Import MicroStation DGN Files

You can import MicroStation® DGN drawing files into DWG files.

The import process translates basic DGN data into the corresponding DWG file data. There are several translation options to determine how certain data such as text elements and external references are handled. Users can not only manipulate text elements and xrefs, but also select the conversion units based on DGN unit settings, and most importantly, preview the default mapping translation or create and use their own mapping setups (see DGNMAPPING).

Exchanging and reusing basic drawing data is useful in collaborative projects. For example, service organizations such as AEC and design-build firms might need to import mapping data created with MicroStation into a site plan created with an AutoCAD-based product. The DGN data can serve as an accurate reference for creating the site plan.

NoteDGNIMPORT is not limited to files with *.dgn extensions. It supports all DGN files, even those that do not have a .dgn extension.

Understand the Limitations

The DGN import and export capabilities are designed to provide a fundamental exchange of information between MicroStation V7/V8 DGN files and AutoCAD DWG files. However, translating data from one format to a completely different format inevitably require compromises and substitutions.

See the DGNIMPORT Conversion Table for specific details about the scope of importing MicroStation objects and other data.

See the DGNIMPORT Unit Mapping Table for specific details about unit conversions when importing MicroStation objects.


To optimize the data transfer from the MicroStation® DGN file format, request that the creator of the MicroStation drawings consider the following recommendations:

When importing a DGN file, specify the conversion units (master units or sub-units) based on the DWG file's drawing units. For example, if you receive a DGN file with master units set to meters, and sub-units set to millimeters, and you need the drawing units of the DWG file to be in meters, then select master units in the Import DGN Settings dialog box. This matches the meters in the DGN file to the meters in the DWG file.

To import a MicroStation DGN drawing
System Variables