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    By Dennis Collin

    The recent release of Revit 2020 has delivered on a functionality request that users have been requesting for some time. Revit 2020 can now reference in PDF files, and if that file is vector based be used for tracing of Revit objects. Users do need to bear in mind that a PDF is not as accurate as an AutoCAD DWG or DXF, so some caution needs to be exercised when quoting measurements derived from that source. For small projects, however, where the drawing might only need to be indicative to locate some MEP equipment for example, then the accuracy may be adequate.

    The import PDF command is located under the insert tab. The PDF is imported as a raster image not linked, so some care must be exercised in maintaining project size and removing superseded data as necessary.


    Once the PDF file has been selected, DPI settings can be applied to the import process to improve the image appearance for printing purposes.


    Provided the PDF has been plotted to the correct scale, the file should be imported at the correct size, however if this is not the case the file can be scaled numerically or by graphical references.

    Enable object snaps to take measurements from the imported PDF document, this can be done either in the property’s palette or on the Ribbon menu as shown.


    Should the PDF file be no longer required in a project, the file should be removed via the manage images command and not just simply deleted from a screen selection. If not removed properly the image definition will remain inside the project unnecessarily increasing the project file size.


    Should the file need to be updated, reload functions can be used to manually update an image from its previously loaded location or from a differently named file or folder.

    At the time of writing Revit has no way of converting a PDF file to DWG or DXF. However, this can easily be achieved with full AutoCAD or AutoCAD LT. The details for this process are covered in a blog here: