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Did You Know...About Embedding Images Into AutoCAD Drawings

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Embed Images.png

Someone from our landscape department once asked me if images could be embedded into AutoCAD drawings. Our client had requested a deliverable that was a standalone drawing, meaning all referenced files, including images, needed to be bound into the sheet drawing. I did some research and found that it's easier than you might think to embed images into an AutoCAD drawing. Here is the workflow.

 

  1. Open an image such as a PNG or JPG file in an Image viewer like the Photos app in Windows or from a screen capture application like the Windows Snipping Tool.
    A Screen Capture using the Windows Snipping ToolA Screen Capture using the Windows Snipping Tool

  2. In some programs you might need to use Select All (Ctrl+A) or window an area of the image. 
    The Select All command in the Windows Snipping ToolThe Select All command in the Windows Snipping Tool

  3. Use the Copy command (Ctrl+C) to copy the selected area or content to the clipboard. 
    The Copy command in the Windows Snipping ToolThe Copy command in the Windows Snipping Tool

  4. In the AutoCAD drawing, Home tab of the ribbon, locate the Clipboard panel. Click the flyout menu for the Paste command and then choose Paste Special.
    Paste Special in AutoCADPaste Special in AutoCAD

  5. In the Paste Special dialog, choose Bitmap in the list and then click OK.
    The Paste Special dialog for other pasting some types of imagesThe Paste Special dialog for other pasting some types of images
    NOTE: There are additional options that will also work including Device Independent Bitmap, Paintbrush Picture, and Picture (Metafile). The options available are dependent upon the source data.
    The Paste Special dialog for other pasting other types of imagesThe Paste Special dialog for other pasting other types of images

  6. You will then be prompted to select an insertion point.
    Command prompt for specifying a place to insert the imageCommand prompt for specifying a place to insert the image

  7. After the image is pasted, check the External References palette to confirm that there are no attached images in the drawing and then save the drawing.


While I find this tip is useful for embedding standard detail images, it is also useful for another purpose: QC comments

 

When I am performing a QC (quality control) review of an existing ground surfaces in 3D, I split my screen into two views, one is a plan view (2D Wireframe Visual Style) and the other is a perspective view (Conceptual Visual Style). I orbit, pan, and zoom through the model during my review. If I see an area in my 3D view that needs to be addressed, I create a screen capture of the area in question and then paste it into the AutoCAD drawing outside of the subject tract. I add an mleader pointing to the area in question and include a comment on what needs to be addressed.

 

Here is an example of an image that was pasted into a QC drawing to show the current model view (labeled Before) and the expected model view (labeled After). The screen capture shown was created using TechSmith SnagIt for an internal audience. Two images were arranged side by side, red lines were added where the drawing content needed to be addressed, and labels "Before" and "After" were added to indicate how the content would appear after the issue was resolved.

 

Image showing Before and After views of a 3d surface model.Image showing Before and After views of a 3d surface model.

 

See Also (from R.K. McSwain - Added 3/10/2023)

Images embedded into the AutoCAD drawing will be OLE objects, which sometimes do not plot correctly. You can read about troubleshooting steps for that issue here: 

https://knowledge.autodesk.com/support/autocad/troubleshooting/caas/sfdcarticles/sfdcarticles/Some-O...

 

Some images can be embedded into an AutoCAD drawing using Raster Design. (AECIDBEMBEDDEDRASTERIMAGE) R.K. posted information about this here:
https://cadpanacea.com/wp/?p=1402

Comments

Thanks, @C3D_TomR Paste Special is such a great and sometimes underutilized tool 

One way I like to use this tool is with company logos in a titleblock. This helps with the dreaded "missing xrefs" prompt that haunts users and helps streamline an e-transmit. 

This is an excellent tip! Thank you @C3D_TomR

Yes, @gothitis, embedding a company logo within a drawing is an excellent example of when to use this workflow. Thank you for mentioning this.