Export MicroStation V8 DGN Files

You can export DWG files created by AutoCAD-based products to the MicroStation. V8 DGN drawing file format.

The export process translates basic DWG data into the corresponding DGN data. There are several translation options to determine how certain data such as external references are handled, the dynamic range of the DGN file as controlled by the master and subunits specified, and whether the DGN file is to accept data with non-zero Z coordinates.

Exchanging and reusing basic drawing data is very useful in collaborative projects. For example, service organizations such as AEC and design-build firms using an AutoCAD-based product might need to export a site plan to DGN format for access by a landscape firm or perhaps a city planning department.

Understand the Limitations

The DGN import and export capabilities are designed to provide a fundamental exchange of information between MicroStation 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 DGNEXPORT Conversion Table specific details about the scope of exporting DWG objects and other data to V8 DGN files.


To optimize the data transfer to the MicroStation V8 DGN file format, consider the following recommendations:

When exporting from DWG to DGN, you need to specify the conversion units of the DGN seed file (master units or sub-units) correctly based on the drawing units of the DWG file. For example, if the DWG file you are exporting to DGN is drawn in inches, and the DGN seed file you are exporting to has master units set to feet and sub-units set to inches, you need to select sub-units in the Export DGN dialog box. If you select master units instead of sub-units, the scale of the imported DWG file will be incorrect. For example, a 36-inch door would display as a 36-foot door.

WarningSome programs that work with DGN files do not support extended characters that the Windows operating system considers valid for file names. Thus, it is recommended that you do not use accented or Asian characters in file names when using DGNEXPORT.