WiFi Design & Scaled PDF Floor Plans

Problem: Facilities often will provide life safety PDF documents of floor plans with a scale of 1″=X’. The PDFs are scaled and produced from AutoCad. As a wireless design engineer to do a computer model or APoS measurement we need a floor plan that can be scaled in our wireless design software i.e. Ekahau Survey Pro (or similar). The PDF document with this type of scale is of little value and we either need the AutoCad DWG file or go onsite for a measurement of a long wall by a laser distance meter. It takes additional time to get these files and often facilities comes back with “I gave you what I have…”

“I gave you what I have…” – Facilities

Another Solution: If the PDF from AutoCad with a notation of 1″=X’ then you can use Adobe Acrobat Reader to measure a long wall.

Step 1. Crop white space from PDF file. This reduced the file size and makes it nice for you to import into your wireless design tool such as Ekahau or Cisco Prime/DNA Center or Aruba AirWave.

Open PDF in GIMP (Free).


Step 2. Import PDF. I would suggest you change the default Pixel Resolution from 100 to 600. This will give you more Pixels per inch and allow you to zoom in for greater accuracy in your work.


Step 3. Select PDF area that you care about. Crop to remove the PDF area you do not care about.


Step 4. Export as PDF.


Step 5. Open newly cropped PDF in Adobe Acrobat Reader. Select More Tools. This will provide you with the measurement tool.



Step 6. Select Measuring Tool and select “Snap to End Point” tool.


Step 7. In the Legend portion of the PDF there will be a scale. Take note of this value.


Step 8. Measure a long wall. Right click and select “Change Scale Ratio and Precision”.


Step 9. Enter in Scale Ratio.


Step 10. Measure and record information. I would suggest recording it on the map so that it can referenced in the future.PICTURE12

Special Thanks to Beth Stireman who showed me this! She has a wealth of AutoCad and space planning experience for large enterprises.

Note: I would also suggest verifying these measurements when you go into the field, but this will help you do more on the front end.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s