Converting DWG cad files to presentation quality graphics, suitable for professional printing is easy if you know how to do it.

auto desk logoThis tutorial will teach you how to clean a DWG drawing using Adobe Illustrator and a free program named DWG TrueView which can be downloaded from Autodesk using the link to the right. You will also need Adobe Acrobat.

It is not the intention of this guide to teach you how to use these programs.

If you are familiar with Illustrator, we suggest you learn many of the keyboard shortcuts as they will greatly increase your speed and will help prevent physical ailments such as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. If you do not own Illustrator or Acrobat, download a free trial version from Adobe. You can use the free version for 30 days. Many free tutorials can be found on the Internet to help you learn and navigate through Illustrator and DWG TrueView.

DWG to Presentation Procedure:

  1. Create a new Folder within your client's folder, name it the same as the plan you are going to cleanup. We will refer to this folder as the root folder.
  2. Download the DWG file into the root folder.
  3. Open the DWG drawing in DWG TrueView or AutoCad
  4. Turn off unneeded layers in model view.
  5. Setup to Plot. It is important to set the proper scale. Be sure to continue to use the scale throughout the project. If there are multiple sheets, plot using Batch Plot.
    1. Begin with a plot size of 1/8"=1'0" or 1 to 2 (same thing).
    2. Plot to PDF, Tabloid size, Landscape orientation
    3. Black lines
    4. Preview the print job to make sure the scale is correct. If the scale appears incorrect, try different plot size settings. It is imperative that consistent scaling be maintained. Write down the correct scale in notepad and save it to the folder.
    5. Plot the drawing sheets to the root folder; a PDF file containing the output should open. If it doesn't, check the folder.
    6. Open the PDF file and delete all unneeded pages. Save the file.
  6. Start Illustrator.
  7. Create a new file, name it the same as the house plan and save it to the root folder.
    1. Set the number of artboards to equal the number of pages in the PDF file
    2. Set the Size to match the plot size from DWG TrueView. This should be Tabloid.
    3. Set Orientation to Landscape
    4. Click OK. The artboards will appear on your monitor's screen.
  8. In the View tab, Turn on Smart Guides and Snap to Point. The default preferences should be okay, if the results are not what you wish, change them in Preferences.
  9. Open the PDF file created from TrueView or AutoCad. There will be as many pages in this file as there are sheets in the DWG file. Open a sheet in Illustrator to work on. (Right click, Open with Abobe Illustrator)
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