Using the DraftSight Image Tracer

Article by Dennis Barnes on May 03, 2023

Have you ever run into the problem where you need to duplicate a floorplan or a logo onto your CAD document and you can only get a screen capture, or a pdf to use? Well, there's a very useful tool in DraftSight called Image Tracer. The Image Tracer tool lets you convert raster images in .bmp, .png, and .jpg formats to vector format. The images can be architectural plans, floor plans, logos, or curved images.

Let me show you how this great tool works. If you want to follow along, first, open DraftSight and create a new drawing. You will want to save this as Trace Practice.dwg

Start with a new DraftSight project and name it trace practice dot dwg.

Next, set up a new layer. This is where we're going to place the image. To do this, open the Layers Manager and click New.

Use Layers Manager to create new layers.

When using the image tracer in DraftSight, make sure to place reference drawings or images on a separate layer.

Name the new layer Image and make it the active layer by clicking Activate or by using the shortcut ALT+A.

Next, attach an image file (in this example it's the GoEngineer Logo) using the ATTACHIMAGE command. Alternatively, you can find this under the Attach tab and select Image.

Use the attach image command to add your 2D file to your new layer.

The file browser will open so that you can pick an image file:

Here's a list of supported image formats for the DraftSight image tracer.

After selecting the image file (in this example the GoEngineer Logo Text No Bug.png) there is a placement, scale, and rotation dialog:

Placement, scale, and rotation dialog in the DraftSight image tracer.

By removing the check marks, you can specify to the position, scale size, and rotation angle. You should uncheck the Position, leave it at (0,0,0), and then set the scale to 2 before clicking OK.

Now, DraftSight should look like this:

DraftSight screen after placing the GoEngineer logo at the origin.

Next, we need to change the active layer to the default layer to place the image tracer lines. Do this in the Layer Manager as discussed above.

Now, go to Powertools and select Image Tracer.

The image tracer tool is found under the Powertools dialog, shown here.

This is what the properties of the Image Tracer look like:

These are the options available when using the imager tracer in DraftSight.

By using the Image Profile type to select the type of graphic, the profile for specific settings will be used. There is also the option to select the geometry options for Lines, Fitted polylines, Polylines, and Splines.

The cursor will be highlighted for you to select the area for the Image Tracer to recognize.

Once the image has been traced, you can adjust the settings to get the best result possible.

Note: An image with high contrast and few colors produces the best results.

Traced logo in draftsight.

Once you're happy with the tracing, click OK.

Then, if you hide the image layer, you will see the traced logo.

The GoEngineer logo traced using DraftSight.

Below is an example of something a little more complicated. The image file is Lion.jpg and it looks like this:

A complex lion head that we can trace with DraftSight.

After using the Image Tracer tool, I got this in my drawing.

An example of using the DraftSight image tracer to sketch a lion.

I hope this tutorial was helpful. Try using Image Tracer to add your company logo to your DraftSight drawing. 

More DraftSight Tutorials

DraftSight Export Options 

DraftSight Quick Access Toolbar Customization Tutorial 

DraftSight Draw Compare Tool Explained 

Customize DraftSight Keyboard Shortcuts 

Using the DraftSight Split Tool 



About Dennis Barnes

Dennis Barnes is a CSWE, CSWI and a Sr. Applications Engineer based out of the Albuquerque, NM office since 2012. He has a BS in Computer Science from Chapman University and has been using SOLIDWORKS since 2005.

View all posts by Dennis Barnes