RE: Using AutoCAD for illustrations

Subject: RE: Using AutoCAD for illustrations
From: Jeroen Dekker <Jeroen -at- Square1 -dot- nl>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 19 Oct 2001 10:42:24 +0200

On Thu, 18 Oct, Eva Barnett asked about the best formats to get graphics
out of AutocAD, and listed several suggestions to use WMF...

> When I try the techniques suggested, I run into the following problems:
> - lines are not smooth, especially in circles <snip>

One of the limitations of the WMF format that people suggested, is that it
does not support true curves - it represents them using a lot of straight
line segments. That is the most likely reason why your circles do not look
smooth. WMF's enhanced brother EMF does support bezier curves, so that would
be a better option in most cases. Graphics aplications that can read WMF can
generally also read EMF.

> - I'm having a heck of a time trying to control the size of the image.

One of the many advantages of using vector formats is that you can rescale
the size of the image without losing quality, sharpness or the integrity of
the drawing. So in PowerPoint for example, you can simply click and drag the
whole drawing to make it the size you want. If you do this with a
bitmap/raster image the drawing will be distorted.

Also with printing, a vector graphic will automatically render using the
printer's maximum resolution - whereas the quality of a printed bitmap
depends on its resolution and that of the printer. The ability to edit
graphics and text strings as you know is the other main feature of using a
vector format.

> Do any of you know of a way to get a vector image out of AutoCAD that's
> editable in a graphics program? Or, less ideally, to get a raster image
> out that looks as good printed as the original AutoCAD drawing did?

Depending on your needs and application environment, you might then also be
interested in our PS2vector software. It converts vector drawings to several
other vector formats, using PostScript/EPS as the intermediate format.
Besides exporting to these formats you can also print to a PostScript driver
to create input for our software (from AutoCAD or any other application).
The bonus of using that method is that this allows you to specify a page
size using your print options.

Besides WMF and EMF, PS2vector produces MIF for FrameMaker, CGM and
XML-standard SVG. In general, which (vector) format is best for your needs
depends on where and how you need to use your drawings.

Hope this helps.

Jeroen Dekker

PS2vector - The Graphics Connection to
* MIF for FrameMaker
* CGM for SGML and IETM systems
* WMF/EMF for MS Office
* SVG for XML and the Web
Tel. (+31) 71 364 8657
jeroen -at- square1 -dot- nl

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