CAD Menu bar

A quick tip for enabling your Menu bar is to type MENUBAR in your command area and set the value to one (1). A value of zero (0) will turn the Menu bar off.         You can also right-click on the Menu bar and deselect it to turn it off.


LAYWALK, an efficient tool for managing drawings and layers Laywalk is a very primitive command in AutoCAD but it is mostly ignored or overlooked by most of the CAD users despite its great features and user friendly behavior. LAYWALK allows you to view objects of a particular layer(s) without using On/off or freeze/thaw features of […]

AutoCAD Base Drawing

Have you ever worked with multiple drawings that have xrefed ones among them and found that they are not lining up? You are working with multiple floors, for example. When you xref one floor to the other and they are not lined up. It could be that they were not drawn at the same origin […]

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Edit PDF Drawings in AutoCAD with Able2Extract PDF Converter

CAD design software and, namely, AutoCAD, is used in many industries for all sorts of projects. For example, it’s used in professions such as architecture, design engineering, construction, landscaping or office building design.

AutoCAD supported formats are DWG and DXF. However, when it comes time to share plans and drawings with clients and other stakeholders, AutoCAD users often convert their drawings into PDF. Converting CAD drawings into PDF before sending them for review, approval and feedback is a good idea because there is a good chance that your clients might not have AutoCAD, since it’s fairly expensive software to own if you aren’t using it on a regular basis. The PDF is a file format that is convenient for these purposes because anyone can open and view it, and best of all, the drawing will look exactly the way you intended it to appear no matter what platform your client’s computer is running on.

Another benefit of the PDF is that it is a compact file format, which makes sharing it quick and easy. It’s also a popular format to use for archiving purposes. The main problem with PDF is that this format cannot be edited. This becomes an issue for CAD professionals who receive a drawing in PDF that they need to work on and manipulate further, or if they want to reuse some of their archived work. In such instances, it would be best to have a tool that can convert these PDF drawings into AutoCAD supported formats (DWG or DXF) so that they can be further edited in AutoCAD.

If you are looking for a professional PDF to AutoCAD converter, chances are you’ll come across’s Able2Extract PDF Converter. It’s one of the best known PDF to DWG/DXF desktop solutions, especially since its latest release v.8. The reason is that with the aforementioned release, the software became fully available not only to MS Windows users, but to MacOS and Linux users as well.

The first thing that you notice once you install and start up the software is that it’s easy to use. Despite the comprehensive nature of this PDF solution and multiple available conversion options (like PDF to Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Publisher, HTML, Text, AutoCAD and more), the software’s interface is very intuitive and easy to understand.

PDF to AutoCAD conversion is performed in practically three steps:

1. Open the document that you wish to convert using the Open command on the File menu (Open icon on the toolbar or a keyboard shortcut CTRL+O).

file open menu

2. Select the PDF drawing or part of the file for conversion. If you want to convert the entire file, click on the “All” toolbar icon. If you only wish to convert a certain drawing within the file, click the “Area” icon and then select the content you wish to convert using your mouse.

all area menu

3. Now click on the “AutoCAD” toolbar icon to choose the conversion output format (DWG or DXF) and customize conversion output.

autocad menu

As you can see on the picture below, there are a number of customizations options. That includes the option to specify the color palette, as well as a range of additional options.

covert to autocad

These options help to customize your conversion output prior to conversion so you can get down to work on the extracted drawing right after conversion without additional tweaking. If you want to make these options the standard for all PDF to AutoCAD conversions, click the “Keep current settings as default” box before converting the file.

Once you’ve customized your options, click the “Convert” button.

Able2Extract will convert the PDF drawing into layers directly, which lets you get to work as soon as you open your newly converted file in AutoCAD.

Having tested Able2Extract’s conversion capabilities in detail, I can summarize that Able2Extract delivers what it promises: it recovers CAD drawings from PDF quickly and accurately, enabling the users to manipulate and edit them as required.

If you want to test out Able2Extract and see if it suits your needs, download a free 7-day trial.


When you are drafting it is best to use your OSNAP. It snaps automatically the cursors to End point, Intersection, Midpoints, etc.. I think it is very difficult to edit a drawing without the OSNAP turned on. The OSNAPs can be accessed by using “shift/right click” or by typing OSNAP at the command line.

osnap settingsosnap drafting settings

Within the OSNAP settings you have the option to check all the modes you need.

Xref Manager

If you are working on a big project and are dealing with a lot of xrefs, you might run into the problem of broken xrefs. The following three reasons might have caused this: one, you did not use relative path; two, you rename the xref folder; third, you move the drawing folder around. The easiest or fastest way to fix the problem is to use the Reference Manager. To use the Reference Manager follow these steps below:

  1. Go to your Windows Start button and go to the following: Programs, Autodesk, AutoCAD, Reference Manager.
  2. On the top left menu, click on “Add drawings”.

    add drawings

    Add Drawings

  3. When the Add Drawings browser pops up, browse for your files location.
  4. Once you have selected your files an “Add Xref” window inquiry will pop up asking you to choose between Add all xrefs automatically or Add only the first-level xrefs. Select “Add all xrefs automatically”.
  5. On the right side in the Reference Manager window, select the Type column label on top to arrange all your files by type so that all your xrefs are grouped together.
  6. You can do (Shift and Select) on your keyboard to select all the xref files at once.
  7. On the top menu select “Edit selected Paths”.
  8. When the “Edit selected Paths” menu pops up, select the little browse button on the right and browse for your new xref path and click Ok.


    Edit Selected Paths

  9. To finish, select “Apply Changes” on the top menu.
  10. An Updating Drawing Format window will pop up. Click on “Yes to all”.


    Updating Drawing Format

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