Suppose you have an archive of great images that you’d like to edit using CAD software. You probably have them saved as raster image files on your computer (such as JPEG or PNG), or even stashed hard-copy versions of that drawing in your drawer! You could trace the drawing from scratch on your vector editing software… or employ a one-click vector conversion application!
Converting an image to DXF is as easy as 1,2,3…
It’s as easy as clicking “Save as” and choosing a file type. The computer does all the heavy lifting! Here’s how to convert an image to DXF using Scan2CAD
1. Load your file
Click “File” in the top-left corner of your screen, select “Raster” and “Load”. A file browser dialog box will pop up, in which you’ll locate the image file that you’d like to convert on your computer.
2. Choose Image type.
Click “Type” in the toolbar at the top of your screen. You’ll be presented a list of common image types, such as Architectural, Electrical, Contour Map and so on. These are pre-programmed settings for conversion, which can automatically recognize the type of drawing objects in your image file. Electrical schematic drawings contain lots of straight lines while contour maps are full of curves. It’s very much like the photo filters on Instagram – apply Valencia for selfies and Hudson for pictures of city streets.
3. Convert your image!
This is a brilliant and magical one-click process. All you have to do is select either one of these three buttons, depending on your image type:
- OCR – for image files that contain only text
- Vector – for image files that contain only lines and shapes
- All – for images that contain both text and lines and shapes
The conversion happens almost instantly. Once it’s complete, you’ll see a couple of images overlaid on top of each other. Press “V” to view the Vector image only; press “B” to view both raster and vector. You can use this to play a game of spot-the-difference and check that your conversion is accurate.
4. Save your new vector file as a DXF file.
Click “File” in the top-left corner of your screen; select “Vector” and “Save as”. Then, choose the folder to save your output files and save your DXF file. Voila! Now, you have a DXF file that you can load and edit on any CAD, CNC or GIS software.
Quick tips on Image Conversion
Raster-to-vector conversion is not always perfect. The quality of your DXF file is highly dependent on the quality of the original raster image.
- Choose high-resolution images with as little pixelation as possible. We’ve written a handy checklist on selecting the right raster image for conversion.
- If you’re scanning images, it’s best to save the scanned images as TIFF, which is a lossless image format. Avoid lossy files types like JPEG, which throws away redundant information to reduce file size.
- You can also clean your raster image first before conversion: using Scan2CAD features like speckle removal, line thicken or specification of gap jump distance. Be sure to read our guide for more tips and tricks to image conversion!