How Do I Convert an Illustrator File to AutoCAD?

How Do I Convert an Illustrator File to AutoCAD?

Converting an Illustrator file to AutoCAD can be a useful skill to have, especially if you work with both programs frequently. While Illustrator is great for creating vector graphics and illustrations, AutoCAD is the go-to software for architects, engineers, and designers who need precise measurements and accurate drawings. In this tutorial, we will walk through the steps to convert an Illustrator file to AutoCAD.

Step 1: Prepare Your Illustrator File

Before converting your file, make sure it is properly prepared in Adobe Illustrator. Here are some important points to consider:

  • Layers: Organize your artwork into layers in Illustrator. This will help you maintain the structure when importing into AutoCAD.
  • Scale: Ensure that your artwork is drawn to scale in Illustrator.

    This will help maintain accurate measurements when transferring to AutoCAD.

  • Units: Set the units of measurement in Illustrator according to your requirements. This should match the units you plan to use in AutoCAD.

Step 2: Export as DXF or DWG

To convert your Illustrator file, you will need to export it as either a DXF (Drawing Exchange Format) or DWG (AutoCAD Drawing) file format. Here’s how:

  1. Select “File” from the menu bar in Adobe Illustrator.
  2. Navigate to “Save As” or “Export.”
  3. Choose either DXF or DWG as the file format.
  4. Select the desired location on your computer to save the exported file.
  5. Click “Save” to proceed.

Note: It is recommended to choose the DXF format if you are using an older version of AutoCAD, as it has better compatibility.

Step 3: Import into AutoCAD

Now that you have your exported DXF or DWG file, it’s time to import it into AutoCAD. Follow these steps:

  1. Open AutoCAD and start a new drawing or open an existing one.
  2. Select “Import” from the menu bar, then choose “DXF” or “DWG.”
  3. Navigate to the location where you saved your exported file.
  4. Select the file and click “Open” or “Import.”
  5. AutoCAD will prompt you with import options; adjust them as needed.
  6. Click “OK” to import the file into your AutoCAD drawing.

Note: Depending on the complexity of your Illustrator artwork, you may need to adjust certain settings during the import process for optimal results. Experiment with different options until you achieve the desired outcome.

Step 4: Clean Up and Refine

Once your Illustrator file is imported into AutoCAD, it’s time to clean up and refine the drawing. Here are some tips:

  • Delete unnecessary elements: Remove any unnecessary lines, shapes, or objects that may have been imported along with your artwork.
  • Edit dimensions and measurements: Double-check that all measurements are accurate and make any necessary adjustments using AutoCAD’s precision tools.
  • Create layers: Organize your drawing into layers, similar to how you did in Illustrator. This will help you manage different elements more effectively.

Note: Depending on the complexity of your artwork, this step may require some time and attention to detail. Take your time to ensure the accuracy and quality of your converted AutoCAD file.


Converting an Illustrator file to AutoCAD is a valuable skill that allows you to seamlessly transfer your vector graphics into a precise CAD environment. By following the steps outlined in this tutorial, you can successfully convert your files while maintaining accuracy and efficiency. Remember to properly prepare your Illustrator file, export it as DXF or DWG, import it into AutoCAD, and refine the drawing as needed.

With practice and experience, you will become proficient in converting files between these two powerful design programs.