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How To Import PDF in Autocad? (+2 Bonus Steps) for Improvements

AutoCAD is like a Swiss Army knife for many industries. It’s not just a tool; it’s a powerful one. It helps people create designs and drawings in architecture, engineering, and more.

Sometimes, you’ll find yourself in a situation where you want to use existing PDF files in your AutoCAD projects. Maybe you want to look at them for reference, trace them, or even make changes to them.

Our article is like your trusted guide. We’ll give you clear, easy-to-follow instructions on how to take those PDF files and put them right into your AutoCAD drawings. This will make your work smoother and more efficient. And don’t worry, we won’t use complicated jargon. 

We’ll keep it simple so that everyone, whether you’re just starting out or a pro, can understand and follow along.

In addition to importing PDF files into AutoCAD, another valuable skill to have is the ability to convert photos into CAD drawings. This process, often referred to as raster to vector conversion, allows you to transform images, such as photographs or scanned sketches, into editable CAD-compatible formats. It can be incredibly useful when you need to incorporate real-world visual data into your AutoCAD projects. By converting photos to CAD drawings, you gain the flexibility to manipulate and work with these images just like any other AutoCAD elements. To learn more about this process, check out our comprehensive guide on Convert Photo to CAD Drawing, which will equip you with the knowledge and tools to seamlessly integrate photos into your AutoCAD designs.

How To Import PDF In Autocad?

Before you start importing a PDF into AutoCAD, it’s essential to ensure that your PDF file is prepared correctly. Here are some key points to consider:

1) PDF Content: Review the PDF file and make sure it contains the necessary information or drawings you want to import into AutoCAD. It’s crucial to have a clear idea of what you need before proceeding.

2) File Size: Large PDF files can slow down the import process and affect AutoCAD’s performance. If possible, try to reduce the file size by removing unnecessary elements or compressing the PDF.

3) File Name: Give your PDF file a descriptive name that will help you identify it easily within AutoCAD.

Now, follow the simple steps with us. By the end, you can successfully import PDFs in AutoCAD. Keep reading,

Step 1: Open AutoCAD

First things first, make sure AutoCAD is up and running on your computer. If it’s not open yet, just click on the AutoCAD icon to start it.

Once AutoCAD is open, you’ll need a fresh, empty drawing to work with. If you already have a blank drawing, that’s great. If not, you can create a new one by following the simple steps in AutoCAD. This is where you’ll bring in your PDF file, like adding a picture to your drawing.

Step 2: The Attach PDF Feature

AutoCAD has a special tool called “Attach” that lets you connect an outside file, like a PDF, to your drawing. It’s a bit like sticking a note onto a piece of paper. Here’s how you can find and use this helpful tool:

1) Ribbon Menu: Look at the very top of the AutoCAD window. You’ll see a row of options that’s a bit like a menu in a restaurant. Find the one called “Insert.” It’s where you get to add things to your drawing.

2) Attach PDF: When you click on “Insert,” a list of choices will pop up, a bit like a menu with different dishes. One of the options on this list is “PDF.” It’s like a special item on the menu. Go ahead and click on it to select it. This will help you bring in your PDF file. It’s like ordering your favorite dish to include in your drawing.

Step 3: Select Your PDF File

Now, let’s choose your PDF file to put into your drawing. It’s like selecting a photo to hang on your wall. Here’s what you should do:

1) Find Your File: After you click on “PDF” in the menu, a little box will pop up, like a magic box with choices. This box will ask you to find your PDF file. Imagine it’s like looking for a book on a shelf. You use this box to navigate to where your PDF file is saved on your computer. When you see it, click on the file to choose it, like picking your favorite book to read.

2) Where to Put It and How Big: Now, you have the chance to decide where your PDF should go in your drawing. It’s like choosing where to hang your picture on the wall. You can also decide how big or small it should be. This is important to keep things accurate. You might need to try a few times to get it just right.

3) Checkboxes: There are some little boxes you can tick. They’re like options you can choose but don’t worry too much about them for now. In most cases, you can leave them as they are unless you have something specific in mind.

4) Click “OK”: When you’re happy with your choices, it’s time to say “OK.” It’s like giving the green light to put your picture up on the wall. So, click “OK” to make it happen. 

Step 4: Place Your PDF in the Drawing

Now, it’s time to actually place your PDF into your drawing. It’s like putting a puzzle piece in the right spot. Here’s how you do it:

1) Click: After you say “OK” in the last step, you’ll see your PDF file attached to your mouse cursor, like a sticker you can move around. Click on the spot in your drawing where you want your PDF to go. If it’s not perfect, don’t worry; you can adjust it later.

2) Make It the Right Size: If you decide how big or small your PDF should be earlier, now’s the time to double-check. You might need to change its size to make it fit perfectly in your drawing. It’s a bit like resizing a photo to fit in a frame.

3) Turn It Around: If you want your PDF to be at a specific angle, you can twist it around now. It’s like turning a picture so that it hangs straight on the wall.

4) Confirm: When you’re happy with where your PDF is, how big it is, and the way it’s positioned, go ahead and click again to say, “Yes, this is where I want it!” This final click confirms your choice, just like putting that last puzzle piece in place.

Step 5: Adjust the PDF

Now that your PDF is inside your drawing, you might need to tweak a few things to get it looking perfect:

1) Resize: If the PDF is too big or too small, you can use a special tool called “SCALE” to change its size. It’s like stretching or shrinking a picture to make it fit better. First, pick the PDF, then choose a starting point, and click on two points to show how big or small you want it to be.

2) Cut It Down: Sometimes, you don’t need the whole PDF, just a part of it. You can use the “CLIP” tool to trim it, like cutting out a piece of paper. This way, you keep only what you need.

3) Layers: You can think of your drawing like a stack of see-through sheets. You can create a new sheet, like a clear plastic one, just for the PDF content. This helps you organize things neatly. 

It’s handy because you can show or hide the PDF whenever you want, just like putting a sheet of paper on or taking it off the stack. This keeps everything in order and makes it easy to work with.

Step 6: Save Your Work

It’s like making sure your drawings are in a safe place. After you’ve put your PDF into your drawing, don’t forget to save it. Saving is like taking a picture of your drawing so you can look at it later. This way, all your hard work stays safe, and you can come back to it whenever you need it. So, remember to save your work to keep it for the future.

Step 7: Make Changes (If Needed)

Now that your PDF is in your drawing, you can still work on it. It’s like drawing on top of a picture. AutoCAD has tools to help you change things or add notes to the PDF.

Step 8: Share Your Work

When you’re all done with your PDF and your drawing looks just the way you want it, it’s time to show it to others. You can do this in two ways:

  1. Export: This is like saving a copy of your drawing in a different format, so you can share it with people who might not have AutoCAD. It’s like turning your drawing into a different type of file that anyone can open.
  1. Print: If you want a physical copy of your drawing, you can print it. Just like printing a picture, but this time it’s your AutoCAD drawing with the PDF included. You can choose to print it on paper or save it as a digital file.

So, you can keep working on your drawing if needed and then share it with others through exporting or printing.


It is a valuable skill that can significantly enhance your drafting and design projects. This step-by-step guide, written in user-friendly and simple language, should help you get started with this process. 

With practice, you’ll become more proficient at using PDFs in AutoCAD, making your work more efficient and accurate. AutoCAD offers various tools and options to customize your PDF import, so don’t hesitate to explore and experiment to achieve the best results for your specific project needs. Also, always consider professional help when needed

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