Open navigation

ArtTrace Wizard

This wizard is accessed via Graphics - Art Trace.

The wizard converts a graphic entity (also known as "raster" data) into vector geometry (lines, arcs, circles or Bezier curves). It first simplifies the image into black and white and then traces around the outline, using tolerances which you specify.

ArtTrace - Selection

Select Images

Choose the appropriate radio button as required:

  • Use an image from the current drawing - this shows a list of embedded or linked images in the current layer
  • Use an image from a bitmap file - click the edit button  to browse for the file to be used
  • Use an image from a scanner or digital camera - this is similar to the Graphics - Acquire tool - press the edit button to Select Scanning Source

You can click on the image preview to display the Image Information form.

Master Tool Settings

From the pulldown list choose the required Master Tool Settings which will be used to initialise this wizard.

ArtTrace - Image Processing

Convert to Mono

The Colour Image and a generated Monochrome Image (black and white) are shown on this page.


Use these tools for quick mask colour selectors, allowing single colour, add and remove.

Select Region

Use this button  to select the region that will be vectorised.

Median Filter

Switch this option on to remove small defects in the monochrome image.


From the pulldown menu choose the required value to bias the conversion; Luminance, Grey, Red, Green, Blue or Transparency.


Use this to adjust the grey-scale threshold which determines which pixels are black and which are white.

ArtTrace - Vector Conversion

Edge Detection

Select the method to use:

  • Search for outlines - geometry is created wherever a black/white edge appears
  • Search for centrelines - for any "thin" shape, to within a tolerance specified by Max Line Width pixels, the geometry is created along the centre, not the edge, of the shape

You can use the Preview page to see the different effects of these methods.


This allows you to specify the maximum deviation, in pixels, between the geometry and the edge (contour).

Output Types and Smoothing

Choose the type of vector geometry to be created:

  • Generate lines only
  • Generate lines, arcs and circles
  • Generate smooth curves

End To End Tolerance

If there is a gap between two entities that is smaller than this tolerance, then the resulting geometry will close this gap.

Maximum Deviation

This is the maximum distance which the arcs or Beziers are allowed to be from the original geometry.  The smaller this value the more accurate the results will be, but also more entities are likely to be generated. 

Angle Tolerance for the curves

This is the maximum angle between two successive entities where smoothing can still take place.  Entities with a greater angle than this will be left as separate entities.

Generate Bezier curves

Switch this option on if you want to generate Bezier entities rather than arcs.

Run smoothing tool on output geometry

Switch this option on to automatically run the Tidy - Smoothing tool on the geometry before it is placed.


ArtTrace - Output


Choose how the vector geometry should be positioned:

  • Place over the graphic entity - useful for replacing graphics with vector geometry
  • Place Manually (after the wizard is closed) - in accordance with the Edit Bar options (Origin, Scale, Rotate, About X, About Y, Detailed Cursor, Reset).

Note that if you are converting an image that is not already in the drawing then the wizard automatically uses the Place Manually option.

Place result into a block

You can place the resultant geometry into a block of the specified Name.

Add image with generated entities

If you have chosen an image that is not already in the drawing, you can insert it automatically when the vector data is added by switching this option on.

Did you find it helpful? Yes No

Send feedback
Sorry we couldn't be helpful. Help us improve this article with your feedback.

You may like to read -