Can You Convert Illustrator to AutoCAD?

Can You Convert Illustrator to AutoCAD?

When working with design software, it is common to find yourself needing to convert files between different formats. This can be the case when you have a design created in Adobe Illustrator that needs to be used in AutoCAD.

But can you convert Illustrator files to AutoCAD? Let’s explore this topic further.

The Difference Between Illustrator and AutoCAD

Before diving into the conversion process, it’s important to understand the difference between Adobe Illustrator and AutoCAD.

Adobe Illustrator:

Adobe Illustrator is a vector-based graphic design software widely used by designers and artists. It is primarily used for creating illustrations, logos, icons, and other graphical elements. Illustrator offers powerful tools for creating and editing vector graphics, manipulating shapes, applying colors and gradients, and working with typography.


AutoCAD, on the other hand, is a computer-aided design (CAD) software developed by Autodesk. It is mainly used for creating precise 2D and 3D drawings of buildings, objects, and mechanical parts. AutoCAD offers specialized tools for drafting architectural plans, engineering designs, and construction documentation.

The Conversion Process

Option 1: Exporting as DXF/DWG Format:

  • One way to convert an Illustrator file to AutoCAD is by exporting it as a DXF (Drawing Exchange Format) or DWG (AutoCAD Drawing) file format.
  • To do this in Illustrator, go to File > Save As, choose either DXF or DWG as the file format, select the desired settings, and click Save.
  • Once saved, you can open the exported file in AutoCAD and further edit or work with it.

Option 2: Using Third-Party Plugins:

  • If you frequently need to convert Illustrator files to AutoCAD, using third-party plugins can simplify the process.
  • Plugins like ‘Ai2CAD’ or ‘Cutting Master 4’ offer direct conversion options from Illustrator to AutoCAD without the need for exporting and importing files manually.
  • These plugins provide additional features and customization options to ensure a smooth conversion process.

Considerations and Limitations

While it is possible to convert Illustrator files to AutoCAD using the methods mentioned above, there are a few considerations and limitations to keep in mind:

  • The conversion process may result in some loss of fidelity, especially when complex effects or gradients are involved. It is recommended to simplify the artwork before converting it.
  • Text elements may need manual adjustment after conversion as fonts and text formatting may not translate perfectly between Illustrator and AutoCAD.
  • The compatibility between versions of Illustrator and AutoCAD may vary. Ensure that you are using compatible software versions for a seamless conversion process.

In Conclusion

In summary, while it is possible to convert Illustrator files to AutoCAD, it’s important to consider the differences between these software programs and understand the limitations of the conversion process. By following the appropriate steps and considering the factors mentioned above, you can successfully convert your Illustrator designs into AutoCAD for further editing or use in CAD projects.