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DIYstompboxes.com  |  DIY Stompboxes  |  Building your own stompbox  |  Working with PDFs for etching layouts 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: Working with PDFs for etching layouts  (Read 1408 times)
mremic01
Posts: 238


Working with PDFs for etching layouts
« on: February 29, 2012, 02:03:27 PM »

I've been doing a lot of etching lately, and most of the layouts I find come in PDFs. I like to do minor tweaks to them and print out multiples per sheet rather than just one, but when I do a screenshot and paste it into Gimp to mess with them, they lose some of the resolution. Do you guys have any tricks or programs you use to work with the layouts in PDFs?
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artifus
Posts: 1742


dare to be na´ve


Re: Working with PDFs for etching layouts
« Reply #1 on: February 29, 2012, 02:08:23 PM »

inkscape. multi-platform. imports pdf. free. good.
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slacker
Posts: 5449

Ian M. - England


Re: Working with PDFs for etching layouts
« Reply #2 on: February 29, 2012, 02:15:19 PM »

The GIMP version 2.6 can open pdfs, don't know about older versions, so try that instead, it might give you better quality than taking a screenshot.
« Last Edit: February 29, 2012, 02:16:57 PM by slacker » Logged
artifus
Posts: 1742


dare to be na´ve


Re: Working with PDFs for etching layouts
« Reply #3 on: February 29, 2012, 02:22:28 PM »

may well have been my old pc and os but i gave up on the gimp due to continual crashing. now use paint.net for occasional image manipulation.
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mremic01
Posts: 238


Re: Working with PDFs for etching layouts
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2012, 12:11:48 AM »

Thanks guys, I'll give those a try.

I also have issue with Gimp crashing a lot on some machines. On others, it works fine. I've never really been able to figure out why.
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darron
Posts: 2309


Melbourne, Australia


WWW
Re: Working with PDFs for etching layouts
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2012, 01:05:16 AM »

some PDFs have protection to prevent importing... IE tonepad.com's from memory. but a print screen on a 1920x1200 res screen still gives more pixels than a 600dpi print (:
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Blood, Sweat & Flux. Pedals made with lasers and real wires!
CodeMonk
Posts: 600


Rob J.


Re: Working with PDFs for etching layouts
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2012, 01:09:36 AM »

I don't know if it applies to all PDF files or even if it is specific to certain versions of Adobe, but you can do the copy/paste thing with images in PDF files.
Re-sizing may be needed.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2012, 01:11:17 AM by CodeMonk » Logged
arma61
Posts: 1123


Armando C.


Re: Working with PDFs for etching layouts
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2012, 06:11:36 AM »

inkscape. multi-platform. imports pdf. free. good.

LOVE IT!!

just found out some days ago I can edit the PDF in inkscape! so, using ExpressPCB, I print a pdf file and then edit it in Inkscape to something like this.... not finished yet. I can even edit the tracks to bend/stright/cut.. anything's needed!!



Ciao!


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"it's a matter of objectives. If you don't know where you want to go, any direction is about as good as any other." R.G. Keen
deadastronaut
Posts: 9540


Rob H. LONDON


WWW
Re: Working with PDFs for etching layouts
« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2012, 06:33:45 AM »

+1 on inkscape....just open pdf in it.... icon_cool icon_cool icon_cool
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CodeMonk
Posts: 600


Rob J.


Re: Working with PDFs for etching layouts
« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2012, 01:32:28 AM »

Can you also add images to a PDF with inkscape?
Like if you want to print it out with say, 4 copies of the layout?
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deadastronaut
Posts: 9540


Rob H. LONDON


WWW
Re: Working with PDFs for etching layouts
« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2012, 02:12:41 AM »

yes, just copy and paste the image..replicate. then save as pdf. Wink
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CodeMonk
Posts: 600


Rob J.


Re: Working with PDFs for etching layouts
« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2012, 02:47:31 AM »

Awesome!

We need a "Rob I." in here Smiley
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deadastronaut
Posts: 9540


Rob H. LONDON


WWW
Re: Working with PDFs for etching layouts
« Reply #12 on: March 02, 2012, 03:43:20 AM »

sure do.. you can never have too many.. Smiley

the cool thing with loading pdf's in inkscape is you can modify the layout too..add an led resistor for the 3pdt ...add another 9v hole for the led too..

and ground holes..just to keep the 9vdc socket tidy....i leave my 9v/ground wires  a bit longer now, very handy if you have to lift out the pcb to mod the circuit...without desoldering anything.. icon_cool
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CodeMonk
Posts: 600


Rob J.


Re: Working with PDFs for etching layouts
« Reply #13 on: March 02, 2012, 05:35:22 AM »

I've been thinking about using a small molex or other small 2 - 3 pin connector.
Just pre-build a bunch and plug it in when you put it together.
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davent
Posts: 1998


dave c. -Hammer Mtn. ON


Re: Working with PDFs for etching layouts
« Reply #14 on: March 02, 2012, 08:48:39 AM »

I've tried ungrouping pdf's of pcb's i've downloaded from the internet so i could modify them to work better with the parts i'm going to use and been unsuccessful, they won't ungroup, can ungroup my own pdf's no problem. Anybody else encounter this and come up with a solution? Should say i'm working with Inkscape.

dave
« Last Edit: March 02, 2012, 08:54:16 AM by davent » Logged

"Turn it up to 10 and rip off the knob."- Patterson Hood
arma61
Posts: 1123


Armando C.


Re: Working with PDFs for etching layouts
« Reply #15 on: March 02, 2012, 03:01:23 PM »


I usually import the PDF in this way (in Italian though you can get it on your language Grin)

select the fitst icon on the left, black arrow, then holding down ctrl I click close to a pad, then it gets sorrounded by arrow and you can move it see 1 & 3 you can even move the white dot!
or select the 2nd icon, small black arrow with some blu line and corners, and select a trace, 2 point will come out at the edge and I can move, drag, add point and bend it to change connections see 2 & 4. that's with all the PDF files I've tried, so it should work also for you.




as darron said some PDFs are protected, though I've tried with some and it works...

Ciao


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"it's a matter of objectives. If you don't know where you want to go, any direction is about as good as any other." R.G. Keen
davent
Posts: 1998


dave c. -Hammer Mtn. ON


Re: Working with PDFs for etching layouts
« Reply #16 on: March 02, 2012, 04:49:06 PM »

Ah, there you go thanks, i missed darron's post about the protection. What i've done in the past is redraw the pcb's using ExpressPCB following the component placement of the pcb i wanted to modify (usually Tonepad or Madbean). Once i've tweaked the layout with ExpressPCB i print to pdf and open the pdf with Inkscape to do any labelling or further mods that aren't done very well with the ExpressPCB software.

Haven't tried the screen capture yet but will give it a go, be like going back to using earlier versions of ExpressPCB to create home etchable PCB's.

Inkscape works great for taking the very blah looking schematic drawings created in ExpressPCB and turning them into a much more interesting and more easily deciphered presentation.
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"Turn it up to 10 and rip off the knob."- Patterson Hood
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