What Is an Object Enabler in AutoCAD?

An object enabler in AutoCAD is a software component that allows users to view, edit, and manipulate objects that are created in a different CAD software. It enables AutoCAD to understand and interpret the data from these external CAD files, ensuring compatibility and seamless integration between different design platforms.

Why Do You Need an Object Enabler?

When working with CAD software, it is common to encounter files created in different applications. Each CAD software has its own unique file format and object structure. Without an object enabler, AutoCAD may not be able to recognize or display these foreign objects correctly.

For example, let’s say you receive a drawing file from a colleague who uses a different CAD software. When you open the file in AutoCAD without the appropriate object enabler installed, you may see missing or misplaced geometry, incorrect dimensions, or even completely blank entities.

The purpose of an object enabler is to bridge this gap by providing the necessary information and functionality for AutoCAD to understand and work with objects from other CAD programs.

How Does an Object Enabler Work?

An object enabler works by extending the capabilities of AutoCAD to support specific file formats and object types. It adds custom code or libraries that allow AutoCAD to read and interpret the data stored in these external files.

When you install an object enabler provided by a third-party CAD software vendor, it integrates seamlessly into your existing AutoCAD installation. Once installed, it enables AutoCAD to recognize and display objects from that particular CAD software.

Supported Features

The features supported by an object enabler vary depending on the CAD software it is designed for. Some commonly supported features include:

  • Geometry: The object enabler ensures that AutoCAD can display and manipulate geometric shapes, lines, arcs, and other entities from the foreign CAD file.
  • Attributes: If the foreign CAD file contains attributes such as text labels or annotations, the object enabler allows AutoCAD to recognize and edit these attributes.
  • Dimensions: An object enabler enables AutoCAD to understand the dimensioning system used in the foreign CAD file so that you can measure and modify dimensions accurately.
  • Layer Settings: The object enabler ensures that AutoCAD can interpret the layer settings of objects from the foreign CAD file, maintaining their visibility and appearance.

Installation and Usage

To install an object enabler in AutoCAD, follow these steps:

  1. Download the Object Enabler: Visit the website of the CAD software vendor and download the appropriate object enabler for your version of AutoCAD.
  2. Run the Installer: Double-click on the downloaded installer file and follow the on-screen instructions to install the object enabler. Make sure you have administrative privileges on your computer.
  3. Restart AutoCAD: After installation, close any open instances of AutoCAD and restart it for the changes to take effect.
  4. Open a Foreign CAD File: Now you can open a drawing file created in a different CAD software, and AutoCAD will use the installed object enabler to display its objects correctly.

Note that you need to install a specific object enabler for each different type of CAD software you encounter. Object enablers are typically provided free of charge by CAD software vendors as a means to ensure compatibility between their products.


An object enabler is a vital component that allows AutoCAD users to work with objects created in different CAD software. By installing the appropriate object enablers, you can ensure seamless compatibility and accurate interpretation of foreign CAD files within AutoCAD.

Next time you receive a drawing file from a colleague or client using a different CAD software, make sure to check if an object enabler is required and install it to avoid any compatibility issues.