4 files. You can use Scan2CAD’s File Menu > Raster > Save As function to convert one type of raster file to another so you can maximize hard disk space.

 

Vector images

In a vector image lines and arcs are represented by vectors – mathematically defined entities drawn between coordinates – rather than by lumpy groups of pixels.

 

 

Scan2CAD converts raster images to vectors and saves them as a type of vector file called a DXF file. DXF (Data eXchange Format) is a type of vector file designed for exchanging drawings between different CAD programs. DXF files can be read by all CAD and CNC packages.

Scan2CAD can also save vectors in HPGL, WMF, EMF and PDF format.

 

Why convert raster images to vector files?

You will probably be able to load a raster image into your CAD program – most CAD programs can import and display raster images. However, once you have imported a raster image into your CAD program you will find that all you can do is look at it or trace over it. You will not be able to make any changes to it.

This is because CAD programs can only work with vectors. If you want to edit a raster image in your CAD program you must first convert it to vectors. You do this using raster to vector conversion software like Scan2CAD.

Once you have converted the raster image to vectors and saved it as a vector file you will be able to import it into your CAD program and edit it just like any other drawing you have created using your CAD program.

 

PDF files

PDF files can be raster images, vector images or can contain both raster images and vectors.

If a PDF file was created by scanning a drawing, it will be a raster PDF file. A raster PDF file is essentially a raster image, usually TIFF or JPEG, held within a PDF wrapper. Just like any other raster image, it needs to be converted to CAD using raster to vector conversion.

If a PDF file was created by saving PDF from a CAD program, it will most likely be a vector PDF file. Unlike raster PDF files, vector PDF files already contain vectors, although not in a format that most CAD programs can understand. Scan2CAD converts the vectors inside PDF files to a DXF file that can be read by all CAD packages.

 

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