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Chapter 17. Using CAD Drawings in Visio > How Visio Works with CAD Programs

How Visio Works with CAD Programs

Experienced CAD users might come to Visio with expectations that Visio can’t meet. Visio was never intended to be a substitute for high-end drafting and design tools. However, many people work with drafters, engineers, and architects and simply want the benefit of working with their drawings—without taking a CAD class first. That’s where Visio can help. Visio provides several methods of bringing CAD files into a Visio document or using Visio diagrams in a CAD program. You can do the following:

  • Import a CAD drawing for display only. Visio online Help refers to this as “inserting” a CAD drawing. Visio displays a copy of the CAD drawing as an OLE embedded object that you can use as a background page, reference layer, or detailed insert, but you can’t edit its contents.

  • Convert a CAD drawing, which converts the original objects to fully editable Visio shapes.

  • Export a Visio diagram as a DWG, DXF, or DGN file. In a multiple-page Visio diagram, you must export each page separately.


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