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DXF is a file format to exchange CAD data from Autodesk. It is the "open" equivalent of DWG files.

DXF file data

A DXF file is subdivided in several sections. The most important sections are:

  • TABLES, containing definitions of layers
  • ENTITIES: containing 2 and 3 dimensional shapes
  • BLOCKS: containing 2 and 3 dimension shapes, reusable using INSERTS in ENTITIES.


Currently, the following Autodesk CAD entity types are supported:

  • LWPOLYLINES (2 dimensional line strings), including bulges.[1]
  • LINE (single lines).[2]
  • POLYLINE (3 dimensional line strings), currently only interpreted as 2 dimensional. The z-coordinate is ignored.[3]
  • HATCH (polygonal data constructed using other boundary entities).[4]
  • CIRCLE: full and partial circles, given a center point, radius and start and end angle.[5]
  • ELLIPSE: full and partial ellipses, given a center point, major and minor axis, rotation and start and end angle.[6]
  • ARC: curved lines given a center point and a radius.[7]
  • VERTEX: 2 dimensional point.[8]
  • POINT: Same as vertex, but 3 dimensional. Currently only interpreted as 2 dimensional. The z-coordinate is ignored.[9]
  • SPLINE: 2 dimensional Control point splines are currently supported.[10]
  • INSERT: Predefined BLOCKS inserted at a point and with a rotation and a scale.[11]


BLOCKS are parts in a CAD drawing that can be reused multiple times by inserting them at different locations with optional alternative rotations and scales. The usage of BLOCKS in a DXF is supported.[12]


In the DXF file, entities are always assigned to one particular layer. In AutoCAD, layers can be turned on and off. This visibility does not influence whether or not the entities in this layer can be imported.


Colors are stored by index[13].


  • Fit point splines are currently not supported.



  1. LWPOLYLINES ∙ Found at: https://knowledge.autodesk.com/support/autocad/learn-explore/caas/CloudHelp/cloudhelp/2022/ENU/AutoCAD-Core/files/GUID-392BF13C-D9E7-47A8-8E07-435296332279-htm.html ∙ (last visited: 26-9-2022)
  2. LINE ∙ Found at: https://knowledge.autodesk.com/support/autocad/learn-explore/caas/CloudHelp/cloudhelp/2022/ENU/AutoCAD-Core/files/GUID-DB0FA734-8F5C-4000-92FF-89BA2D42CA21-htm.html ∙ (last visited: 26-9-2022)
  3. POLYLINE ∙ Found at: https://knowledge.autodesk.com/support/autocad/learn-explore/caas/CloudHelp/cloudhelp/2022/ENU/AutoCAD-Core/files/GUID-392BF13C-D9E7-47A8-8E07-435296332279-htm.html ∙ (last visited: 26-9-2022)
  4. HATCH ∙ Found at: https://knowledge.autodesk.com/support/autocad/learn-explore/caas/CloudHelp/cloudhelp/2023/ENU/AutoCAD-Core/files/GUID-27C104F2-B687-4025-B50B-A58E37329832-htm.html?us_oa=akn-us&us_si=8126699c-9f97-4fa3-9b23-fa556e058edb&us_st=Hatch ∙ (last visited: 26-9-2022)
  5. CIRCLE ∙ Found at: https://knowledge.autodesk.com/support/autocad/learn-explore/caas/CloudHelp/cloudhelp/2022/ENU/AutoCAD-Core/files/GUID-EDC69C38-6651-46DA-AFCC-56F2EB0A6AC6-htm.html ∙ (last visited: 26-9-2022)
  6. ELLIPSE ∙ Found at: https://knowledge.autodesk.com/support/autocad/learn-explore/caas/CloudHelp/cloudhelp/2022/ENU/AutoCAD-Core/files/GUID-2461D382-B7E5-44B3-A34C-735CE0089C8D-htm.html ∙ (last visited: 26-9-2022)
  7. ARC ∙ Found at: https://knowledge.autodesk.com/support/autocad/learn-explore/caas/CloudHelp/cloudhelp/2022/ENU/AutoCAD-Core/files/GUID-C78378FD-4704-4D0A-9D86-82FCBB118097-htm.html ∙ (last visited: 26-9-2022)
  8. VERTEX ∙ Found at: https://knowledge.autodesk.com/support/autocad/learn-explore/caas/CloudHelp/cloudhelp/2023/ENU/AutoCAD-Core/files/GUID-84591B48-71B9-4258-B287-CD2391C946D2-htm.html ∙ (last visited: 26-9-2022)
  9. POINT ∙ Found at: https://knowledge.autodesk.com/support/autocad/learn-explore/caas/CloudHelp/cloudhelp/2023/ENU/AutoCAD-Core/files/GUID-3F5861A1-9A63-42A6-8F12-3395771BAA6D-htm.html?us_oa=akn-us&us_si=cd548ae9-dde6-4a75-bb71-c74923034ef2&us_st=Point ∙ (last visited: 26-9-2022)
  10. SPLINE ∙ Found at: https://knowledge.autodesk.com/support/autocad/learn-explore/caas/CloudHelp/cloudhelp/2023/ENU/AutoCAD-Core/files/GUID-58316136-30EB-499C-ACAD-31D0C653B2B2-htm.html ∙ (last visited: 26-9-2022)
  11. INSERT ∙ Found at: https://knowledge.autodesk.com/support/autocad/learn-explore/caas/CloudHelp/cloudhelp/2023/ENU/AutoCAD-Core/files/GUID-BC0FD3C1-3BFC-4C5D-AB9A-BF480D5084BE-htm.html ∙ (last visited: 26-9-2022)
  12. BLOCKS ∙ Found at: https://knowledge.autodesk.com/support/autocad/learn-explore/caas/CloudHelp/cloudhelp/2023/ENU/AutoCAD-Core/files/GUID-7410E7FB-3E0D-4411-B8F6-DBD59C71E87D-htm.html ∙ (last visited: 26-9-2022)
  13. AutoCAD Color Index (ACI) RGB equivalents ∙ Found at: https://gohtx.com/acadcolors.php ∙ (last visited: 26-9-2022)