Importing AutoCAD Files Into CorelDRAW

April 17, 2012

There are certainly posts I write that upset users. There may be an occasion where it is something I can control, but most times it is simply because I am delivering a message users don’t like. This is one of those posts and I am simply trying to provide a solution for users who need to import AutoCAD files.

I was working with a client last week who needed to import AutoCAD files into CorelDRAW. While CorelDRAW has import filters for AutoCAD files, the results don’t meet the needs of most users. Yes, Corel should improve these filters. Unfortunately I am not Corel and cannot wave a magic wand to fix it. Thus I am going to present solutions that may work for you and I understand there is a cost for these solutions.

The company needing to import AutoCAD files used some conversion programs to try to get files that would import well into CorelDRAW. None of them provided an optimal solution. In looking at potential solutions, we found two other methods that may give better results. I can’t say if these solutions will work for you, but you can certainly try them on your files.

My first test was to use Corel DESIGNER Technical Suite. It is built on the same codebase as CorelDRAW, but adds features geared towards people who are doing technical illustrations. One of the big improvements is with the import filters for various CAD formats. As Corel DESIGNER is based on CorelDRAW, it can save in CDR format. Initial tests indicate that the files created by Corel DESIGNER are better than those using previous conversion methods. Yes, it is a product you would have to buy if it is a solution for you. If you have a licensed version of CorelDRAW, you may qualify for upgrade pricing. Before you plunk down your money, I highly recommend you download the trial version of Corel DESIGNER to see if it is the solution for your files. Note that if you are using CorelDRAW X5, you will have to uninstall it before installing the trial version of Corel DESIGNER. Again, I am simply delivering the message as I think it is crazy to uninstall your registered software to try out something else.

The second test was to use CorelCAD. It is CAD software with one of its special features being the ability to export files to CorelDRAW format. Once again, the limited testing I’ve done so far show that the resulting CorelDRAW file is better than the other conversion methods currently in use. Once again, I would suggest that you download the trial version of CorelCAD and see if it provides an improvement for you. In order to export CorelDRAW files with the trial version, you will need to register CorelCAD. This is supposed to allow you to try it for 30 days. I did have a problem with the serial number it generated for my trial as it said the number was expired. I have made Corel aware of this issue and can only hope it was either an isolated incident or it gets resolved quickly. Should this provide a better solution for you, you would need to purchase a license of CorelCAD to continue using it past the 30 days.

I know you don’t want to have to spend any more money to get AutoCAD files into CorelDRAW. Again, I can’t magically update the import filters in CorelDRAW. I am simply trying to provide some alternative solutions for those who need to get these files imported successfully. From my testing, the two methods described do a better job and may be worth testing on your part.

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3 Comments

  1. scampi77

    This comment has been removed by the author.

    Reply
  2. martinem

    I frequently import CAD drawings into Coreldraw for architectural illustrations by printing to PDF and importing, this works well as it keeps the line weights and colours consistent.

    Reply
  3. David

    Just out of curiosity, I followed both links. It turns out, until May 1st, there is a $200 savings on Designer, making it only $100 more than CAD. (Either way that’s way beyond what I would want to spend.)

    Reply

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Foster D. Coburn III is author of 13 best-selling books on CorelDRAW and has been a contributor to numerous technology and graphics-related magazines. Foster has taken many projects, including this Web site, from the early design stage through to a finished piece. He has been a featured speaker at many graphics conferences. His first Web site was built in 1995 and he has been working exclusively in WordPress since 2013.

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