AutoCAD

The CAD Block attribute data that is extracted to a table can be exported to an external file. On the Choose Output page, select the Output Data to an External File option. You can export the data to the following file formats:

  • Microsoft Excel (XLS)
  • Comma-Separated (CSV) 
  • Tab-Separated (TXT) 

What is XLS?

XLS is a former version of the file extension for a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet that uses a proprietary binary format. 

XLS

What is CSV?

A CSV file is a file format used for storing data in a tabular format. CSV stands for comma-separated values, which means that the values in the file are separated by commas.

CSV opened via text editor

A CSV file is a plain text file that can be opened with any text editor or even a spreadsheet software such as Excel.

Each line in a CSV file represents a row, and each comma-separated value represents a column. CSV files are widely used for data exchange between different software applications and databases.

What is the difference between CSV and XLS?

The difference between XLS and CSV is that an XLS file contains data in a workbook and spreadsheet, while a CSV file can only store the data in text format. It automatically removes all the formats and formulas. 

How to choose between CSV and XLS?

When it comes to choosing between CSV and XLS, there are a few things that you should consider.

One of the main advantages of CSV files is that they are simple. CSV files are just text files with values separated by commas. This means they can be opened and edited in any text editor.

XLS file is more complex and offer a wider range of features. XLS file can handle more complex data, including formulas, charts, and more.

When deciding between CSV and XLS, it’s important to consider the complexity of your data and the features that you need.

Reasons to Use a CSV File

  1. Portability: CSV files are lightweight and can be easily transferred between different platforms and applications, making them an ideal choice for sharing data.
  2. Compatibility: CSV files can be opened and edited by a wide range of programs, including Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets, and many others.
  3. Structured data: CSV files allow you to store data in a structured format, with each row representing a single record and each comma representing a field or attribute.
  4. Easy to read and edit: CSV files are easy to read and edit, even for non-technical users, since they are simply text files containing data separated by commas.
  5. Large data sets: CSV files are ideal for handling large data sets since they are efficient and fast to load and process.
  6. Automation: CSV files can be easily generated and processed using scripting languages like Python, making them a popular choice for automating data processing tasks.
  7. Standardization: CSV files are a widely accepted standard for exchanging data between different systems and applications, making them a reliable choice for data integration.

Reasons to Use a XSL File

  1. Data analysis and visualization: Excel offers a wide range of tools for analyzing and visualizing data, including formulas, charts, and pivot tables, making it ideal for data-driven decision-making.
  2. Organizing and managing data: Excel provides a flexible and customizable way to organize and manage data, including sorting, filtering, and searching, as well as the ability to create multiple sheets within a single workbook.
  3. Collaboration: Excel allows multiple users to work on the same file simultaneously, making it easy to collaborate on projects and share data with others.
  4. Automation: Excel can be used to automate repetitive tasks using either VBA or Office Scripts.
  5. Integration: Excel can be integrated with a wide range of other software applications, including databases, accounting software, and ERP systems.
  6. Accessibility: Excel is widely used and supported, making it easy to find resources and support for learning and using the software.

XLS is a versatile and widely used tool for managing and analyzing data.

If you only need to store a single tabular dataset and don’t need any advanced features, then CSV might be the better choice.

Otherwise, if you need to perform calculations, create charts, or work with multiple datasets, then XLS might be the better option.

How do you convert XLS to CSV? 

  1. Open the Excel workbook.
  2. Switch on the File tab and click on Save as.
  3. You can also press f12 to reach the Save as dialog.
  4. In the Save As type box, choose to save the XLS file as CSV (Comma delimited) option. 
  5. Other CSV options are also available. You can check them too. 
  6. Choose a folder to store your file. 
  7. Simply click OK and Yes to the dialog displaying on the screen. 

What are the differences between XLS and XLSX? 

XLS and XLSX are two file extensions that are used by the very popular spreadsheet application from Microsoft named Microsoft Excel. XLS is very popular as it has been the default format for Microsoft Excel since it was first created up till 2003. In the Microsoft Office 2007 release, Microsoft decided to change the default file format to a different format and adding and additional x for all their document extensions; for Excel, this ended up as XLSX.

  • Excel XLS vs. XLSX has a basic difference in their existence; XLS is the default version of Microsoft Excel 2003, and XLSX is the file format of Excel since 2007. 
  • XLS is readable by all Microsoft Excel versions, but XLSX is readable only by Microsoft Excel 2007 and onwards.  
  • XLS vs. XLSX file storage system says that XLS information is saved directly to a binary format, whereas the XLSX file is stored in a text file. 
  • XLS can save the file that contains macros. On the contrary, XLSX can not support macros. 
  • There is also a difference between XLS and XLSM. Where both are file formats only, XLSM contains macros that XLSX doesn’t.  
  • The difference between XLS and XLSX and CSV can be understood as XLS and XLSX being Excel file formats featuring tables, graphics, formulas, etc., whereas CSV can save the file in text format only. 
  • XLS files are larger than XLSX files. 
  • XLS is a proprietary binary format, whereas XLSX is based on Microsoft Office Open XML format. 
  • In the files that require the use of complex formulas with big sets of data, XLS works faster than XLSX. 
  • XLSX can hold data in large quantities, but XLS can store fewer data. 
  • XLSX has more rows and columns capacity than XLS

What is the difference between XLS and XLSX in terms of the row/column limit? 

XLSX file format’s capability to compress the data and reduce the size of a file makes a big difference between XLS and XLSX.

The row limit in XLS workbook is 65,536 (2¹⁶), and in XLSX, it increases up to 1,048,576 rows (2²⁰).

The column limit for XLS and XLSX is 256 columns (2⁸) and 16,384 columns (2¹⁴), respectively.  

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When opening a drawing in AutoCAD or other CAD programs, some or all of its text does not display or displays incorrectly. Text may look different when the drawing is opened on different systems. One or more of the following may occur:

  • Text is displayed in a different font. 
  • Text is displayed as blank spaces.
  • Text displays as corrupted letters or characters.
  • Text is barely visible until zoomed in.
  • Text is shifted and, or at a different scale or linetype.
  • Text does not fit the space or frame it was placed in.
  • Text overlaps other text in the object.

Possible Reasons

  • AutoCAD is substituting a font that cannot be found in the operating system or AutoCAD font folders. (Most possible)
  • Bigfont files are missing. (When your drawing has Chinese, Japanese, Korean)
  • The installed font on the system is corrupt and can’t be read correctly in AutoCAD.
  • The font is an OpenType font with Postscript outlines.
  • AutoCAD is substituting a font as specified in the font-mapping (FMP) file. 
  • The affected object is specific to Civil 3D, such as labels and COGO points.

Solutions

  • Install, or copy missing fonts from another System. (How to install a font into AutoCAD?)
  • Reinstall corrupted fonts
    1. Go to the Windows Font folder by opening the Control Panel -> Appearance and Personalization -> Fonts, alternatively go to Windows 10 Settings.
    2. Delete the affected font.
    3. Right-click the working font file and choose install from the menu.
  • Check for font substitution: Simplex.shx is a default font that AutoCAD often uses when it cannot find a needed font. To check this, open a drawing and then press F2 to bring up the text window. This shows the font substitution.
  • Substituted font file corruption: If the simplex.shx font is damaged and not displaying correctly, copy simplex.shx from a working system into the following folders. This applies even when it is not the intended font, or AutoCAD has used it to replace another. C:\Autodesk\AutoCAD 20xx\Fonts C:\Users\[username]\AppData\Roaming\Autodesk\AutoCAD 20xx\[release]\enu\Support
  • Verify font mapping settings:
    1. Find the path to the acad.fmp file in Options > Files > Text Editor, Dictionary, and Font File Names > Font Mapping File.
    2. Following this path, navigate to the acad.fmp file within the operating system and open it in a text editor such as Notepad.
    3. Compare the file with acad.fmp from a working system.
    4. Manually edit the font replacements as needed.
      • Copy and replace the acad.fmp file.

How to install a font into AutoCAD?

AutoCAD supports TrueType and SHX fonts.

Installing an SHX font into AutoCAD:

  1. Unzip the font file if downloaded as a ZIP file.
  2. Right click and select ‘Copy’ or do CTRL+C on the desired .shx file.
  3. Navigate to the fonts folder within the AutoCAD program located at:

C:\Program Files\Autodesk\AutoCAD 20xx\Fonts

Alternatively, if the fonts are kept on a server or a network, the file path can be added into AutoCAD instead:

  1. On the command line type OPTIONS.
  2. In the ‘File’ tab open the tree for ‘Supported File Search Path’ and click ‘Add’ then ‘Browse’ to add the location of the desired font location.
  3. Click ‘Apply’ then ‘OK’ to close.

Installing a TrueType font:

  • AutoCAD reads TrueType (.ttf) fonts that are installed in the operating system. TTF files do not go into AutoCAD’s own Fonts folder.
  1. Unzip the font file if downloaded as a ZIP file.
  2. Right click and select ‘Copy’ or do CTRL+C on the desired .ttf files and paste them into:

C:\Windows\Fonts

  1. Right click the newly pasted font and select ‘Install’.
  • Alternatively, if the file is on a server or a network location, it can be directly installed into AutoCAD after adding in the file path location:
  1. On the command line type OPTIONS.
  2. In the ‘File’ tab open the tree for ‘Supported File Search Path’ and click ‘Add’ then ‘Browse’ to add the location of the desired font location.
  3. Click ‘Apply’ then ‘OK’ to close.
  4. Navigate to the desired font then right-click on the .ttf file and select ‘Install’.

Note: Some fonts can be associated with a linetype, and the line type might need to be edited to use it

Installing OpenType fonts:

  1. Unzip the font file if downloaded as a ZIP file.
  2. Right click and select ‘Copy’ or do CTRL+C on the desired .oft files and paste them into:

C:\Windows\Fonts

  1. Right click the newly pasted font and select ‘Install’.

Additional locations:

AutoCAD will read font files that are in the same folder as a DWG being opened. It is also possible to setup a custom fonts folder and put its path into AutoCAD in Options > Files > Support File Search Path.

One or more SHX files are missing. What would you like to do? 

If the original font is missing and cannot be obtained, it is possible to replace the missing SHX font with another one.

  1. Open the affected drawing.
  2. When prompted, choose Specify a replacement for each SHX file.
  3. Choose a replacement font for each missing one and click OK. Repeat until all missing fonts are replaced.

How to Use Asian Big Font SHX Files?

If the drawing has Asian language, such as Japanese, Chinese, Korean, please check big font, and use bigfont.shx or chineset.shx to replace it. If the characters is Simplify Chinese, use gbcbig.shx to replace it. 

Asian alphabets contain thousands of non-ASCII characters. To support such text, the program provides a special type of shape definition known as a Big Font file. You can set a style to use both regular and Big Font files.

Asian Language Big Fonts Included in the Product
Font File NameDescription
@extfont2.shxJapanese vertical font (a few characters are rotated to work correctly in vertical text)
bigfont.shxJapanese font, subset of characters
chineset.shxTraditional Chinese font
extfont.shxJapanese extended font, level 1
extfont2.shxJapanese extended font, level 2
gbcbig.shxSimplified Chinese font
whgdtxt.shxKorean font
whgtxt.shxKorean font
whtgtxt.shxKorean font
whtmtxt.shxKorean font
Asian Language Big Fonts

How to Specify an Alternate Font?

If your drawing specifies a font that is not currently on your system, the font designated as your alternate font is automatically substituted. By default, the simplex.shx file is used. If you want to specify a different font, enter the alternate font file name by changing the FONTALT system variable. If you use a text style that uses an Asian Big Font, you can map it to another font using the FONTALT system variable. This system variable uses a default font file pair: txt.shx and bigfont.shx.

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DWG files are closely associated with CAD (computer-aided design) programs. Originally named as an abbreviation for the word drawing, it’s a file that contains two and three-dimensional vector graphics. Typically, drafters, architects, and engineers use DWG files to develop design sketches.

If you need to share a DWG file with someone who might not have the CAD software to open it, you can convert DWG to PDF before sending your file. This will make it easier for your client or teammate to access and view the design you created in the DWG format.

How to convert a dwg file to pdf with AutoCAD?

There are many commands and methods in AutoCAD that you can use to produce PDF files. Use these guidelines to select the most appropriate method.

OperationRecommended Command/Workflow
Export model space or a single layout to a PDF fileThe PLOT or EXPORTPDF command
Export all layouts of a drawing to a PDF fileThe EXPORTPDF command
Export selected layouts of a drawing to PDFThe PUBLISH command
Export model space and selected layouts to PDFThe PUBLISH command
Export multiple drawing files to PDFThe PUBLISH command
Export a sheet set to a PDF fileThe Publish to PDF option in the Sheet Set Manager

How to convert a dwg file to pdf with AutoDWG Programs?

AutoDWG offers several programs that convert dwg to pdf, such as DWGSeePro, DWGSeeCAD, DWG to PDF Converter. Additionally, AutoDWG offers advanced features such as batch conversion, which allows users to convert multiple files at once, significantly increasing productivity.

DWGSee CAD

DWGSee CAD is a popular dwg viewer, you can use DWGSee CAD to open the dwg file, and then click print button to Print DWG as PDF.

DWGSee CAD also supports Export DWG to pdf, you may just click export botton to choose pdf, and then you can follow the steps to convert dwg to pdf.

AutoDWG DWG to PDF Converter

AutoDWG DWG to PDF Converter Key features:

  • Batch conversion of multiple files in one go with Batch Mode;
  • Convert specific layout or layer;
  • Retain the TTF, True Type Fonts, to make them searchable in PDF;
  • Support for permissions such as printing, clipboard copying, and modifying;
  • Manage line width and support CTB file import;
  • Support OLE entity;
  • Customized watermark support in PDF (Pro only).
  • Command-line support for Server version.

How to convert a dwg file to pdf with Adobe PDF Maker?

PDFMaker is an Acrobat feature that operates within many business applications, such as Microsoft Office applications, AutoCAD, and Lotus Notes. When you install Acrobat, PDFMaker controls appear in the work area of the authoring application.

Use PDFMaker to convert AutoCAD files from within the AutoCAD application. You can also use the Batch Conversion feature to convert many AutoCAD files in one operation. Even if you don’t have AutoCAD, you can convert AutoCAD files to PDF from Acrobat.

Acrobat PDFMaker allows you to preserve selected layers and layouts when converting AutoCAD files to PDF.

  1. In Acrobat, from the top menu bar, select Create. Then choose Single file Select a file > Create.
  2. (Optional) From the Files Of Type menu, select Autodesk AutoCAD, then click the Settings button and change the conversion settings as needed.
  3. Locate and select the AutoCAD file.
  4. If the Adobe PDF Settings For Autodesk AutoCAD Documents dialog box appears, specify the settings as needed, and click OK.

How to convert a dwg file to pdf online for free?

How to batch convert dwg files to pdf?

AutoCAD Publish

You can assemble a collection of drawings and create a paper or an electronic drawing set. Electronic drawing sets are saved as PDF files.

If you enter +PUBLISH at the Command prompt, you can select an existing Drawing Set Descriptions (DSD) file from the Select List of Sheets dialog box (a standard file selection dialog box). The Publish dialog box opens and displays the drawing set saved in the DSD file under Sheets to Publish.

  1. If the list of drawings to publish is not displayed:
    1. Click Output tab > Plot panel > Batch Plot
    2. In the Publish dialog box
    3. In the Load List of Sheets dialog box, locate the *.dsd file that lists the drawings to publish, and click Load.
  2. In the Publish to drop-down list, select PDF.
  3. In the PDF Preset drop-down list, select the type of PDF file you want.
  4. In the Publish Options information section, verify whether the options selected by default are correct. If not:
    1. Click Publish Options.
    2. Specify the settings for the PDF file. Note: To produce a single multi-page PDF file, select Multi-Sheet File. To produce multiple single-page PDF files, clear Multi-Sheet File.
    3. Click OK.
  5. Click Publish.

Adobe PDF

  1. Choose Adobe PDF > Batch Conversion.
  2. Specify your preferences for layers, page size, plot style, and output PDFs. Click Conversion Settings to specify the Acrobat PDFMaker settings.
  3. In the DWG List, do any of the following:
    • Click Add Folder or Add Files, and then specify the folder or files.
    • To load a previously saved list of files, click Append List, and then specify the list.
    • As needed, expand individual files and select or deselect the items you want, such as model space and layouts. To exclude or include all model space, click the associated buttons.
    • To exclude a file from the conversion, deselect the file box. As needed, select or deselect all of the files in the list, change the order of the files, remove files, or clear the list.
    • To show the complete file paths, select Expand File Name(s).
    • To save the DWG list for later use, click Save List. This action saves the list in its current state, including the file order and file selections. You can retrieve this list at any time by clicking Append List.
  4. Click Convert.
  5. Once the conversion has finished, you can click Save Details to save a log file of the conversion.

DWGSee CAD Batch Print

Run DWGSee CAD and click “File/Batch Print”, then move to tab “Print Files” to add the drawings to print as pdf.

AutoDWG DWG to PDF Converter

You can add files or select a folder to batch convert with the converter.

Select files to convert
Select a Folder to Convert

How to convert dwg files to pdf with AutoDWG command line?

In command line, enter “D2P.exe [/Input file or folder] [/Output file or folder] [/IncSubFolder] [/AutoDWG
configuration file]” to call the DWG to PDF converter in command line. Please enter “D2P.exe /?” first to refer to the D2P syntax

Example:
Convert Office.dwg to Office.PDF
d2p.exe /InFile D:\My Drawings\Office.DWG /OutFile D:\Output\Office.PDF

Please note, only AutoDWG DWG to PDF Server Version supports command line.

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New drawings start from either a default drawing template file or a custom drawing template file that you create. Drawing template files store default settings, styles, and additional data.

When AutoCAD starts, the Start tab is displayed by default. Here, you can quickly start a new drawing file based on the current drawing template file, or you can specify a different template file from the Templates list to start a new drawing.

What Can Be Saved in a Template?

A drawing template file is a drawing file that has been saved with a .dwt file extension, and it specifies the styles, settings, and layouts in a drawing, including title blocks. The default drawing template files are provided as samples.

CAD managers often create, maintain, and distribute drawing template files to maintain consistent standards and styles across an organization. Among the settings specified are

  • Units of measure and measurement style (UNITS)
  • Drafting settings (DSETTINGS)
  • Layers and layer properties (LAYER)
  • Linetype scale (LTSCALE)
  • Dimension styles (DIMSTYLE)
  • Text styles (STYLE)
  • Layouts with layout viewports and scales (LAYOUT)
  • Plot and publishing settings (PAGESETUP)

Here’s some of drawing settings that can’t be stored in a drawing template:

  • User interface elements, such as the Quick Access toolbar or ribbon changes
  • Custom hatch patterns
  • Custom applications, action macros, scripts, AutoLISP programs
  • Shape files

Using Existing Templates

Autodesk provides several templates that are installed with AutoCAD. These templates can be accessed from the Start tab on the Templates drop-down list.

Opening and Saving a Template

To make a change to a template, you’ll need to open it. Opening a template is like opening a drawing.

  1. Choose Open from the Quick Access Toolbar.
  2. In the Files of type drop-down list, choose Drawing Template (*.dwt).You should see the templates installed with AutoCAD.
  3. Select a template and click Open.
  4. You may save a new template by clicking Save As and give the template a name, MyTemplate, and click Save.
  5. In the Template Options dialog box, enter a description for the template and leave the rest of the defaults as they are and click OK.

How to Change the Default Template for a New Drawing?

By default, when you start a new drawing, AutoCAD creates the drawing from the template specified in the Default Template File Name for QNEW, in this case, acad.dwt. Let’s change this setting to start a new drawing using the new template.

  1. In the drawing window, right-click and choose Options.Or at the Command prompt type, options.
  2. Click the Files tab and expand Template Settings > Default Template File Name for QNEW.
  3. Select the file path and choose Browse.Or double-click the file path to browse.
  4. From the Select a file dialog box, browse to and select the template file you want AutoCAD to use as the default for a new drawing, in this case MyTemplate, and click Open.
  5. Click OK to close the Options dialog box.Now when you start a new drawing, AutoCAD will use MyTemplate.

How to Edit and Test Template?

Editing a template is like editing a drawing. Follow the steps above to open MyTemplate.

Think about what you would like to have already setup when you create a new drawing and consider adding the drawing settings to MyTemplate.

Here are a few drawing settings that might be useful:

  • Turning the grid display off
  • Changing the drawing window color
  • Adding standard layers
  • Creating text and dimension styles
  • Having a title block available to insert
  • Setting drawing units

All of these are drawing settings that can be added to a template so the next time you create a new drawing it’s ready to go.

An easy way to test the changes to the template is to first save it, then click the + on the drawing tabs to create a new drawing. Keeping the template open for testing makes changes to the template very quick.

How to Import Styles and Layers from DesignCenter?

DesignCenter can be used to add layers, named styles, and blocks, to a template.

  1. Click View tab > Palettes panel > DesignCenter Or at the Command prompt, type adcenter.
  2. In DesignCenter, navigate to Landscaping.dwg and drag the drawing into the drawing area of the template.

Note: If you only want the block definitions available to insert from the Blocks palette press Esc after the drag and drop. Otherwise, the blocks will be inserted into the template drawing window.

Now the named styles, blocks, and drawing settings that are defined in Landscaping.dwg are now available in MyTemplate.

Create a new drawing to test MyTemplate and verify the blocks are available in the new drawing.

Templates can be a powerful tool for enforcing standards in your office and a time-saver when creating new drawings. They are not difficult to setup and can be easily created, edited, and shared as office standards change.

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To draw a bisector of an angle in AutoCAD, you can follow these steps:

Auxiliary line

Draw a circle of any radius with a vertex as the center, then trim the arc outside the angle lines, and then connect the vertex and the midpoint of the arc with line. A bisector line will be finished.

Draw a circle of any radius with a vertex as the center
After Trim
Connect the vertex and the midpoint of the arc with line

Construction line command

Creates an xline that passes through the selected angle vertex and bisects the angle between the first and second line.

First, with an existing angle, click on the “Draw” tab and select “Construction Line”. Then enter the “B” parameter to bisect the object.

Next, snap to the vertex of the angle you want to divide. Then follow the prompts to select two points on either side of the angle. A bisector line will appear.

Angle bisector with DWGSee CAD

In DWGSee CAD, click on the Draw and select “Bisector”. Then follow the commands on the command line to choose two sides of the angle and the intersection point, which is also the vertex of the angle. The bisector line will be drawn.

Enter 2 to confirm number of equal parts of the angle

Note, please make sure that you select the two sides with counterclockwise,if you choose the two sides with clockwise, it may lead to the following situations.

Center Line

Enter the centerline command, select one line, then select another line, and the bisector line is drawn.

The centerline bisects the angles of the two intersecting lines. In this example, the location of the pick points defines the direction of the centerline.

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