Using Image Tracer in DraftSight

Have you ever run into the problem where you need to duplicate a floorplan or a logo onto your cad document and you can only get a screen capture, or a pdf to use? Well, I have discovered a very useful tool in DraftSight called Image Tracer. “The Image Tracer tool lets you convert raster images in .bmp, .png, and .jpg formats to vector format. The images can be architectural plans, floor plans, logos, and curved images”

I would like to show you how it works. First you will need to have DraftSight open to a new drawing. You will want to save this as Trace Practice.dwg

The next thing to do is set up a new layer for the image to be placed. Open the Layers Manager.

Create a new layer named Image and make it the active layer.

Next, you will attach an image file of the CATI Logo using the ATTACHIMAGE command.

The file browser will open to let you pick and image file:

After selecting CATI Logo.jpg there is a placement, scale, rotation dialog:

By removing the check marks, you can specify to position that scale size and the rotation angle. You should uncheck the Position and leave it at 0,0,0 then set the scale to 2 and click OK.

Here is the DraftSight screen now:

Next, you should change the active layer to the default layer to place the Image tracer lines.

Now, go to Powertools > Image Tracer.

This is what the properties of the Image Tracer look like:

By using the Image Profile type to select the type of graphic, the profile for specific settings will be used. There is also the option to select the geometry options for Lines, Fitted polylines, Polylines, and Splines.

The cursor will be highlighted for you to select the area for the Image Tracer to recognize.

Once the image has been traced, you can adjust the settings to get the best result possible.

NOTE: The more highly contrasted and fewer colors on the image will produce better results.

Once you have the tracing to your satisfaction, click OK.

Then, if you hide the image layer, you will see the tracing you have created.

Let me show you something a little more complicated. The image file is Lion.jpg and it looks like this:

After using the Image tracer tool, I got this in my drawing.

Hope this has been helpful for you. Enjoy using DraftSight.


Dennis Barnes
Application Engineer, Software Support
Computer Aided Technology


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