The Export to CAD Tool exports dashed lines defined in the seed file as continuous. Line thickness is also not recognized in the output CAD file

Last Published: April 25, 2020


The following steps have been successful when exporting dashed lines to AutoCAD, omitting the use of a seed file. The line style is set up in the original geodatabase feature class attribute table, but the actual display must be set in the AutoCAD program after the data has been converted to DWG format.

Solution or Workaround

  1. Add the following fields to the line feature class attribute table.  The field names and values are case-sensitive
Field NameData TypeLengthNotes
CadTypeText12populated with the word "Polyline" if 2D, or "3D Polyline" if 3D data
LinetypeText12populated with the word "Dashed"

It is also advisable to add the following field:

Field NameData TypeLengthNotes
ColorShort IntegerN/Apopulate with an AutoCAD color number, so that the output lines do not appear black on a black draw window.
  1. Run the Export to CAD tool.
  2. Open the AutoCAD DWG file in AutoCAD. The AutoCAD Color number appears as specified, but the Linetype "Dashed" do not. However, when a line feature is selected, and the Properties are displayed, the Linetype does say "Dashed".  Remember to go into the Layer Manager and set the layer containing the lines to be  altered as "Current".
  3. To make AutoCAD actually draw the lines with a dashed symbol, first zoom in closely to a line feature, then enter "Linetype" at the command prompt to open the Linetype Manager.
  4.  Click the Load button, and select the specific Linetype to apply to the features.
  5. Click Edit in the top bar and Select > All.
  6. Place the cursor on one of the selected lines, and select Properties.
  7. Under General, click the drop-down to view available Linetype options, and select the one you picked in step 5, above.
    That Linetype is applied to the selected lines.

The same type of issue exists when applying a line thickness to an AutoCAD file.  In the export process, the line thickness can be set to a variable in the output AutoCAD file, but the actual display of the data, either as a dashed line, or a thicker line, requires manipulation of the file data in the AutoCAD program.

To modify the line thickness in AutoCAD, before exporting the data, add the following field to the feature class attribute table:

Field NameData typeLengthNotes
LineWtShort IntegerN/Apopulate with a line thickness in millimeters, the maximum value = 9

After running Export to CAD, perform the following steps in AutoCAD to change the line thickness display:

The values for the Lineweight property in AutoDesk products are assigned either in millimeters or in inches. To produce more distinctive results when running Export to CAD:

  1. Multiply the values in the LineWt field by 10, so the values ranged from 10 to 90 in the attribute table.
  2. Run Export to CAD.
    Opening the output drawing file in AutoCAD, the lines are displayed as the same thickness, although the properties for the lines showed the Lineweight values assigned to the geodatabase feature class.

In AutoCAD, perform the following steps to display the lines with the specified Lineweight.

  1. Go to the Home tab, and on the portion of the ribbon which refers to Properties, click the upper drop-down that refers to ByLayer.
  2. At the bottom of the drop-down, click the Lineweight Settings button.  Units for Listing are set to Millimeters (mm) by default.
  3. Check the box in the dialog to Display Lineweight.
  4. Move the slider labeled Adjust Display Scale, and apply the settings.  The lines will display with the thicknesses specified.
It has been observed that calculating values in the LineWt field from 20 to 70, in even multiples of 10, provided the best results when applying these settings in AutoCAD. If the value in the LineWt field was calculated to 10, the Lineweight setting in AutoCAD reverts to the Default value. The same is true if LineWt is calculated to values greater than 70.

Article ID:000015930

  • ArcMap

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