Working with PDF architectural drawings

For once I’m not writing about a problem, but more of a curiosity question. I find that I’ve been doing a lot of shop drawings for fabrication of iron gates and railings working from architect’s plans sent to me in PDF format. It’s good because I can view their files in acrobat reader and zoom in on details of dimensions. I have also found that I can import their files ( I do them one page at a time) and scale them to actual size. When I do that, sometimes I can snap to their lines in order to measure things. Sometimes that doesn’t work. I realize that different software programs do different things. Maybe some of these programs will export drawings as PDF files, and I guess some may have been printed as PDF files. Does anyone know of have experience with this? Is there a way to tell or just try importing it and see what happens?

It may depend on whether the particular pdf content is raster or vector. If so, no way of telling without trying.

Out of curiosity I did a couple of experiments. If I export my drawing as a PDF file, then open a new drawing and import that PDF I get things I can snap to and elements I can select.
If I print as a PDF, then open a new doc and import that, It’s just like a picture. No snapping. Of course I didn’t think about the difference between vector and raster output which might make a difference.

Hi Joe -

You didn’t mention which version of Rhino you are using on which platform, but, in Rhino 8, there is no difference between export and print to PDF. It’s entirely possible that you’ve set the output type to vector when printing, and to raster when exporting…
-wim

Nope. The exporting worked fine. But with the printed file I had inadvertently left the printing in raster mode which made the resulting PDF like a picture when I re-imported it. When I printed to PDF in vector mode it worked like the export. So I now know how to make PDF’s that someone else might use more easily. When I get something from someone else, it’s anybody’s guess till I try it and see. Interesting though.
I’m using V7 running Win10.