How to Load a .DXF Into Inkscape

By Carol Adams

Inkscape is a freeware vector graphics program that has many of the same tools and features that you would find in commerical products like Adobe Illustrator or CorelDraw. When working as a graphics artist, you will often find yourself encountering CAD and 3D model files of various types. The vast majority of these cannot be opened Inkscape. However, the DXF format can be. For this reason, anyone sending you CAD drawings should first convert them into DFX format. The process of opening such files in Inkscape is quite simple.

Step 1

Load the DXF CAD file onto your computer from the originating source. Save it to a location where you can find it.

Step 2

Click on the Inkscape shortcut on your desktop to start the Inkscape application.

Step 3

Select "File" from the menu and from the options select "Import." In the dialog that appears, change the "Files" of type from "All Inkscape Files" to "AutoCAD DFX R13 (*dxf)."

Step 4

Browse to the location that you saved the DXF file to and select it. Click "Open." In the dialog, choose the options you want for the file, such as "Scale" and the "Character Encoding" (font). Click "OK." The contents of the file will appear on the canvas.

Step 5

Select "File" from the menu and click "Save." Name your document and click "Save."

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