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  • Using DWG files in Illustrator

    Hi team,

    Im in the process of making a large wall mounted magnetic map for a real estate company.

    I've ordered some Autocad vector map data from an external company, and it comes through as a 50MB DWG file. Its taking an AGE to open. Its stuck on a stage called 'Mapping', and has been like this for about 10 minutes, and is maybe 10% of the way there.

    I downloaded a sample from their site and it opened fine (although it was much smaller).

    This is only 1 of 8 tiles for the entire map, and obviously the current method is unsuitable. Does anyone know of anything I can do to speed up the process? Is there a plugin that makes the conversion faster? The computer Im using is pretty beefy - Quad core Xeon Mac Pro with 8GB RAM - but this is bringing it to its knees.

    Maybe I should order raster data from the company, instead of vector?

  • #2
    What version of Illustrator are you using? There are some plugins for DWG for Illustrator http://helpx.adobe.com/illustrator/k...lustrator.html

    Perhaps they could help?

    "May your hats fly as high as your dreams"Michael Scott

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    • #3
      50mb is too big anyway for a vector / wireframe import. You are probably dealing with crosshatches and fills that are embedded into the autcad file. Can you not get a PDF version with edit to be done in AI? Some DWG versions of autocad are buggy with file importing into AI.
      "After all is said and done, more is said than done."
      Aesop

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      • #4
        Illustrator really shouldn't be for editing PDFs. PDFs like to simplify the file for view on screen or output. Any opening to edit it can result in weird clipping masks et al things.

        I would not open a PDF in Illustrator to make the edits unless the PDF was made in Illustrator in the first place.

        "May your hats fly as high as your dreams"Michael Scott

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        • #5
          Sorry Hank not true, Autocad will make a fine PDF that can be edited in AI I do it all the time.
          "After all is said and done, more is said than done."
          Aesop

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          • #6
            It is true.

            I spend a lot of time on the Adobe Forums and the guy who is the Principle Scientist for Adobe, Dov Issacs, has said on many occasions that PDFs should not be edited in Illustrator as Illustrator is not a universal PDF editor.

            If you like - pop over to the illustrator forums at Adobe and ask them there if it's ok to open a PDF generated by another non-Adobe program in Illustrator for editing - see what type of response you get - if you don't believe me.

            You may be doing ok opening the PDF in Illustrator, and it may be working - but it generally shouldn't be done.

            It would be a last resort for me.

            "May your hats fly as high as your dreams"Michael Scott

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            • #7
              Autocad > PDF > AI any day and every day. Sure some things don't transfer but vast vast majority does.
              Opening editing and enhancing, always works for me Hank. Where is the thesis from Dov Issacs? It would be interesting to read it.
              Last edited by MikeHun; 04-10-2012, 12:31 PM.
              "After all is said and done, more is said than done."
              Aesop

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              • #8
                Well - good luck with it. I wouldn't recommend that workflow - as Illustrator is not a PDF editor.

                "May your hats fly as high as your dreams"Michael Scott

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                • #9
                  Here's one such post

                  http://forums.adobe.com/message/2326800

                  "May your hats fly as high as your dreams"Michael Scott

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                  • #10
                    I have to open and edit PDF's made from Auto Cad all the time in Illustrator. Very frustrating. Circles become octagons, corners become unjoined, etc, etc. Forget about text. I spend more time fixing everything than I do working on the part I need to do. Definitely going to try that plug in.
                    "Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works."
                    -Steve Jobs

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                    • #11
                      Paj, the artboard on Autocad gives Illustrator fits.
                      Don't try to bring it in at actual size. Let it scale down. We usually tell our draftsmen to put a scaling factor in the drawing so we can get it back to correct size once it's in Illy.
                      A map should have a scale in it already.
                      You may have some trouble with line weights though...
                      A .dxf works better.

                      Hank, PDF is one of the better methods for getting an AutoCad drawing into Illustrator without too much going wrong. A lot of things can go wrong no matter what method you use to bring a CAD drawing into Illustrator.
                      We do it all the time too. BUT, you have to be very careful to tell the person sending the PDF to make sure it is under 220".

                      50mb is nothing for a map. I wouldn't be worried it's the file size.
                      Last edited by PrintDriver; 04-15-2012, 10:53 AM.

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                      • #12
                        I've opened pdfs in Illustrator to edit before, and a lot from autocad. I'm all too aware of the things that CAN go wrong. It's a fair warning that opening a PDF from ANY program, especially non-adobe, in Illustrator can cause strange things to occur.

                        "May your hats fly as high as your dreams"Michael Scott

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                        • #13
                          With Autocad you just expect issues no matter what.
                          I wouldn't open a print PDF in Illustrator to fix something though.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by PrintDriver View Post
                            With Autocad you just expect issues no matter what.
                            I wouldn't open a print PDF in Illustrator to fix something though.
                            I've pulled PDFs from MS Publisher into AI to get at the bits, but generally they all get pulled out, saved in other formats, and reconstituted in a new document.

                            I also regularly open one particular printer's proof PDFs to check that the specs were followed. Some of our facilities use very generic-looking sans serif typefaces, it's easier to check that way than to try to compare to an exemplar.
                            This post is brought to you by the letter E and the number 9. Those are the buttons I push to get a Twix out of the candy machine.
                            "I put my heart and my soul into my work, and have lost my mind in the process."

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Sketcher View Post
                              I have to open and edit PDF's made from Auto Cad all the time in Illustrator. Very frustrating. Circles become octagons, corners become unjoined, etc, etc. Forget about text. I spend more time fixing everything than I do working on the part I need to do. Definitely going to try that plug in.
                              You of course have to optimize files saved from Autocad as I mentioned before cross-hatches fills and output especially on the number of points on bezier point curve has to be considered.

                              There are translation issues but you can't do a blind handoff, the current version of Autocad to Illustrator has to be considered also.

                              I have no problem taking plans, sections, elevations and the even the rendered views from pdf's exported from Autocad and Revit!

                              These are used in all the presentation boards for proposals on concepts for projects. Think about your workflow.
                              "After all is said and done, more is said than done."
                              Aesop

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