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About Importing and Exporting DXF Files

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Importing and Exporting DXF Files: An Overview



A DXF file is a type of drawing interchange file used to transfer data between various applications.

A DXF (drawing interchange format) file is either a binary or an ASCII representation of a drawing file. It is often used to share drawing data between other CAD programs.

You can convert a DXF file to DWG format by opening the file and saving it in DWG format. You can then work with the resulting drawing file as you would with any other drawing file.

You can export a drawing or (selected objects within a drawing) as a DXF file.

You can control floating-point precision of the DXF format up to 16 decimal places and save the drawing in either ASCII or binary format. ASCII format results in a text file that you can read and edit; binary format results in a significantly smaller file that is faster to work with.

To Import a DXF File

  1. Click File menu > Open.
  2. In the Select File dialog box, in the Files of type box, select DXF (*.dxf).
  3. Find and select the DXF file you want to import or enter the name of the DXF file at File Name.
  4. Click Open.

To Export a Drawing to a DXF File

  1. Click Application menu > Save As > Other Formats. 
  2. Click File menu > Save As.
  3. In the Save Drawing As dialog box, in the Files of type box, select a DXF format.
  4. Select a folder and enter a file name.
  5. Click Save.

To Export Selected Objects to a DXF File

  1. Click File menu > Save As.
  2. In the Save Drawing As dialog box, click Tools > Options.
  3. In the Save as Options dialog box, click the DXF Options tab.
  4. Choose Select objects.
  5. Click OK.
  6. In the Save Drawing As dialog box, in the Files of type box, select a DXF format.
  7. Select a folder and enter a file name.
  8. Click Save.
  9. Select the objects to export and press Enter.

Commands for Importing and Exporting DXF Files

OPEN (Command)

Opens an existing drawing file.


The Select File dialog box (a standard file selection dialog box) is displayed.


When FILEDIA is set to 0 (zero), OPEN displays a Command prompt.


You can open and load a portion of a drawing, including geometry on a specific view or layer. In the Select File dialog box, click the arrow next to Open and choose Partial Open or Partial Open Read-Only to display the Partial Open dialog box. (Not applicable to AutoCAD LT.)


Note: If the drawing you open contains macros, the AutoCAD Macro Virus Protection dialog box is displayed. (Not applicable to AutoCAD LT.)



SAVEAS (Command)

Saves a copy of the current drawing under a new file name or location.

The new file name becomes the current drawing and the previous drawing closes without saving any changes to it.

Note: In AutoCAD, if you want to create a copy of the current drawing under a different name or location without changing the current drawing, use the SAVE command. In AutoCAD LT, the SAVE and QSAVE commands are identical.

The Save Drawing As standard file selection dialog box is displayed.

In the Save Drawing As dialog box, click Tools:

  • Options displays a dialog box that controls various DWG and DXF settings.
  • Digital Signatures displays a dialog box that lets you attach a digital signature, which ensures that the drawing has not been changed after it was signed.

If you choose to save a file as a drawing template, the Template Options dialog box is displayed, where you can provide a description for the template and set the units of measurement.

When FILEDIA is set to 0 (zero), SAVEAS displays command prompts rather than the dialog box.
Note: Saving a drawing to any DXF ™ format affects performance.


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