Import PDF Soooo Heavy-Help!

I have some PDF’s from a client, they are sooo heavy when I bring them in to Rhino, what is the best workflow to deal with these types of PDFs ? Just bringing it in makes a blank Rhino file 48mb :open_mouth:, and dragging it around with the Gumball freezes Rhino for minutes at a time, any help appreciated, tia
(test file attached)
Heavy PDF.pdf (843.9 KB)

Hi Milezee,
if you don’t need to have the PDF as vector, you could convert it into an image and import as a picture.

test.3dm (2.7 MB)

I you need to keep the pdf as vectors, I think that you need to delete all the things that you don’t need to keep the file lighter.

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thanks for the input @lucio_zadra , yes I need to keep at vector really, I need to be able to snap to points in the drawing 🤷

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So you need to clear all that hatches that have a lot of little segments…
If your customer can give you a pdf without hatches or with some colors that are simple to select the cleaning should be easy.
Commands that can be useful in this cases are

  • SelColor
  • SelSmall
  • SelShortCrvs
  • SelText

Start selecting manually/automatically all the things that you need and put them on different layers so you can hide that and see if the situation is better to identify what to delete.


yes looks like a bit of tedious manual work to do, oh well :crazy_face::weary:, Rhino just doesn’t deal well with large amounts of curves, hatches and the like. Thanks for the support anyways, cheers :sunglasses::+1:

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I feel your pain. It takes a very long time and I never had pdf which was imported with all the texts correctly.

If you are familiar with Grasshopper you can try to pre-process your PDF file with the use of the Pancake plugin. You can use the “Import From” component. Unfortunately, it looks like it doesn’t recognize the attributes of the objects inside the pdf. Maybe it’s a good moment to ask @gankeyu if it could be added in some future versions.

If you want to use Rhino only, @lucio_zadra gave you good hints about useful commands.
I’ve been in the same situation as you @milezee and while SelSmall and SelShortCrv are helpful I would rather see more flexible Rhino commands like:

Select curves by length - where a user specifies the length range
Select by size - bounding box size range


thanks for chipping in @Czaja :blush:, yes it is painful manipulating these heavy PDF’s :crazy_face:

I’m not seeing any sort of freeze with the gumball, but I’m also on a Windows computer at the moment. You might want to try the latest 7.9 release candidate or even the V8 WIP with TestMetal enabled to see if it makes a difference.

Hi @stevebaer I use Rhino on Mac & Windows, both pretty decent machines, bringing in PDF’s such as this (keeping it vector) is a real pita, and it’s been like this for quite some time 🤷

Are you using the 7.9 release candidate?

nope, just the latest service release

This is what I’m seeing with 7.9 and a pretty middle of the road laptop. Is there something I should be specifically testing?

yeh try selecting the lot and try gumball drag off to the side 🤷

Do you have the BoxEdit panel visible? If so, you really should try 7.9.

no BoxEdit panel visible, why would this affect dragging it all off to one side ? Have you tried selecting all the pdf geometry and moving it ?

There is a delay of about 4 seconds which I can dig further into and try to better understand. By no means a delay of minutes though. Are you waiting a minute after doing what I’m showing in the video?

yeh it was taking 2-3 minutes today on my Windows machine, even had to force quit, tested on my Mac this evening, same :weary::crazy_face:, I’ve just updated to SRC 7.9 on my Mac, will do the same tomorrow on Windows machine

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Completely froze my 16" MBP, been 10 minutes and just beach balling, this is using SRC 7.9

The video didn’t seem to come through. Can you try and repost it?

It doesn’t really show much, just the whole thing selected, and doing nothin :joy:, this is on my Mac, I had same issues today on Windows machine