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CAD and FrameMaker

Contributor ,
Mar 12, 2001

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The question of getting CAD/CAM drawings into FrameMaker pops up regularly in the FrameMaker forum. If you have anything to add, please visit the "FAQ Corrections and Suggestions" topic and post your thoughts there.

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CAD and FrameMaker

Contributor ,
Mar 12, 2001

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The question of getting CAD/CAM drawings into FrameMaker pops up regularly in the FrameMaker forum. If you have anything to add, please visit the "FAQ Corrections and Suggestions" topic and post your thoughts there.

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Contributor ,
Mar 12, 2001

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There are a number of routes to go in presenting CAD drawings in FM.
Directly importing a DWG, DXF, or IGES format isn't the best route, since
the filters leave a lot to be desired, but in a pinch or if that's all
you've got, then...

(Most of this info applies to Wintel platforms.)

Other export/output formats from various CAD packages usually allow HPGL
and CGM formats. These are also supported import filters into FM. The CGM (and IGES) filter has actually two flavours and you have a bit of
preference set-up that can be tweaked (see the FM Filters manual and look
in the \filters folder at some of the .ini or .prf files). Typically you'll find that most of the lines import too fine and there may not be visual differentiation between different line styles (pens). Also, depending upon the version and export format from the CAD package, fills may consist of hundreds/thousands of vector strokes, rather than as truly filled polygons. It can be a crapshoot with how the text/fonts display and map in your drawing as well.

For a quick&dirty, you may consider trying copy&paste from the CAD application into FM. This always creates a WMF graphic, regardless of
whether you simply paste or link or embed. WMF is platform specific and
doesn't always play nice in a postscript publishing environment.

There is a tool called BetterWMF from Furix that gives you some more control over what elements to copy and how to map some of them:



The best route (in terms of output quality when going to press and
cross-platform compatibility) is to get an EPS format file to import into
FM. There are several ways to get this. The one you choose will depend upon
your resources, how often you need to do this and the presentation quality
of the drawing that you're trying to achieve.

If the DXF/DWG/IGES/CGM/HPGL filters don't provide sufficient quality for
your needs, the first thing to try is the native EPS export of the
application - usually mediocre.

The next level to try would be to print/output to the Distiller printer and create a PDF. From the PDF you can crop and export via Acrobat/Exchange an
EPS for FM. (Note: importing the PDF isn't that great of an option since FM
has to internally convert the PDF to an EPS anyway. You're just making it
do a lot more work and can mess things up if the switch in the maker.ini
file isn't set properly.) However, fonts, line thickness, fills, and
colouration may not be optimal for publication. There is some tweaking that can be done to the graphics content of a PDF if you use a tool such as PitStopPro from Enfocus at:



There's a third-party tool called OttoPDF from Myndkryme that converts AutoCAD 12-14 & 2000 files to PDF with some additional controls, at:



There's another set of tools for bringing DWG/DXF drawings into Illustrator so that you can edit/tweak there and produce an EPS that way. Check out AppliCraft's CADgate at:



Other translation software packages that will get your DWG/DXF files into a
format that can be imported into other drawing applications for further
tweaking or directly into FM are:



Also check out the import filters of some of the more popular drawing
packages that you may already have - these also support various
dwg/dxf/hpgl/cgm levels of import with various degrees of success.

Then there's the Cad "publisher" software, such as John Walker's AutoSet
CadPublisher at:



which is the high-end (not necessarily in cost, but rather in quality), giving you total control over most features and how they will map on output (i.e. input into FM via EPS). This is the option if you want a "published" look to the CAD drawing.

Finally, if you want to be able to edit your CAD drawing inside of FM,
using FM's drawing tools, you can check out Square One's ps2vector tool
at:



This will convert postscript output
into a variety of vector formats, including MIF.

Thanks to Arnis Gubins for the above information.

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Jun 16, 2001

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Just an addition to the above. The CadPublisher product from John Walker Graphics now has a freebie base module that will allow you to do some basics. See http://www.jwgraphics.com.au/FreeVersion/free_version.html for more details.

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Aug 29, 2002

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A new tool has recently surfaced that adds PDF generation capability inside of the CAD application. The tool, called Pushbutton PDF from Bluebeam Software, is described at http://www.bluebeam.com/4_1.asp

From the description,it seems to be a very powerful utility, but I haven't downloaded the demo.

Anyway, from a PDF you can export to EPS or use direct PDF placement (but not heartily recommended) in FM.

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Nov 19, 2003

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Another new tool in the CAD to PDF genre is AcroPlot from CADzation at http://www.cadzation.com/

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Feb 04, 2004

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A new tool called CAD2PDF is available from Layton Graphics at http://www.layton-graphics.com/

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