PDF image as background

Started by Tony B, May 29, 2023, 01:36:26 PM

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Tony B

Greetings! Does anyone have a method to prevent a PDF image (in my case a floorplan) from resizing when you change the page scale? My drawings usually have 3-5 levels and it is not convenient for me to create a separate background page for each level. Thank you for any guidance you can provide.


Not sure I understand what you mean... here is what I think you said: 
  I) you have a PDF of a complete floor plan for complete building at some scale, e.g., 3/8" = 1 ft
  2) you have multitude levels at different scale factors, e.g., 1" = 1 ft, 2" = 1 ft.  Presumably, these are for different regions of the entire floor plan.
  3) As you go from level to level, you want to use the same floor plan, but have Visio zoom in at the desired location and specified zoom level given by the level.setting. 

The answer is no.  Visio does not have that feature.   You need a separate background for each level scale factor.
Visio 2019 Pro


I'm not sure if I really understood the task.

If you modify the drawing scale instead of the page scale, the background won't change
If you do the modification in the dialog, you're fine. If you do it in the shapesheet, make sure you adjust the page width and height as well.
Original size x drawing scale
Note that you can use decimal values. Instead of e.g. 2:1 you can write 1:0.5

Tony B

Thank you both for your quick responses. On the outside chance I did not convey my quandary accurately, I'll try again (in case there is still hope of a solution ;D). In the past I've simply created a background page/drawing page arrangement for each floor, but since moving to the ECAV platform (https://www.symbollogic.com/) it is advantageous to create a common background page for all floor levels, land the floorplan PDF image on each drawing page and lock it. My problem is I can't figure out if it is possible to then adjust the page scale so it aligns with actual scale of the image without changing the size of the image as well. I've attached a simple example of what I create for my group's projects. In the upper right area of the 1st floor is the reason I'd like to be able to scale the image. It is the coverage area for an access point (AP). If I could accurately scale the floorplan image, I could quickly determine the coverage area for each AP to confirm I have the ideal quantity and locations. I hope this further information is helpful in conveying what I'm trying to achieve. Thank you!


Ah.  So what you need is an accurate scaling.
You do not need to zoom in on a given region of the floor plan?

Are you working with the ECAV drawing?  Isnt there an option to make the page a background page?  Doesn't it have dimensions already?  Can't you set the Background page scale so those are correctly shown?  Then, use same scale for each drawing page that references the background. 

Not sure I see the problem as everything that you need seems to be present.
Visio 2019 Pro

Tony B

Again, thank you for the timely response. I am working with the ECAV Visio document, I only attached the PDF because the Visio drawing exceeded the size limitation. Zooming is not an issue. I can make a background page for each floor level, and have done that for decades. ECAV best practice is to have a single/common background page, place the floorplan PDF image on its respective drawing page and lock it. Unfortunately locking the image does not prevent it from resizing when I change the page scale. Do you know if there is a way to exclude the PDF image from the page scale change? Thank you for your continued patience with my poor attempts at describing my issue.


It still seems you need a separate page for each architectural elevation.  But, to keep the size of the floor plan at a constant page size regardless of scale factor, you can do the following.

Once you've inserted the floor plan and are happy with it's placement, do the following.  Open shapesheet and...
  > set width to some factor of page width, e.g., =ThePage!Pagewidth*0.9
  > set height = ThePage!PageHeight*0.7
  => the values 0.9 and 0.7 you have to determine manually.  These values I just plucked out of the air.

  > set PinX = ThePage!Pagewidth*0.5
  > set PinY = ThePage!Pageheight*0.5
   =>. the O.5 values center the floor plan on the page.

That it.  Close shapesheet.  Now as you change scale factor for page, the floor plan will always be positioned the same spot on the page and will occupy the same amount.
Visio 2019 Pro

Tony B

Wow, thank you for the detailed instructions. I shall give it a try and circle back with the results. Again, thank you very much for your patient council.