Share Drawing Files Internationally

Beginning with AutoCAD 2007-based products, drawing files and most files associated with drawing files use the Unicode standard. This lets you maintain both the visual fidelity and data integrity of international characters when you save and open drawing files.

Overview of Unicode

All characters are processed numerically by the computer operating system, which assigns a number to each character. Various numeric encoding systems have been used in the past, however these encoding systems often conflicted. As a result, operating systems and applications relied on code pages with specific character sets and numbering assigned to countries or regions.

To facilitate international compatibility, the Unicode standard was adopted by major industry leaders and is being maintained by the Unicode Consortium.

Drawing File Impact

Language-specific characters can be used in file names and text within drawing files, or files associated with drawing files. The following are common examples:

This means that drawings can be opened, worked on, and saved worldwide regardless of language-specific characters. The only requirement is that the appropriate language pack must be installed first.

When you save text files such as linetype (LIN), hatch pattern (PAT), and script (SCR) files using an application such as Notepad, it is recommended that you specify Unicode encoding at the bottom of the Save As dialog box to ensure compatibility.


Most international drawing projects can be completed within the current product environment. However, there are several file types and features that are not supported yet between countries and regions that use different Windows code pages. These features include the following:

NoteYou can still use eTransmit to convey transmittal sets to countries and regions that use the same code page.