How to Convert PDF to Shapefile (8 Steps)

By Kirk Bennet

PDF files can contain anything from text to images. You can store a map inside a single PDF file. A shapefile is a popular file format that contains geospatial vector data used by geographic information systems software. Converting a PDF file to a shapefile is not an easy task. You must first convert the PDF file to a Drawing Exchange Format (DXF) file and then use AutoCAD to create a shapefile from that DXF file.

Step 1

Turn on your computer and open the Web browser. Enter "" in the address box and press Enter to navigate to the website. Click the "Download" link to save the Aide PDF to DXF Converter setup file. You will use this tool to convert the PDF file to a DXF file.

Step 2

Double-click the setup file to start installing the software. Follow the on-screen instructions to finish installing the tool. Double-click the Aide PDF to DXF Converter executable to start it.

Step 3

Go to "File" and click on "Add PDF File." Use the resulting file browser to select the PDF file and click on "Open" to open it.

Step 4

Click on "..." in the "Set Output Folder and Options" section and find a suitable location where to save the new DXF file. Click on "Convert" to convert your file to a DXF file.

Step 5

Double-click the AutoCAD executable to start the software.

Step 6

Go to "File" and click "Open" to open a file. By default, AutoCAD recognizes and opens DXF files. Use the file browser to locate and open the DXF file you saved earlier.

Step 7

Go to "File" and click on "Save As" to start saving your file. Type a name for your new shapefile in the Name box and click on the Browse button to select a location where to save it.

Step 8

Select "Shape File" from the Format drop-down box you see at the bottom of the Save As window. Click the "Save" button to convert the DXF file to a shapefile. Your original PDF file is now a shapefile.