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Inserting a Floor Plan



This explains how to insert a floor plan file into your FreeTools templates.



There are various methods for inserting a floor plan into Visio. You can insert directly on the Visio page where you will be dropping your shapes or you can use a background page.

AutoCAD Files (.DWG)


AutoCAD files are ideal because they are vector drawings and scale nicely. Visio has a built-in function for inserting CAD files:


insert cad drawing button.jpg


Once you browse to your CAD file, the following form will open:


cad drawing properties form.jpg


Notice the preview area of the form, this shows the size of the floor plan relative to the page size. You can adjust the scale to get the floor plan to fit. You can also uncheck the "Lock size and position" option so you can move it to the desired position on the page:


change scale autocad.jpg


Once you are happy with the position, double-click the floor plan in Visio to re-open this form and re-check that option.

PDF Files


PDF files are not ideal because they are not vector files. The image quality can also degrade once inserted into Visio. There is software available that will convert your PDF files into .dwg or .jpg files to help improve the quality of the floor plan.



Download and install the free trial of pdf2cad. When you run the software you will be prompted to browse to the .pdf file:


pdf2cad 1.jpg


Click the [Options...] button:


pdf2cad 2.jpg


Under General Tab change the CAD Format to DWG. Click [OK]:


pdf2cad 3.jpg


Click [Next>]:


pdf2cad 4.jpg


On the Conversion Summary Window, verify the file name and its path, then click [Convert]:


pdf2cad 5.jpg


The conversion should take just few seconds, but it can vary depending on the size and complexity of the cad file. Click [Exit]:


pdf2cad 6.jpg


Now insert the CAD file following the instructions above.



Download and install the free trial of pdf2image. When you run the software you will be prompted to browse to the .pdf file:


pdf2image 1.jpg


Click the [Options] button:


pdf2image 2.jpg


Verify the settings. Here you can change the Image Format, Image Size, Page Size, and additional Image settings such color balance and transparency. When you are finished with those settings, click [OK]:


pdf2image 3.jpg


Click [Next] and then [Convert]:


pdf2image 4.jpg


When done, click [Exit].


Open the project in Visio and on the Insert tab click “Picture”:


insert picture.jpg


Browse the Floor Plan image (e.g. jpg) and click the [Open] button:


insert picture example.jpg


Your background page is now inserted in Visio. The next step is to reduce the amount of “white space” from the image. I recommend you using crop function within Visio as shown below:


crop tool.jpg

Inserting a PDF


If you do not wish to convert your PDF to another format, you can insert the PDF directly into Visio. Keep in mind that Visio often degrades the quality of the PDF file once inserted so your floor plan may be blurry.


Click the Insert tab than the [Object] button:


insert object button.jpg


Select "Adobe Acrobat Document" then click the "Create from file" radio button:


insert object 1.jpg


Browse to your PDF file then click [OK]:


insert object 2.jpg

Locking Down the Floor Plan


It is important that you "lock down" your floor plan so that you don't accidentally move it while you are dropping shapes on it. Even if you use a background page, you may still want to lock the floor plan using layers.


Select the floor plan and then from the Home tab click Layers->Assign to Layer...:


assign to layer.jpg


Click [New]:


layer window.jpg


Enter a name then click [OK] to close this window, then [OK] again to close the Layer window:


new layer.jpg


From the Home tab, click Layers->Layer Properties...:


layer properties menu.jpg

Click the Lock check box for your floor plan layer then click [OK]:


layer properties window.jpg

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