Introduction to working with AutoCAD drawings

You can import an AutoCAD drawing and then overlay shapes, text, and data graphics on top of it. In the following example, the blue and turquoise lines that make up the walls, doors, and windows are the AutoCAD drawing. After that was imported, Visio furniture and people shapes were added. Now we can see how much furniture is needed to fill the space, if there’s enough room for people to walk, and so on.

Visio shapes on top of an AutoCAD drawing

AutoCAD versions supported

If you are a subscriber of Visio Pro for Office 365, you can open a .dwg or .dxf file from AutoCAD versions 2007 through 2017. If you are not a subscriber, make sure to save the file as an AutoCAD 2007 .dwg or .dxf file before opening it.

Three ways to work with AutoCAD drawings

You can import a drawing and work with it at the same scale that was set in AutoCAD. If this is what you need, first prepare for an AutoCAD import, and then import the AutoCAD drawing.

If you have a Visio diagram already, you can quickly import a drawing without working at scale. See Import an AutoCAD drawing.

If you don’t have a diagram started yet, you can quickly open the AutoCAD drawing without concern for the original scale. See Open an AutoCAD drawing.

AutoCAD drawing protection

By default, AutoCAD drawings are locked from being resized, moved, and deleted. In fact, you may see the locked icon Lock icon on the edges of the drawing when you select it. This is because it is meant to be a background that you overlay shapes on. You can always unlock an AutoCAD drawing if you prefer. Doing that will allow you to move, resize, or delete it. You can also crop a AutoCAD drawing if it’s too big, or convert it into shapes.

See Also

Change AutoCAD layer properties

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