Importing DXF’s

CAD files….whether from AutoCAD or from other CAD software, come in two flavours – DWG and DXF.

DWG files are the standard format used by most CAD software. PTMapper will not handle DWG’s, so if possible ask whoever supplied you with the DWG file to convert it to DXF.
DXF files are converted versions of DWG files and the good news is that PTMapper can use DXF’s.

Note: There are two types of DXF – Binary and ASCII (pronounced “askey”).

PTMapper will only accept ASCII DXF files.

If you’re client has offered to supply you with a DXF then there are three things that you should ask them to do which will help you to successfully import it in PTMapper:

  1. It must be an ASCII DXF
  2. The drawing must be fully “exploded”
  3. XREF’s should be removed

The following video will help you to import that DXF into PTMapper. This also covers the dreaded “white screen of death” map , when the DXF imports but nothing shows in PTMapper.

This is usually caused by small amounts of “junk” data in the DXF which are “located” miles away from the real map. PTMapper has no way of knowing which bits of map data are real, so it will fit the “junk” data and the real map data onscreen. As there may be a gap of hundreds of mile between the two, what you see onscreen is what looks like a large expanse of nothing..!


If you have successfully imported your DXF, but found that it is not geo-referenced (see video above for how to check this) and you plan to use a GPS device to survey, then click here for a guide to geo-referencing your map.


Updated on 15/11/2017

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