How Do I Open an OLE Object in AutoCAD?

Opening an OLE Object in AutoCAD

OLE (Object Linking and Embedding) objects are a powerful way to incorporate data from other applications into your AutoCAD drawings. Whether it’s a spreadsheet, a word document, or an image, OLE objects allow you to maintain a dynamic link to the source file.

Why use OLE Objects?

OLE objects in AutoCAD provide several benefits. They allow you to create complex drawings that include data from different sources.

By linking an OLE object, any changes made to the source file will automatically be updated in your drawing. This saves time and ensures accuracy by eliminating the need for manual updates.

Step 1: Inserting an OLE Object

To insert an OLE object in AutoCAD, follow these steps:

  1. Click on the ‘Insert’ tab in the ribbon menu.

  2. Select ‘OLE Object’ from the ‘Linking & Extraction’ panel.

  3. A dialog box will appear. Choose whether you want to create a new object or link to an existing file.

  4. If you choose to link to an existing file, browse for the file on your computer and select it.

  5. Click ‘OK’ to insert the selected object into your drawing.


In order for AutoCAD to display linked objects correctly, make sure that the application used to create the linked file is installed on your computer. For example, if you’re linking a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet, Excel must be installed.

Step 2: Modifying an OLE Object

After inserting an OLE object, you can modify its appearance and behavior. Right-click on the object and select ‘Properties’ from the context menu. A dialog box will open, allowing you to make changes such as resizing, rotating, or changing the object’s display options.

Step 3: Updating an OLE Object

If you have linked an OLE object to a file, any changes made to the source file can be updated in your AutoCAD drawing. To update an OLE object:

  1. Select the OLE object by clicking on it.

  2. Right-click and choose ‘Update’ from the context menu.

Step 4: Breaking the Link

In some cases, you may want to break the link between an OLE object and its source file. Breaking the link converts the OLE object into a static image or data that is no longer linked to the original file. To break a link:

  1. Select the OLE object.

  2. Right-click and choose ‘Break Link’ from the context menu.


Breaking a link cannot be undone. Make sure to create a backup of your drawing before breaking any links.


OLE objects provide a convenient way to incorporate external data into your AutoCAD drawings. By following these steps, you can insert, modify, update, and even break links with ease. Take advantage of this feature to create more dynamic and accurate drawings in AutoCAD.