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Editing a PDF electrical blueprint file do-able?

New Here ,
Sep 17, 2020

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I need to know the answer to this question before sub'ing to adobe Illustrator. I have the circuitry schematics/blueprints of the railroad signal crossings I maintain. I have had them scanned to a USB as PDF files. Can I take those PDF files and upload them into adobe Illustrator and make physical changes to the lines and symboles of the PDF circuitry schematics? Thank you to who ever reads this and answers, much appreciated. Please ask for more clarification if you need.

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Correct answer by Barbara Ash | Adobe Community Professional

I can't tell for sure without looking at the PDF itself, but the photo looks like a bitmap. That means edits will be difficult and time-consuming. If it is truly a bitmap, editing would be a little easier in Photoshop, but still time-consuming.

Illustrator has an Image Trace command that converts bitmap to vector, but the results would not be acceptable for this type of image.

The fact that it is a blueprint leads me to believe that it was drawn by hand and there was never a vector version of the drawing. 

Although it would be painful and time-consuming to redraw the schematic, it would be well worth it if changes are often required.

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Editing a PDF electrical blueprint file do-able?

New Here ,
Sep 17, 2020

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I need to know the answer to this question before sub'ing to adobe Illustrator. I have the circuitry schematics/blueprints of the railroad signal crossings I maintain. I have had them scanned to a USB as PDF files. Can I take those PDF files and upload them into adobe Illustrator and make physical changes to the lines and symboles of the PDF circuitry schematics? Thank you to who ever reads this and answers, much appreciated. Please ask for more clarification if you need.

Adobe Community Professional
Correct answer by Barbara Ash | Adobe Community Professional

I can't tell for sure without looking at the PDF itself, but the photo looks like a bitmap. That means edits will be difficult and time-consuming. If it is truly a bitmap, editing would be a little easier in Photoshop, but still time-consuming.

Illustrator has an Image Trace command that converts bitmap to vector, but the results would not be acceptable for this type of image.

The fact that it is a blueprint leads me to believe that it was drawn by hand and there was never a vector version of the drawing. 

Although it would be painful and time-consuming to redraw the schematic, it would be well worth it if changes are often required.

TOPICS
Draw and design, How to, Import and export, Print and publish, Tools

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Sep 17, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 17, 2020

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If you had them scanned they are bitmapped pdf. If someone drew them in a vector software and exported to pdf, then you could open them in illustrator and edit the lines as objects. You could open the PDFs in photoshop and do a photo retouching on them.

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Sep 17, 2020 1
New Here ,
Sep 18, 2020

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I haven't dove into Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator at all so I don't know the extent Photo retouching would allow me to do.

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Sep 18, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 18, 2020

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"I have had them scanned"

 

If, by that, you mean printed hard copies were literally scanned to capture images of the prints, then those are raster images (made up of pixels), and Illustrator will be of no real use.

 

 

 

 

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Sep 18, 2020 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
Sep 18, 2020

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Imagine you had to edit those prints on paper. You COULD white-out the lines, redraw them; white out the text and write it in again. Is it possible? Yes. Is it fun? No. Much the same with a scan, however, I agree Photoshop may be slightly less painful than Illustrator.

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Sep 18, 2020 0
New Here ,
Sep 18, 2020

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I could do this but the higher up Fed's "Fedral Railroad Association" doesn't allow that and we have to get our prints redrawn after every minor change which costs a lot of money to be done. They told me that I can redraw/make changes through a software program on my own to make them more professional looking. And they actually pointed me to Adobe Illustrator.

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Sep 18, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 18, 2020

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Can you share one of the PDFs? we could give you a more definitive answer. If you are able to get your hands on the original, possibly CAD files, that might be your best option, as Illustrator can open and edit some CAD formats.

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Sep 18, 2020 0
New Here ,
Sep 18, 2020

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Part of Signal BlueprintsPart of Signal BlueprintsI can't attach the PDF file, so here is a picture of what it looks like. I pulled up the PDF and took picture from my phone. Probably not what you are after. Can I turn my PDF file into a CAD file allowing me to work on the blueprints and change what I want?

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Sep 18, 2020 0
New Here ,
Sep 18, 2020

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Also I have the hard copy physical blueprints. Is there a different method of "scanning" those through something else to change them into a different kind of "file"? Allowing me to work/edit them?

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Sep 18, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 18, 2020

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I can't tell for sure without looking at the PDF itself, but the photo looks like a bitmap. That means edits will be difficult and time-consuming. If it is truly a bitmap, editing would be a little easier in Photoshop, but still time-consuming.

Illustrator has an Image Trace command that converts bitmap to vector, but the results would not be acceptable for this type of image.

The fact that it is a blueprint leads me to believe that it was drawn by hand and there was never a vector version of the drawing. 

Although it would be painful and time-consuming to redraw the schematic, it would be well worth it if changes are often required.

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Sep 18, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 18, 2020

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When I said 'redraw' I meant redraw in Illustrator so that from then on you have an easy to edit vector version.

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