Import specific CAD layers, entities, and levels into a geodatabase feature class


By default, the Computer Aided Design (CAD) to Geodatabase tools convert all of the features in a CAD layer, and do not allow the user to restrict the layers, entities, and levels being converted.

This document describes how to use the ArcCatalog Simple Data Loader to import specific features from a CAD layer into a geodatabase feature class.


  1. In the ArcCatalog tree, right-click the geodatabase in which you want to create a new feature class and click New > Feature class.
  2. Type a name for the feature class. The feature class name must not contain spaces, but can use underscores.
  3. Click Next.
  4. Click Next.
  5. Click Import.
  6. Navigate to the CAD feature class whose field definitions you want to copy and click Add.
  7. Click on the field name entitled SHAPE.
  8. By default, the shape type for a new feature class is polygon. Click on the entry Polygon to open a dropdown list and select the shape type that matches the shape type of the CAD features to be imported into this feature class.
  9. Click again on the field named Shape. From the field properties listed below, click on the ellipsis, the button which has 3 dots to the right of the Spatial Reference field.
  10. In the Spatial Reference Properties dialog, select the Import button, navigate to the CAD file which contains the data to be imported, select the blue-green icon for the CAD file, and click Add. On the Spatial Reference Properties dialog, click apply and OK.
  11. Click Finish.
  12. Right-click the new geodatabase feature class and click Load Data.
  13. Click Next on the introductory panel.
  14. Browse to the input CAD layer.
  15. Click Add to add it to the list of source data.
  16. Click Next.
  17. Click Next.
  18. Click Next.
  19. To use an attribute query to limit the CAD features being loaded, click the second option, which is Load only the features that satisfy a query.
  20. Click Query Builder to open the Query Builder dialog box.
  21. Use the Query Builder to create a query to limit the features from the source data that will be loaded into the target. For CAD data, a query can be made based on attributes, such as entity, layer, handle, or color.
  22. Click OK.
  23. Click Next.
  24. Click Finish to load only the data that satisfies the query.

Article ID:000005445

  • ArcMap 9 x
  • ArcMap 8 x

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