Exploding PDF’s!

As many are aware, one of the new features to ArchiCAD 18 was the “explode PDF” function. This became very useful this morning in streamlining the creation of manufacturer specific details and components. The product cut sheet was from Hafele, and the linework on the sheet seemed to have originated from a vector file (essential for conversion from PDF back to linework; exploding a pdf that is all point/pixel images will result in no content or image files only).Screen Shot 2015-05-28 at 9.04.31 AM

Simply drop the PDF onto any ArchiCAD 18 window, right click and select “Explode into Current View”. The ArchiCAD default short cut for this is command + =, or the function is available from the edit > reshape drop down.Screen Shot 2015-05-28 at 9.04.41 AM

The next window gives options for incorporated the images layers, line types, fill types, applying uniform fonts and pens, etc. In most cases I uncheck the “Keep Original Elements After Exploding” box.Screen Shot 2015-05-28 at 9.04.50 AM

The result is a series of figures, lines, fills, polylines, text boxes (for recognized fonts), and other editable elements.Screen Shot 2015-05-28 at 9.05.00 AM

A quick clean up of the un-needed elements and a consolidation of linework and fills results in a ready to use detail from a manufacturers cut sheet.Screen Shot 2015-05-28 at 9.05.49 AM Screen Shot 2015-05-28 at 9.05.58 AM

Also worth noting is the easy transition of this linework into a more consolidated and easy to populate GSM object file. In the case of this Hafele drawing, it will only appear in one drawing for one project, but if the product is used widely throughout the project or on multiple projects GDL is always better than fragmented lines and fills.

Last of all, this feature is only available for AC18 and later. If you need to explode a pdf for an AC17 project you can explode it in a separate AC18 pln file and save as an ArchiCAD17 Project for copy and paste.

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