Most of the queries we receive about data transfer between AutoCAD and gCADPlus involve taking AutoCAD files and placing them into gCADPlus to use as a base plan. Occasionally, we get a request to go the other way. For example, you may be working with an architect who wants to place one of your landscape design drawings in AutoCAD.
About AutoCAD and its dwg file format
AutoCAD has been around for a very long time. Each year a new version is released and the file format used by AutoCAD (dwg) changes. That means someone using AutoCAD 2010 cannot open a drawing from a designer using AutoCAD 2019. This regular change to dwg is possibly motivated by Autodesk’s wish to sell more AutoCAD licences, but it does mean that it’s a good idea to check that your drawing is in a dwg version your architect can load.
gCADPlus file format
The file format used by gCADPlus is lcd. It is a compressed format and that’s why gCADPlus files are much smaller and load faster than AutoCAD files. Lcd files will not load directly into AutoCAD, but we can do a conversion.
Use DXF exchange
The safest way to send gCADPlus information to an AutoCAD user is to use a drawing exchange format developed by Autodesk called DXF. Every version of AutoCAD can open a DXF file so there is no need to worry about the AutoCAD version the recipient of the file is using.
Simply select File > DXF Tools > and choose DXFout. A copy of the drawing is produced with the same name that you have been working with, but with the extension .dxf.
Check your work
Autodesk provides a free application called DWG TrueView that can be used to test your conversion before sending the file off to your architect. Any AutoCAD version will load a DXF file, but if the architects require a dwg file, check with them and determine their AutoCAD version and save it from DWG TrueView.
Here is an image showing a DXF file exported from gCADPlus in the TrueView environment. Once the DXF has been shown to load correctly in TrueView, after establishing the version of AutoCAD your architect uses, you can send your dwg drawing to the recipient.