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. 


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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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 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

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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AutoCAD, DWG TrueView, and Design Review do not have a conversion feature to change DWF files into DWG format. DWF/DWFx files are a “digital plot” file containing only low-intelligence entities. It is not intended for use as a drawing file exchange format and cannot be fully recovered or changed back to a standard drawing file with AutoCAD Programs.

But AutoDWG has developed several programs to convert back dwf to dwg, such as DWGSeePro, DWGSee CAD and DWF to DWG Converter Pro.


Save as

Open a DWF file with DWGSee Pro, go to “File” > “Save as” or click the “Save as” button on the navigation bar. In the open “Save as” window, give the new drawing file a name and from the drop down menu of the “Save as type”, select DWG format and the CAD version. Choose where you want to keep the new drawing file and click “OK”.


Save As

DWGSee CAD has the same save as function as DWGSeePro.

Underlay DWF

You can create a new drawing with DWGSee CAD, and then click “Insert/DWF Underlay” to insert the dwf file, and then save the new drawing to a dwg file.

AutoDWG DWF to DWG Converter Pro

With AutoDWG DWF to DWG Converter Pro, all DWF entity types exported by AutoCAD are supported, including arcs, elliptical arcs, ellipses, True Type Font, etc., so that you can retain DWF entities to correspond with DWG entities easily. For layers saved in DWF, the converter will read the information and recreate the layer in DWG, new DWF v6.0 multi page specification. And this program also support process mutiple files at one time.

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Blocks can contain special objects called attribute definitions, also known as block attributes. Attributes can be added to a block to store values such as part numbers, product names, ratings, descriptions, item cost, and so on. Some block attributes can contain static information such as a part number, while other block attributes can include information that varies from one block to the next such as its finish, cost or location. All block attribute values can later be extracted into a table object or CSV file that can be imported into another application.

Some of the common uses for attributes are:

  • Title blocks which can contain different Project and Client information from drawing to drawing or even layout to layout
  • Room, door, and window labels
  • Blocks that represent physical objects or locations which need to be tracked in the real-world; screws, office furniture, and land plats

The ability to extract attribute information from blocks into a table object or CSV file for use in another application can help save time and reduce costly errors that might occur from re-entering the data. The Data Extraction wizard is the most efficient way to extract attribute information from blocks inserted into a drawing. It can also be used to extract property values that are associated with the other types of geometry defined in a drawing along with general information about a drawing file.

Extract Block Attribute Data in AutoCAD

  1. Open drawing that contains blocks with attributes that you want to extract.
  2. Enter DATAEXTRACTION at the command prompt.
  3. In the Data Extraction Wizard, choose Create a New Data Extraction and click Next to continue.
  4. Specify a name and location for the new DXE file, such as Office Furniture.dxe and place it in your My Documents folder.A DXE file is a data extraction file which is used to store the extraction settings chosen in the Data Extraction wizard, and to then be able to use those same settings when extracting data from other drawing files.
  5. Use the Drawings/Sheet Set and Include Current Drawing options, and click Next to continue.
  6. Clear the Display All Object Types checkbox and choose Display Blocks Only, and click Next to continue.
  7. Under Category Filter, clear all options except Attribute and then make sure the properties checked match the attribute values to extract.
  8. Double-click the Display Name field for each attribute and change its value to match the previous image. Click Next to continue.
  9. On the Refine Data page, reorder, rename and hide columns to control the extracted output. Click Next to continue.
  10. On the Choose Output page, check Insert Data Extraction Table into the Drawing and click Next.
  11. On the Table Style page, select the table style to use and type an appropriate name for the title of the table. Click Next and then Finish to place the table in the drawing.

Batch Extract Block Attribute Data with AutoDWG Attribute Extractor

AutoDWG Attribute Extractor is for batch extracting of attribute data from AutoCAD attribute blocks without running AutoCAD.

  • Stand-alone application, run without AutoCAD.
  • Batch extract attribute data from numerous files in one go.
  • Output format of TXT, CSV and Excel file are supported.
  • Command line is supported (Server version only).
  • DWG/DXF file versions from R9 to 2024 are supported.
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Often, downloaded drawings or drawings sent by others will be prompted with a version too high when opened in AutoCAD.

At this time, we need to convert the drawings to a lower version before we can continue to use them in the current version of CAD.

Tip 1: Installing AutoCAD 2018 can open all current versions of CAD drawings

Tip 2: Because converting a drawing to an earlier release format may cause some data loss, we recommend that you assign a different file name to avoid overwriting the current drawing file.

The following are several ways to convert drawings. (Without Latest AutoCAD)

DWGSee DWG Viewer

The latest version of DWGSee can open all versions dwg files, open the dwg file and then click “Save as” button, give the new drawing file a name and from the drop down menu of the “Save as type”, select DWG or DXF format and the CAD version. Choose where you want to keep the new drawing file and click “OK”.

If you just need open dwg file, you can just use DWGSee Free DWG Viewer, there’s no need convert the drawing again.

AutoDWG DWG DXF Converter

With AutoDWG DWG DXF Converter, you may change versions of DWG and DXF both from low to high and high to low between AutoCAD R12 and Auto CAD 2024, it supports batch conversion.

DWG TrueView

Download and install the latest version of DWG TrueView (a free Autodesk file viewing software) and use the DWG Convert feature to convert the drawing.

  1. Create a copy of the drawing file to be converted.
  2. Launch DWG TrueView.
  3. Click the application menu in the upper-left and choose DWG Convert (or pick it on the ribbon if a file is open).
  1. Add the file(s) in the Files Tree list (click the green plus Add Files button).
  2. Choose the appropriate file format version.
  3. Click Convert.

Note: AutoCAD itself has the DWGCONVERT command for batch-converting files to older formats.

Free Online Conversions

Many Online Conversion Websites offer the free service to convert cad files to lower version, see following.

Free online conversion services usually have limitations on the number and size of files.

How to Identify the Drawing Version Quickly?

If you don’t want to purchase and install the latest version, how can you identify the drawing version to select the CAD version?

Firstly, we select the drawing, right click, select Open With, and select Notepad to open it, after opening it, we can see a bunch of messy codes. Just remember the AC1021 in front of it.

Then, by comparing the version format comparison table below, you can know the version of the drawing saved.

MC0.0 – DWG Release 1.1
AC1.2 – DWG Release 1.2
AC1.4 – DWG Release 1.4
AC1.50 – DWG Release 2.0
AC2.10 – DWG Release 2.10
AC1002 – DWG Release 2.5
AC1003 – DWG Release 2.6
AC1004 – DWG Release 9
AC1006 – DWG Release 10
AC1009 – DWG Release 11/12 (LT R1/R2)
AC1012 – DWG Release 13 (LT95)
AC1014 – DWG Release 14, 14.01 (LT97/LT98)
AC1015 – DWG AutoCAD 2000/2000i/2002
AC1018 – DWG AutoCAD 2004/2005/2006
AC1021 – DWG AutoCAD 2007/2008/2009
AC1024 – DWG AutoCAD 2010/2011/2012
AC1027 – DWG AutoCAD 2013/2014/2015/2016/2017
AC1032 – DWG AutoCAD 2018/2019/2020/2021/2022/2023

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