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Visio & AutoCAD

Submitted by on October 26, 2006 – 6:30 am | | 109164 views 10 Comments

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Read Full ArticleThere are a lot of Visio users out there, and not all of them use Visio in conjuction with AutoCAD. But for those who do; Boy! Do they use AutoCAD!! And when there’s a problem using them in conjunction with each other; Boy! Is there a problem!!

This page will try to bring together as many resources regarding Visio and AutoCAD issues as is humanly possible. I’ll keep updating it as new information comes in, so check back from time to time!

On a positive note, it looks like the AutoCAD compatibility in Visio 2007 is vastly improved! One of the experts on the subject has informed me that beta 2 of Visio 12 has solved many of the issues from previous versions of Visio.


Visio supports importing and exporting DWG and DXF files up to AutoCAD 2000 (R15) formats. For newer files, you’ll need to save them back to the 2000 format before working with Visio.

Importing, Exporting & ConvertingÂ

General Information

  • Visio History
    From John Marshall’s web site. Visio has supported importing and exporting of AutoCAD .dwg and .dxf files since Visio 5, ca: 1998. And John knows all the details! Search for CAD to find info about which features were implemented with which versions of Visio.
  • About working with CAD drawings in Visio
    General info from the Microsoft Office website.

Bugs & “Issues”


  • Hi Chris! Thanks for reminding me that I owe everyone another CAD integration post over on Visio Insights. Here was the first post: http://blogs.msdn.com/visio/archive/2006/07/25/676957.aspx

    A key piece of information to include is the DWG and DXF file versions supported: AutoCAD 2000 (R15) or earlier. I believe that the ACAD 2000 format was still the default format in AutoCAD 2002. Beyond that you have to save drawings back before working with them in Visio.

    My own take on CAD integration is that Visio 2003 made some great strides in simplifying the user experience and supporting more entities on export, but we made some significant mistakes as well. The result is the customer pain that Adam Stone describes so well. A few critical issues got resolved in Visio 2003 service packs but not all. We’ve made a concerted effort to get this right in Visio 2007. When you get a chance to check it out, let me know how we did.

  • Adam Stone says:

    Hey Chris, thanks for the plug. As you pointed out I have been struggling with this issue for years. For some reason my complaints fell of deaf ears at MS all that time. However the last beta I tested of Visio 2007 solved or addressed every issue I have encountered with previous versions. If these enhancements make it into the shipping version I think we can finally put this issue to rest.

  • Lauren Scott says:

    Do you know anything about the compatibility (or lack of) with Visio and Microstation?

  • Visio Guy says:

    Hey Lauren,

    Visio supported the importing of Microstation DGN at one point in the past (Visio 5 and Visio 2000, I believe), but they have since removed that functionality. Bummer!

    There’s more cool historical info about Visio here.

  • Simon Drake says:

    Thanks Visio Guy for putting up so many resources, one day I hope to upload some too!

  • […] If you have a drawing in AutoCAD or DXF format, then Visio will help you with scaling when you import it. For more on the fine-details of working with Visio and AutoCAD, see: Visio & AutoCAD. […]

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  • Mario Gallardo says:

    Am I doing something wrong? I am finding that both Visio Professional 2003 and 2007 have problems Converting the inserted AutoCAD files into Visio shape data. Some shapes have some sort of distant origin point of creation when selected, and other shapes get duplicated. This files include attributes and multiple blocks and layers. To solve my problem, in AutoCAD first explode all blocks, move all enteties into a sigle layer (Layer “0”) and Purge All.

  • Sonee says:

    Do you know which versions of AutoCAD .dwg or .dwf files are currently compatible with Visio? It looks like these posts were a while ago, and in looking at the Visio website, it seems there are some add-ons that facilitate drawing file conversions, but it doesn’t mention what version of drawings it will convert into Visio. Do you have any insight into this?

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