<<Does anyone know of a good program that lets you insert images
With AutoCAD LT 2004 running on Microsoft Windows XP Pro, you can
copy from the Windows clip-board into AutoCAD. So you need a way to
copy the images from their source, to the clip-board.
My only use for this, so far, has been to copy US Geological
Survey maps into AutoCAD so that I can use the USGS maps as a base to
draw special-purpose maps (showing particular roads, trails, and
land-marks). The USGS maps are not copyrighted, so it is legal to
use them. I have them on CD-ROMs published by National Geographic,
in a program called "TOPO!"
In "TOPO!", I use File > print map, then I select the area that I
want to copy, then I use File > copy map. That copies the selected
map area onto the Windows clip-board. Then I open a new AutoCAD
file, set up a new layer, make it current, and use Edit > paste.
That puts the selected part of the USGS map into AutoCAD. Then I set
up one or more new layers, choose appropriate color(s), make one of
those new layers current, and use "multiple" "point" to make points
at appropriate places superimposed on the USGS map. Everything can
be zoomed together in order to digitize points with as much detail as
needed, up to the resolution limit of the USGS map in the TOPO!
program. The USGS map uses a lot of memory, which I don't want in my
AutoCAD file, but I have not found a way to erase the layer with the
USGS map. So I freeze that layer, copy everything else to the
Windows clip-board, set up a new AutoCAD file, and copy from the
clip-board into the new AutoCAD file. That preserves the layer
characteristics, except for the layer containing the USGS map, which
I don't want. The new AutoCAD file uses much less memory than the
original AutoCAD file. After I am satisfied with the new map, I
delete the original AutoCAD file, and build the special-purpose map
around those points in the new AutoCAD file.
An alternative is to print the selected part of the USGS map, or
other image, on paper, and use a graphics tablet to digitize points
into AutoCAD. But it is much easier, and probably much more
accurate, to digitize on the monitor screen rather than on the
graphics tablet, and use the zoom function for increased detail where
This requires that the original image be available in computer-
readable form. I have not tried to scan an image, and use that as
input; I will try that as soon as I can get to a scanner.
If anybody sees a better way to do this, please let me know.
alvarez at eskimo dot com