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Autodesk University and a CAD Tip on SHX PDF Import

October 6, 2021

We are not in Vegas but we are virtual this year and it has been great!  Here is my class and a quick CAD tip on converting text imported from a pdf file.

Autodesk University 2021 for the Americas kicked off this week and I am presenting and moderating tomorrow! I am excited and honored to present again on Sheet Sets in AutoCAD.

This is the third installment of a 3 part series which includes over 50 tips on how to become more efficient using the sheet set manager. We are going to dish out as many tips as we can in the hour timeframe. Please put the questions in the chat and I will do my best to answer all of those over the next week or so. It’s going to be fun so join me tomorrow!

We will go fast but you will gain the knowledge you need to succeed and all the resources to help you along the way.  I will be throwing out tips in the chat as we go, get ready to take notes, copy, paste, and have some fun with Sheet Sets.

Professional Tips and Techniques using the Sheet Set Manager in AutoCAD


Now for a quick CAD Tip. This post will show you how to convert SHX font geometry to text after importing a PDF file in AutoCAD. You ensure good text recognition by specifying the SHX font name used. Unlike other fonts, SHX fonts import as lines, arcs, circles, and other geometry instead of text.

PDF files are the most common file format used when exchanging design information between designers, contractors, clients, and others. AutoCAD 2017 introduced the ability to import PDF files. The PDFIMPORT command imports PDF data into AutoCAD as 2D geometry, TrueType text, and images.

Let’s first import the data. On the insert tab of the Ribbon select the PDF Import button.

Notes: Adobe’s PDF file format doesn’t recognize AutoCAD SHX fonts. When a PDF file is created from an AutoCAD drawing, text that was defined with SHX fonts is stored in the PDF as geometry. When you import the file you get lines and arcs that define the text object. With AutoCAD 2020 you have a new text recognition tool that enables you to select imported PDF geometry representing SHX text and convert it to text objects. You can find this on the import tab of the Ribbon as shown.

After selecting the file you will see the Import PDF dialog box where you will have several options on how you want the file to be imported.

  1. PDF data to import: Options to select how your data will import.
  2. Do you want layers?
  3. Preview of the imported file.
  4. Import options – several options for blocks, hatches, and lineweights.
  5. Alternate options for importing the file
  6. Select OK.

Once you drawing is imported follow the workflow on the ribbon. Here is where you can recognize the SHX Text, Change Settings and Combine Text.

Here is a quick Video showing you how to import a PDF file into AutoCAD and then Recognize the SHX text changing those lines to editable text objects.

That’s all my friends – enjoy the rest your week, stay safe, and check out my class recordings from Autodesk University 2021.

Have a great rest of the week wherever in the World you may be!

Until next month, Sam

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