Guide to Using DWG and Other Formats
Guide to Using DWG and Other Formats
Guide to Using DWG and Other Formats

Troubleshooting — Using DWG files in MicroStation

When I open a DWG file directly it looks fine, but when I open it as a reference, all of the line styles are scaled incorrectly.

In both DWG and DGN files, the global scale factor can be used to control the scale of all line styles. In AutoCAD, this is referred to as LTSCALE. In MicroStation, the global scale factor is set with the ACTIVE LINESTYLESCALE key-in or on the Line Styles dialog box (Element > Line Style > Custom).

Unfortunately, neither AutoCAD nor MicroStation applies this scale factor when a file is attached as a reference. For this reason, you should not use the global line style scale in files that are used as references. Instead, create line styles at an appropriate size or set the line style scale of the individual elements.

When I open a DWG file on a computer that has AutoCAD installed it looks fine, but when I move the same file to a computer without AutoCAD, the text appears in a different font.

Text in DWG files may use fonts that are defined in separate SHX files. If the SHX file does not exist, MicroStation will display the text in a default font. This is a common problem when exchanging DWG files even among pure AutoCAD installations. If possible, use TrueType fonts rather than either SHX (or MicroStation) fonts, as they are more likely to exist on other computers.

When I open a DWG file, I get a warning saying the MicroStation cannot infer the units for the file.

This warning appears when MicroStation does not know the units in a DWG file that you are opening, attaching as a reference, or placing as a cell. The warning dialog box displays the units for the DWG file, and lets you change the units setting for opening the file in MicroStation. For more information on units, see Working with units in DWG workmode.

An AutoCAD file looks fine on some computers, but on others, the line styles are incomplete – they seem to be missing the symbols.

In DWG files, the line style (DWG linetype) definitions are embedded in the file, so it is not necessary to ship the line style definition (.lin) files with the DWG file to have them display. However, the symbols used in a DWG line style (linetype) are stored in separate SHX files. Therefore, you must include these SHX files (as well as any SHX files used for text) when sending a DWG file.

When I open a DWG file, the contents appears flattened.

The model contains 3D data and you have selected Create 2D Models for Model Space setting from the DWG Open Options dialog box. This option is suitable for files that contain 2D data only. If the file contains 3D data, it will be flattened to the XY plane.

When I open a DWG file with many proxy elements, I cannot access the data inside them.

Proxy elements within DWG files cannot be understood by MicroStation or AutoCAD unless the add-on software in which they are created is loaded. They are identified by the Element Information tool as cells with the name “DWG Proxy Entity”. These cells can be dropped to components, after which you can edit the contents. However, be careful in doing this because the objects will no longer be recognized by their native program and do not retain their proxy definition.

How can I view AutoCAD Architectural Desktop graphics in MicroStation?

In AutoCAD, use the PROXYGRAPHICS system variable to specify whether images of proxy objects are saved in the drawing.

Set PROXYGRAPHICS to 1 to save the images in the drawing. These images are then displayed when you open the file in MicroStation. If PROXYGRAPHICS is set to 0, the images are not saved in the drawing, and bounding boxes will appear instead.

If you are using AutoCAD Architectural Desktop (ADT), custom objects that normally have a height, width, and depth appear flat in MicroStation. To avoid this issue, change the named view to isometric before saving in ADT. The objects will then appear to have depth when they are displayed in MicroStation.

If AutoCAD is equipped with Architectural Desktop object enablers, the objects will still appear flat in MicroStation. Currently, there is no workaround for this scenario.