Text is missing from imported Autocad DXF files

Can you fix SketchUp so it imports the text from Autocad DXF or DWG files?

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The problem is that SketchUp has no entity type that would correspond to AutoCad text. Text in Sketchup is placed on the screen, whereas in AutoCad it is a model object.


Even if text is exploded into lines that means we would be able to read dimensions and notes.

It’s a bit sad that SketchUp can open DXF and DWG files but not do anything with the text in the files.

Currently, I open models in an Autocad viewer to see what is written in the files.


My favorite little CAD package can export text and dimensions as “simple lines” which import nicely into SU.
Does AutoCAD provide a way to do that?

I export two files from the CAD application…
One containing text and the other the model geometry, then import the individual files into SU.

Here’s a simple example of DXF text brought into SU:

Keyboard Tray Geometry.dxf (6.5 KB)

Keyboard Tray Dimensions.dxf (214.1 KB)

Keyboard Tray with Dimensions.skp (75.1 KB)

CadStd Export Options

AutoCad has an unsupported command (in “Express tools”) to explode text into lines.


Text import is a feature long overdue in SketchUp.

As others have stated you have to explode the text in another CAD programme before importing. I use IMSI Doublecad XT which is free. You can select various options when exporting including explode text and explode objects (see image).

Geo, which CAD software do you use for exporting text?


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One thing I forgot to mention is to make sure that you create a component/group out of your text.

The unfortunate consequence of all the exploded small lines is that it will slow down the model. It will be faster as a component and also you can hide it when not required speeding things up further.

Also when importing text it is usually on its own layer, so right click and select all on the same layer allowing the text to be easily isolated before making it a component/group.

CadStd Pro 3.7.5 developed by John Apperson

Best practice is to break CAD files down into logical separate files for import into SU.

All geometry in SU must reside on Layer 0.
Thus, it’s wise to move everything in these files to Layer 0 and purge all others prior to import.

SU makes an imported CAD file into a component automatically.
That is, provided there is at least one preexisting entity in the model.
Steve is an entity, albeit he clutters the materials browser.
A single guide point at the origin is also an entity.

Geo, thanks for the Cad link. It looks interesting and well priced although I note that it is not available for Windows 8.

As for best practice I agree that all editable geometry should reside on layer 0. For imported reference data such as a topography file however I always leave the layers intact otherwise it is impossible to isolate different features such as text, roads, contours, trees etc. It just becomes one mass of geometry. You can however select all required layers individually then make them a component and then move them to layer 0. I don’t tend to bother as it is reference data and not part of the model (apart from some elements such as contours where I might change the layer).

As you say when geometry is imported it is made into a component. This separates it from any drawing you may do. You could of course just use layers to toggle visibility but I prefer to use components.

Works fine for me.

The website doesn’t list Windows 8, however it’s useful to know that it works ok.

Newbie and need help. I opened DWG file in DoubleCad XT (free); however as suggested by Kenny photo, couldn’t find any way to export other than “save as”. Thus, I couldn’t get to the dialog box shown in Kenny’s example. Also, CadStd (free) only opens DWF files. I tried saving from DWG to DWF in DoubleCad XT and opening DWF in CadStd - the entire drawing was lost except for a couple of lines. Really disappointing spending $600 for Sketchup 2015 and have to jump through hoops to import text. Sounds like your work-around work for you, and will appreciate any help you can offer to me. Thanks,

No, CadStd (free) only imports Un-Blocked Rev 12 DXF
CadStd Pro imports Blocked Rev 12 DXF as well.

Please help me understand. I’m starting out with a DWG file and want to import drawing and text into SU. Do you use CadStd Pro to import DWG files and then export as 2 DWF files (one with drawing and one with text)? If not, please describe. Really appreciate your help and quick response.

[quote=“twrsun115, post:12, topic:10174”]
I opened DWG file in DoubleCad XT (free); however as suggested by Kenny photo, couldn’t find any way to export other than “save as”
[/quote]‘Save as’ is exactly what you do in Doublecad however you also need to press ‘Set Up’ when the file dialogue pops up. Then you can explode the text.

Like I said earlier…
CadStd (free) only imports Un-Blocked Rev 12 DXF
CadStd Pro imports Blocked Rev 12 DXF as well.
To be clear, CadStd does not import DWG.

For some unknown reason you keep mentioning DWF … Design Web Format
Neither CadStd nor SketchUp support DWF

As Anssi described…
You need to explode the text into lines in AutoCAD (or whatever other application created the DWG)

There is an alternative…
If you have a DXF containing ‘text info’ which you want to see in SketchUp…
Then there is no need to explode any text in CAD - get my plugin - SketchUp Plugins | PluginStore | SketchUcation

First import the DXF's geometry into an empty SKP, remember to set the options to retain the CAD model's origin [this is needed to ensure that the text you are about to import aligns with the geometry [you can always relocate everything back to be near the SKP's origin if needs be, because things miles from the origin are known to cause the dreaded clipping-plane issue ! ...]
Second launch my plugin and select the same DXF. This imports all text from that DXF as 'flat' 3d-text elements. Wherever possible it retains the CAD text's [MTEXT/DTEXT etc] details strings/font/sizes/justification/style/color/layer etc...
It is not perfect... but should get sufficient imported readable text for your needs...
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Geo, You are correct that I was referring to DWF instead of DXF. Thanks for clarifying. So, If CadStd Pro doesn’t import DWG, what program do you use or how do you get a DWG file into CadStd Pro? The ~$37 for CadStd Pro isn’t an issue, but what else is needed? Thanks,

• CadStd is a 2D application.
The only way to import a 2D DWG into CadStd is to convert the DWG to a 2D Rev 12 DXF

None of which will help you if your DWG is a 3D model. (you didn’t say)

To convert DWG files to older format DWG or DXF files you can use the free DWG TrueView application from Autodesk.


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