CAD Services Format Conversion

Free Online PDF to DWG Conversion | Which option is best?


We have researched a number of free online tools for PDF to DWG Conversion, and have summarized our findings below. We will continue to update this post as new options are always being created. If you know of a solution that is not on our list, please let us know and we would be happy to evaluate the new solution and include it on the list along with our comments.

If you don’t feel like evaluating all the options, send us your job and we’ll recommend the best solution for your particular requirement. Click here to submit your file, and be sure mention the following promotion code for a free trial: DP-PDF-DWG. Yes, we will convert one job for you free of cost, and then tell you which of the many options is best for you so that you can continue converting your files in a way that is best for you.


PDF to DWG Conversion is required because PDF format is not easy to modify or edit. But PDF drawings often do need modification, especially if you want to move different elements into separate layers. There are plenty of online PDF to DWG converters online, and many of them are free. However, for the best quality output, we still recommend manual conversion (i.e. tracing over scanned raster images in AutoCAD).

There are four types of PDF to DWG conversion solutions:

  1. Downloadable PDF converters that take a scanned PDF image of a drawing and convert it to DWG (i.e. AutoCAD) format.
  2. Online PDF to DWG converters that do not need to be downloaded.
  3. Service providers who re-draw plans “manually” from scratch. They generally do not use auto-vectorization software but re-trace the drawings by hand, making adjustments to ensure that distortions in the scanned image are corrected.
  4. When AutoCAD 2017 was released, it became possible to use the PDFIMPORT command to import PDF content directly into AutoCAD drawings. This built-in PDF converter has come a long way, but if the PDF is based on a scanned image the PDFIMPORT command will result in a raster image file that is attached to the drawing as an xref. In such cases, the raster PDF image will not be editable.

Unfortunately, most PDF to DWG Conversion solutions that involve auto-vectorization software require users to spend considerable time cleaning up the resulting DWG file, and they don’t allow you to put content in different layers. That’s when you need manual PDF to DWG conversion (see below).

Before you rush off to convert your PDF file to AutoCAD, let’s start off with a quick note on how not to do it. It’s important to recognize that while search engines will point to dozens of online PDF to DWG converters, which are often free, you get what you pay for.

The quality of any conversion produced using an online tool is likely to be too low for most situations. What’s worse, they can leave you open to loss of intellectual property and other security risks. If you’re still tempted, we’ve provided you with a list of free tools (see below).

We are biased towards manual CAD conversion because we find that the free tools available today are just not good enough for our clients.

Here are some of the tools that we can use on your behalf, or you can use them yourself:

Here’s some background information on who we are and what we do:

Design Presentation is a US-based leading provider of manual PDF to DWG Conversion Services to Fortune 500 firms, government entities and thousands of small businesses around the world. We can turn files into DWG files with 100% accuracy.

When converting PDF to DWG, we follow AIA layering standards (or yours, if you prefer) and can also accommodate your layering standards. The final output is editable and will be in DWG format because we create the DWG drawing as a new file. We can create as many layers as you require.

We believe that we are the leading provider of manual CAD conversion services in the world. Thousands of clients in North America, Europe and Asia have appreciated our high-quality, error free PDF to DWG conversion services.

Contact us today for a free quote. We also offer a free trial to first time users that are satisfied with the results of autovectorization.

Our Experience in Providing PDF to DWG Conversion Services

Over the past two decades, Design Presentation Associates has successfully completed tens of thousands of conversion projects throughout North America, UK and Australia and are currently working with hundreds of customers every month. We can provide you with software-based services (using auto-vectorization software) or we can have a highly skilled drafting professional manually recreate the drawings from scratch. The cost of manual vectorization is still far superior to what can be produced by a machine, and the cost is quite reasonable.

For manual vectorization we start with a blank document and we manually recreate the drawings based on the scanned image. Our output is truly computerized in that it is “vectorized” because we actually redraw it. We guarantee 99.99% accuracy in the final output. The key advantages of our service are:

1. The final output is editable and will be in DWG, or DXF formats because we create the drawing as a new file.

2. We can create as many layers as you require. We generate separate layers for dimensions, text, body, hidden lines, and centerlines, etc. We could also use your standards or reference drawings for drafting the AutoCAD files

3. Text is separated and has its own layer and is recognizable as text.

4. Dimensions are intact and are shown by a separate layer

5. We use blocks for different entities (like doors, windows, electrical fixtures, plumbing fixtures, furniture, etc.).

We provide easy solutions for PDF file conversions that include converting legacy drawings and computer-aided drawings to updated CAD formats.

Getting Started

Do you want to create editable design libraries for your legacy or current PDF drawings? Design Presentation is a leading professional conversion service provider. We can convert your PDF files to DWG format with 100% accuracy.

New clients are eligible for a free trial — just mention the following promotion code: DP-PDF-DWG. With our efficient team of drafting professionals, we provide fully editable, detailed and multi-layer images. We have the latest global technologies in place, so you don’t have to invest in that. We work as an extension of your in-house team.

To find out more about our PDF to DWG Conversion service, contact us today!

What is the best PDF to DWG tool or conversion service?

Many companies provide either tools (“converters”) or services for PDF to DWG conversion, and some of them are free. We have provided a list of the companies that we have evaluated.

What is the best PDF to DWG converter?

As of today, manual conversion (i.e. retracing scans of old drawings to create a new drawing in CAD) provides the best quality, but several auto-vectorization tools are good enough for some applications. We have provided a list.