Occasionally, some of your drawings might actually be scanned images saved within PDFs, as opposed to proper PDFs generated from software like AutoCAD.

How can I tell whether my PDFs are actually images?

The hallmark of a scanned image is pixellated symbols.

If you zoom in closely to one of the symbols, you should see that the symbol is very pixellated and doesn't “crisp up” like the symbols on most drawings.

Also, because images don’t contain the information used by Countfire’s automatic counting feature, you won’t be able to select these symbols in the normal way, on the “Count” tab.

What should I do if my PDFs are actually images?

Countfire’s manual counting tools should be used to count symbols on drawings that are actually images.

Won’t that be just as slow as printing them out and doing them by hand?

Using the manual counting tools is obviously not as fast and efficient as automatic counting, however, you can still benefit from the following:

  • You don’t need to print the drawings out.

  • You don’t need to count as you work (Countfire keeps track of the count for you).

  • You can still use zones to split quantities down however you need them.

  • You still get a set of marked up record drawings that show what you’ve done.

What if I can select the text ok, but not the symbols?

Some PDFs are part image based, where the majority of the PDF is a flat image, and text is overlaid on top.

In these cases, it is possible to select the text (but not the main body / shape of the symbol), and depending on what you're counting, you can use a mix of automatic & manual counting.

Learn more

Dealing with archived or zipped PDF files

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