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How to insert pdf drawings?

asked 2015-10-31 04:16:05 +0200

printRick gravatar image

updated 2015-11-01 11:43:45 +0200

Hello. I want to insert some vector drawings saved as PDF into a Writer document. They contain some text. When I try to insert them they don't display as in a pdf viewer (specifically, some fonts and characters are replaced or look very different and misaligned, or don't show up at all)

One of the files I want to insert was also saved as SVG, and when I try to insert that, it works and the drawing is displayed just like in a viewer. This is EXACTLY what I want to do with the other PDFs, but unfortunately those weren't saved as svg.

I don't need to do any editing to the images nor the text in them, I only need to insert them, set their size and maybe change their position, but most importantly, I need to keep the vector quality so that I can print the final document or export it to pdf and zoom as much as I want without starting to see "pixels", so please don't say "just convert the pdf to an image format and insert that".

Thank you

Version: 4.4.3.2 Build ID: 40m0(Build:2) Locale: en_US OS: Linux Mint 17.2 / Ubuntu 14.04 64bit

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answered 2016-02-21 00:18:27 +0200

Sveinn í Felli gravatar image

updated 2016-02-21 00:19:25 +0200

I've been involved in the printing industry for a long time; one of the commandments there is: "Convert to curves, convert to curves, and convert to curves". Regardless of OS or applications.

In human language, this means that for every object, text or whatever you'd want to place into another type of file format, and to keep as-is in the final result, plain native vector format is the clearest. But of course you loose the editing capabilities of the text.

If the PDF-as-OLE-object procedure above works for your task, then use it (but don't necessarily count on it to work when you open the same file next year).

If you want to be sure to keep the vector graphics intact; I'd import them into Inkscape or even Scribus and get them into a standardized format. Fonts may get a bit offset, but if the original fonts were decent, the risk is minimal. If you have a lot of PDF's there are command-line utilities who batch-convert everything into EPS or even SVG's.

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The only problem with this answer is that PDF is capable of storing vector images i.e., curves. Otherwise the "import them into Inkscape or even Scribus" statement would not apply.

oweng gravatar imageoweng ( 2016-02-22 22:37:11 +0200 )edit

As commented in my answer, we use to use Inkscape and it converts fairly all the data in the PDF; nevertheless, there are rare PDFs which fonts became unusable, but are exceptions to our daily work...

guigonse gravatar imageguigonse ( 2018-05-30 19:31:16 +0200 )edit
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answered 2016-02-20 16:41:23 +0200

guigonse gravatar image

We use to generate tones of docs with partial vectorial info from PDFs (made from CADs) and the best (or less bad) option is to translate them to SVG using the open source program INKSCAPE, and import them as graphics. INKSCAPE is a huge soft, ala CORELDRAW and it has a lot of command line options; we translate the PDFs using the command line (in Window's CMD.EXE, but I supose it's right for other OS):

C:\PATH\TO\INKSCAPE.EXE -z -f file.pdf -D -l file.svg

Nevertheless, take into account that the generated PDFs will be bigger (near twice or three times, but no more) than the original PDFs, but after many attemps, INKSCAPE was the smaller SVG generator found. There will be a delay first time you invoke INKSCAPE. Regards.

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answered 2015-10-31 17:29:10 +0200

m.a.riosv gravatar image

I think there are a couple of options:

  • Insert the pdf as ole object: Menu/Insert/Object/OKE object - Create from file.

  • Open the pdf in draw and select whole or part after that copy and paste in writer.

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Both methods have the problem of fonts getting replaced and misaligned characters

printRick gravatar imageprintRick ( 2015-11-01 11:45:56 +0200 )edit

Can't you see fine those pdf out of LibreOffice?, If I'm not wrong with the first method is not LibreOffice rendering the images and If those pdf haven't the fonts embedded and the fonts are not installed, not other way than substitute that fonts.

m.a.riosv gravatar imagem.a.riosv ( 2015-11-02 17:35:37 +0200 )edit

Those pdfs look fine in apps like okular, evince, xournal. I too was impressed the first method didn't work

printRick gravatar imageprintRick ( 2015-11-02 23:03:51 +0200 )edit

Also consider Inkscape for converting from PDF to SVG.

oweng gravatar imageoweng ( 2016-02-22 22:30:08 +0200 )edit
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Asked: 2015-10-31 04:12:07 +0200

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Last updated: Feb 21 '16