How To: Convert a CAD annotation layer to a shapefile


Instructions provided are for converting a CAD annotation layer to a line shapefile which is attributed with the CAD annotation text. The line shapefile can then be labelled with the text string to mimic the CAD annotation layer.


  1. Open a View, and add the CAD annotation layer as a theme.
  2. Click the Theme menu and choose Table.
  3. With the Theme table active, click the Table menu and choose Properties.
  4. The scrollable list at the bottom of this dialog box lists the fields in the active themes attribute table. Scroll down to the field called TEXT and check the VISIBLE property on. Click OK.
  5. Scroll to view the TEXT attribute for each annotation.
  6. Click the View containing the annotation layer to make it active.
  7. Click Theme > Convert to Shapefile and create a new shapefile. This shapefile will contain a polyline for each of the original annotations and it will be attributed with the text string displayed in the original annotation.
  8. When prompted whether to add the new shapefile to the view, click YES.
  9. Check the new shapefile theme on and make it active. Optionally, turn off or remove the CAD annotation from the view.
  10. Click the Theme menu and choose Properties.
  11. Click the Text Labels option.
  12. Set the Label Field dropdown list to TEXT.
  13. Check the Scale Symbols option and click OK.
  14. The interactive label tool or the auto label function can now be used to label the lines with the text from the TEXT field. The auto-label dialog can be found by clicking Theme > Auto-label.