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DXF Support License Option

Optional .DXF Import and Export Support Licenses are available for MetaDraw allowing creation and reading of DXF format image files from a MetaDraw based application or web page.

DXF support is only available to customers purchasing the DXF filter license.

For evaluation purposes, potential users of DXF support may use the HSEditor Utility to Import and Export DXF files prior to purchasing a MetaDraw DXF Import or Export license.

AutoCad is NOT required:

Note that installation of AutoCAD is not required for DXF support with MetaDraw.

Features and Limitations of the Optional DXF support:

DXF Import

    MetaDraw DXF supports the reading of 2-d DXF files as generated by AutoCad ( MetaDraw will attempt to load 3-d DXF files by ignoring the Z-coordinate values ).


    Support for other records may be added later. In particular the following records are NOT currently supported: TRACE, DIMENSION LINES, DIMENSION, HATCH, OLEFRAME, REGION, IMAGE.

    VIEWPORTs are only particially supported.
    LAYOUTs are not supported.
    Only entities from 'MODEL' layout space will be imported.

    All text primitives are converted into text objects of the appropriate size using the default FontName setting for MetaDraw.

    Text attributes (FontName, Bold, Italic, Underline) are recognized only for MTEXT records when reading a DXF file and only for entire text objects ( e.g. a bold word inside normal text will be ignored).

    Point objects are interpreted as Line objects where the starting and ending points are the same.

    MetaDraw does not support styles: LTYPE (“STANDARD” type is always used), DIMSTYLE, STYLE (standard text style is always used).

    MetaDraw recognizes the following DXF object attributes:
    Line Width, Color, Angle, and Extended Data (XDATA is represented as object tags in MetaDraw ) if they are defined for any particular entity.
    Line Type is not supported.

    MetaDraw does not support attributes (ATTDEF, ATTRIB entities – they just ignored).

    MetaDraw does not support objects inside any single block placed on different layers (all objects from inserted block will be located on the same layer where the block was inserted).

    Polylines are converted into a set of lines and arcs;
    Straight line segments will be converted to standard PolyLines objects.
    Curved lines will be converted to arcs. ( new in 2007: Curved lines are converted to PolyBezier objects upon import.)
    Starting and end widths of segments are not supported (all segments of polyline have the same width – average values of all starting and end width values). Curve-fit, Spline-fit vertices and 3D polyline types are not supported for POLYLINE entity.

    Polygons are treated as Closed PolyLines.

    All objects are recognized as Transparent (HATCH records are not supported).

    Layers and Blocks - MetaDraw now supports recognizing DXF Layers and Blocks. These are translated to Group Countainers in MetaDraw and assigned objTags with Tag name "DXFLayer" or "DXFBlock" and Tag values holding the layer or block names.
    - Frozen Layers are not supported.
    ( MetaDraw builds created prior to 2007 do not support importing of layers or Blocks - in older builds of MetaDraw all objects are represented as a single layer. Multi-layer environment was not supported. )

DXF Export

    MetaDraw provides two modes of DXF export support.

    • "Draft" DXF files - These are basic DXF files compatible with most versions of AutoCAD. But objects in such DXF files can lose some attributes.
    • "Enhanced" DXF files - In this mode ( compatible with AutoCAD version 14 and newer only ) MetaDraw makes use some of the newer features of DXF format to preserve the image as created in MetaDraw to the maximum extent possible.

    Both Draft and Enhanced modes have the following limitations:

    1. All MetaDraw objects (except Polyline and Polygon) have the same line width - 1 pixel;
    2. The Line Style for all MetaDraw objects (except Polyline and Polygon) is always SOLID (DASH and DOTTED styles are not supported).
    3. MetaDraw objects (other than polygons) have no fill and are represented as TRANSPARENT
      Polygon Objects can have a Solid fill only ( no patterned fills);
    4. MetaDraw Group Containers are converted to DXF Layers
      - All objects within a single container group in MetaDraw will be placed on the same DXF layer. The destination layer will be as specified by the container’s “DXFLayer” object tag, or on layer ‘0’ if no such tag is defined.
      - Nesting of MetaDraw containers may be lost when translating to DXF Layers.
    5. Colors of MetaDraw objects will be approximated to the nearest color in predefined color table (192 standard colors).
    6. Bitmaps ( any embedded raster images) are ignored. ( they will be excluded from the saved file)
    7. Links are converted to polyline objects (the nature of automatic link is not preserved)
    8. HotSpot Information is not preserved on Export to DXF format, Neither are ObjVisible nor ObjURL properties.

    The following features are available in the enhanced export mode only:

    1. Solid Filling of a polygon can be stored to a DXF file Other fill styles are ignored as is fill style for object types other than polygons. In DXF file the fill is represented as a HATCH object;
    2. Line width and style (DOTTED and DASHED) of a polygon/polyline can be stored in a DXF file; (MetaDraw creates special LineTypes for corresponding styles: "MD_DASH", "MD_DOT", "MD_DASH_DOT" "MD_DASH_DOT_DOT");
    3. The following text object attributes are stored in MTEXT record: FontName, FontBold, FontItalic, FontUnderlined.
      In Draft mode, MetaDraw only stores text size and rotation angle for text objects. All other text attributes (font names, bold, italic) will be lost.
    4. All text objects will be stored as multi-line text (stored with their boundaries). In draft mode all MultiLine text objects will be converted to single line text objects in DXF format.
    5. PolyBezier object are converted to LWPOLYNE entities where bulge parameters are set to approximate visual representation of PolyBezier object with a set of lines and Arcs.

Copyright© 2003 Bennet-Tec Information Systems, Inc. All rights reserved.