Found a hidden feature or want to share a time-saving shortcut? Let us all know...
#61782 by Ted B
Mon Oct 07, 2013 3:46 am
Been frustrated wanting to include a separate Word or Open Office document,project memo, typed specification or spreadsheet right in the Datacad drawing file? While this may seem simple, it's vexed me for years...then I stumbled across a simple solution.

For years I've been .pdf'ing the construction document sheet/titleblock and the "text" as two separate .pdf-files and manually running them through the printer twice to superimpose one on the other. Getting the paper-orientation correctly right-side-up or upside-down for each printer-pass is always tricky and confusing. While I understood the process for printing or archiving, it was always confusing when a client or AHJ wanted a drawing emailed to them.

Over the weekend, I spent a frustrating hour coordinating printing a multipage specification for a set of construction documents for AHJ-submittal while compiling the whole set in "Pdfill PDF Tools" into one .pdf-file. Since I had already inserted my scanned 'signature and rubber-stamp architect's seal' onto each page's titleblock as an "insert - bitmap" .jpeg, ...I had an epiphany.

Pdfill PDF Tools as a menu-choice " 10. Convert PDF to Images".

Since I already had the text of the specification "printed-out" page-by-page as .pdf-files, I converted each page-file into an 8-bit .jpeg at 300-resolution, and then "insert - bitmap" each onto the appropriate title-block'd drawing's boundaries corner-to-corner in the original Datacad v.13 Cad-file. I could then print-out the completed page directly via the printer...or saved it as a .pdf-file for compiling or printing later.

It's not a live document like Ptext or Mtext...but it's totally-controllable in appearance to the original...and it's not that difficult to re-insert a revised "plot-out" if needed in revision. I haven't tried it yet for spreadsheets or flow-charts, but it should work the same way including inserting factory .pdf cut-sheets and catalog inserts. Using .tiff as a choice worked just as well at the same settings, I haven't tried .png., .bmp, .gif or .wmf yet.
#61788 by REX PEET
Mon Oct 07, 2013 6:29 pm
Another thing to consider here, is the the Bullzip Pdf print utility, prints to many graphic format; png, tiff, jpg etc, with a control on resolution. You can print a pdf file or any file, to a graphics format with Bullzip and insert the resultant file directly into Datacad.
#61800 by Ted B
Tue Oct 08, 2013 12:58 pm
I was thinking ..while driving to a meeting with a client, always a dangerous thing the "thinking"...that I shoud be able to do the reverse and use the same conversion to insert inidivual Datacad-generated details as .jpeg images in my OpenOffice text documents; like project memos to the subcontractors or the Bldg. Depts. to clarify a construction detail.

CAD-file detail "plot" output as .pdf; 4x6 or 5x8 index card about the right-size,
convert to .jpeg and insert into letter;
then printout the final typed document as a .pdf (emailed, or printed and mailed) again for distribution.
#61801 by Roger D
Tue Oct 08, 2013 1:39 pm
I've been saving as a .emf file instead of .pdf from the plot preview to use in addendums and reports for years.
#61898 by wwwylie
Wed Oct 16, 2013 1:23 pm
Ted B wrote:It's not a live document like Ptext or Mtext...but it's totally-controllable in appearance to the original...
I don't quite understand why you need a separate page for each page of the title block? This seems like it should be able to be made into a live document that is editable in the office program of your choice. Could you post an example or send me on via email so I could better understand?

Adobe Acrobat has a feature called a stamp that can basically be setup as a typical imported bitmap or other pdf file. I use it extensively to sign submittal documents before printing when an ink signature is not required. The best part is that Adobe now has a subscription service that allows you to have the full featured Acrobat for about $20 per month rather than a giant hit cost of over $250 just to purchase, and it comes with updates automatically. Microsoft is now offering the same with its Office 365.
#61968 by Ted B
Mon Oct 21, 2013 3:09 am
The way I set up my CAD-file, each page in the construction documentation has it's own border and titleblock in the .aec-file...like a field of tiles. Super-imposed drawings like demolition, construction, MPE and structural on the same base-plan share the base-plan and titleblock with the drawing-specific number super-imposed on the appropriate layers, viewable as "views". For residential and light commercial projects it's workable having the entire job in one Datacad-file. And each floor-plan/level has it's own border, titleblock within the tile-field grid. The larger the "scale, the smaller the tile/border and titleblock. If the file get too-big or "slow", then I'll break-up the file contects to two or three files...but it's easier to manage when all in one .aec-file.

I've tried the xref-method for titleblocks, and using symbols for tileblocks and sheet-borders in CAD. I started-out doing everything in pencil on vellum...then the ink technical-pen and Mylar pin-registration method with the vacuum-bed printers...then Autocad and pen-plotters, and finally Datacad. After almost 20-years of Datacad, in a sole-practitioner office-practice, it works for me...

The specification itself is a live-document in OpenOffice Writer...typically just a lightly-edited version of my standard residential outline specification the bulk of which is just spelling-out our code-compliance to the IRC or IBC building codes for generic materials-used; concrete, masonry, fasteners, wood and plywood/OSB. Typically it takes about three 11x17 landscape pages of three columns of text.

My old method was to first print a 3-page .pdf for record-purposes of that issuance, then print it on paper, then feed those same three pages back through the printer a 2nd-time while overprinting the CAD construction document's corresponding three-sheets A-2.1, 2.2 and 2.3 project title block, sheet-number and revisions-notes. Basically two separate pdfs superimposed on one sheet a paper. The problem is nowadays contractors and AHJs want the job electronically in digital-format, and explaining the superimposition-process is complicated and annoying.

By converting each of the three-pages of the specification record-pdf-file as a .jpeg, I can insert it as 'bitmap' directly onto the appropriate construction document-page BEFORE a print-out that construction document page in .pdf-format. Now it's part of the CAD-file as a big image filling most of the page, just like a .jpeg detail or a catalog-image. It's not "live" anymore, but it is viewable on the correct sheet in the .pdf construction documents for distribution without any complicated explanations or manipulations at their-end.

The other reason I've been relying more on .pdf-distribution and e-mailed drawings is that while my old rented-office space was right across the street from a Staples for photocopies and mailing, for the last 2-years I've been working from home. And it's now a 30-mile round-trip to Staples for photocopies in-bulk...and 12-miles round-trip to the nearest post office to mail or overnight paper documents.

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