Set line thickness when creating AutoCAD DWG or DXF files using Export to CAD

Last Published: April 25, 2020


This article outlines the process for controlling the line thickness property when creating AutoCAD DWG or DXF files using Export to CAD.

The following process does not change the display of the lines in ArcMap. To display the line thickness property in AutoCAD, settings must be changed in that application. Instructions for this process are below.


When converting a geodatabase line or polygon feature classes to an AutoCAD Drawing or DXF file, the field called 'LineWt' controls line display in AutoCAD. The values for the Lineweight property in AutoDesk products are assigned either in millimeters or in inches. Use of millimeters is highly recommended.

  1. Add the field named 'LineWt' to the attribute table of the line or polygon feature class to be exported. Define the field as a 'Short Integer'.
  2. Populate the 'LineWt' field with suitable values in millimeters for the lines or polygons to be exported. In order to produce more distinctive results in the output AutoCAD file, multiply the values in the LineWt field by 10, so the values are assigned from 20 to 70 in the attribute table.

    If the value in the Linewt field is calculated to 10 or to a value greater than 70, the Lineweight setting in AutoCAD reverts to the Default value.

  3. The color of the output features can also be controlled. Add the field named 'Color', defined as a short integer, to the attribute table, and calculate AutoCAD color numbers into that field. Refer to the Knowledge Base article 'Export geodatabase feature classes, including annotation, to CAD using the Export to CAD Tool' in the Related Information section below for further instructions.
  4. Run the Export to CAD tool, selecting one of the available AutoDesk formats as output.
  5. When the output drawing file is opened in AutoCAD, the lines will all be displayed as the same thickness. In AutoCAD 2010, perform the following steps to display the lines with the specified Lineweight.

    A] Select the Home tab > Properties, and click on the upper dropdown that refers to 'ByLayer'.
    B] At the bottom of that dropdown, click on the Lineweight Settings ... button.
    C] Units for Listing are set to Millimeters (mm) by default. Check the box in the dialog to 'Display Lineweight'. Move the slider that is labeled 'Adjust Display Scale' and apply the settings. The lines will display with the thicknesses specified.

Article ID:000011236

  • ArcMap

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