DGNEXPORT Conversion Table

The following table lists the DGN objects and features that are supported for export, and notes on the scope of the translation.

DWG to DGN Conversion Table
AutoCAD MicroStation


Geometric Objects Geometric Elements The following DWG objects are translated into DGN elements: line, xline, ray, polyline, arc, circle, spline (NURBS), ellipse, elliptical arc, point, donut, mline, hatch (including gradient fills), and wipeout. Variable width polylines maintain only their starting width when translated into SmartLines.



Invalid DWG characters in layer names are converted to spaces.

Colors Colors

Colors are matched as closely as possible. Colors set with the ACI (AutoCAD Color Index) are translated directly to the DGN color index. If TrueColor is used and a direct match of RGB values is available in the DGN color index, the colors are also mapped directly. If a TrueColor match is not available, an RGB value is added to the DGN color index.

Linetypes Line Styles

Custom linetypes are unsupported and could produce unexpected results.



Blocks are exported as shared cells. Dynamic blocks are also exported as cells and lose their dynamic behavior. Invisible, Constant, Verify, and Preset attributes are all converted into tags.

Single-line Text Objects, Multiline Text Objects, Text Styles Text, Text Nodes, Text Styles The visual integrity of multiline text is maintained. However, if exported multiline text objects are edited in MicroStation, the formatting is lost.

TrueType and SHX fonts in AutoCAD are exported to MicroStation V7 as Engineering. This can result in many visual differences.

Tables Tables Table objects are exported as cell elements composed of lines and text.
Fields Fields In general, fields are translated as static text. The exceptions are fields that behave identically in both products. This includes the Date fields CreateDate, SaveDate, and PlotDate, and the Document property fields Author, Filename, and Filesize.

Use the MicroStation Key-in utility to update text containing fields (field update all).

Dimensions, Dimension Styles Dimensions, Dimension Styles The size, spacing, style, and shape of dimensions may vary slightly. Dimension associativity is maintained whenever possible, and the correct dimension values are always maintained.
Raster Images Raster Images These image file types are supported: .bmp, .cal, .tif, .png, .tga, .jpg, .gif, .rlc, .bil, and .pcx. All other image file types are discarded.
DWG References DGN References Depending on the export option specified, all referenced DWG files, including nested DWG references, are either converted into DGN files, combined into a single DGN file as cells, or discarded.

MicroStation V7 does not support nested references to references that are merged into the host file.

DWG Model DGN Design Model The model in a DWG file is converted into a DGN file.
DWG Layout DGN Sheet Model

When exporting to V8, any initialized layouts are converted into sheet models in the DGN file.

V7 only supports one model. For V7, several DGN files can be exported: one for the model and the other DGN files for any initialized layouts in the DWG file. The layout names get appended to the exported DGN file <filename> - Layout1.dgn.
AEC Objects   AEC objects are not supported. Use the EXPORTTOAUTOCAD command to convert AEC objects to basic AutoCAD objects before exporting to DGN.