Text is missing from imported Autocad DXF files

Geo, Kenny, Anssi, and TIG
Thank you for your help. As a newbie, it took me a while, but able to convert dwg drawings with hundreds of layers to SU-friendly import. From what I can tell, the only feature that was lost was color, which was pretty significant because the colored index matched colored lines in the drawings. However, everything else came through OK.

Ended up using Kenney’s approach because it didn’t involve purchasing CadStd Pro, as in Geo’s approach. Geo’s approach may be easier and may not lose the color, but didn’t want to spend the money to try. I wish I could have used TIG’s plugin, but I don’t know how to use Ruby Console in SU. Played around with it but couldn’t figure it out. TIG – not complaining about your contribution to the SU community, simply beyond my skill level at this point.

My primary machine is MacBook Pro running OS X Yosemite 10.10.3 with secondary being Dell PC running Windows 8. For others that may be frustrated like I was, the steps are as follow:

  1. In Draftsight (Mac), save dwg to R2010 dwg format.
  2. Open in DoubleCAD (PC).
  3. In DoubleCAD, “save as” to 2010_2011 dwg format and press “set up” when dialog box pops up. Select:
    a. Convert XRefs to AutoCad Drawing
    b. Preserve Hatch Associativity
    c. Explode Text
    d. Explode Architectural Objects for DWG
    e. Convert by World Scaled Arcs to Polylines
  4. Import to SU. Shows all layers.
  5. Either leave in layers as imported or put into Layer 0 after deleting desired layers.

Again, really appreciate the help from all.

You don’t need to know anything about using the ‘Ruby Console’ to add a Plugin, and very few Plugins use it anyway…
These days virtually all Plugins in the SketchUcation PluginStore [and also in the ExtensionWarehouse - although my scripts are not hosted there]… can be easily downloaded as RBZ archives.
If you have SketchUp v8M2 or newer [which means any currently supported version and a fewer earlier ones too] then all you do is use SketchUp’s Preferences > Extensions > Install… button, you select the RBZ and it is installed, and it loads.
Thereafter it then loads from the Plugins folder whenever Sketchup starts.
My ‘Import DXF Text’ tool appears in the ‘File’ menu and is simple to use… run it, select the DXF file and it’s text is imported.
Provided you have preciously installed the same DXF’s geometry without changing the CAD origin - a setting in the native importer Options in the open-panel dialog, it should all align etc as you’d expect…

I had been wondering about this issue myself and just found this thread.

I can see the technical issue SU has with importing text but it is certainly an unfortunate limitation. It would be nice to have a built-in way of dealing with it. In the UK, we are under some pressure to comply with BIM protocols, but surely this will limit SU’s ability to do so?

To all,

I’ve landed myself on this forum thread because I wanted to simply import a schedule of text & have the ability of that text to be editable in SU-PRO, as you do with most CAD programmes. I’ve been using SU since Ver-3 & confess I’ve never needed to do this this before & assumed of course SU-PRO could to this. So am very disappointed that it appears this isn’t possible with SU, apart from exploded or other forms, that aren’t editable text in SU.

So yes, this is definitely something the SU-HQ-TEAM needs to resolve, I’m amazed I’ve not unearthed this before & we aren’t seeing rants about this topic from SU users.

However, I now remember SU-LAYOUT handles text in this regard, i.e. importing, as I recall importing quite a few construction notes in MS-WORD on a few projects.

Having thought about this further (hence edited post) this is probably the best direction, given SU-LAYOUT is the final step in setting up your own drawing sheets. I guess if folks have CAD plans with text they want to import into SU, you could just export that text separately to a MS-WORD doc or similar word-processor & import that text into SU-LAYOUT.

Over & out,

A workaround would be to convert the Autocad drawing to .pdf. Then convert the .pdf to .dxf. Then Import the .dxf file to Sketchup and resize the drawing so it is in the correct scale.
That worked fine for me for my purpose. I got everything that the pdf was showing.

  1. convert from .dxf to .pdf

  2. convert from .pdf till .dxf

  3. Import the .dxf file into Sketchup

  4. Rescale the drawing in Sketchup
    SketchUp: Resizing everything with the Tape Measure tool - YouTube

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The problem with this workflow is that the PDF is a much less accurate file format than DWG, so the possibility of unintentional gaps in linework, slight skewing etc. increases.
Also, depending on the PDF creation method, DWG text entities may get converted into

  • Pdf text
  • raster images or
  • filled regions.
    Often you don’t know which until you have opened the PDF to check.

Has this issue been resolved? Surely after 4 years someone has come up with a good solution and not just work arounds.

The goal is to start working in skp pro with schematic diagrams. Not being able to bring in text from a dwg files is rough.

Sort of. You can import a DWG or DXF into LayOut, with text.

I love working in layout but the text doesn’t import right with DWG or DXF files. I’ve already tried a dozen different ways to import into both LO and then back out to SKP. Nothing seems to work correctly.

FYI, the goal is to work with block diagram schematics in SKP to be able to use attributes.

I haven’t really tried but I wonder if the issue might be with “classic” AutoCad SHX text fonts. When any other application opens files with them, they get substituted with any random installed Windows font that the application deems as “looking somewhat the same”

Dave’s example is clearly using a Windows font.

You might have nailed the issue on the head. I’ll look further into text fonts. Currently I am on a Macbook Pro but using A CAD with Parallels running Windows 10.

It’s pretty sad but hopefully some smart programmer will work out how to import data with text even if it’s imported just as lines. It can’t be that difficult to do.

If you have a DXF with text, I suggest that you import it into an empty SKP - keeping the CAD origin in the import options [unusually].
It will have text omitted.

To include the text from the DXF, download, install and use my tool SketchUp Plugins | PluginStore | SketchUcation - run from the File menu, which imports just the text part of the DXF - keeping your import settings unchanged, so as to ensure that the text overlays the other geometry properly.

It will take some time to process… be patient…

You should now get an overlaid component containing the text [MTEXT, DTEXT etc].
Which is recreated as individual flattened 3d text strings, keeping its size, font, style, color and layer as the DXF - as far as is practicable. It’s not perfect, but it’s better than nothing…

Select all and move it back to the origin if necessary…

Note that it’s an old ‘unsigned’ script, but it should work in newer SketchUp versions…


Either exploding text in your AutoCAD package as well as importing text via a second file, shouldn’t be needed.

Text should be imported as 3D text, exactly as @TIG 's plugin does and Sketchup’s native 3D text should be editable as per @thomthom 's plugin.

That, along with grouping objects by layer in a CAD export should be there.

We are loosing hours fixing a CAD import, using whatever plugins and workarounds we can to ensure we can work with it, while we should be working with it immediately after import. If Sketchup is to be used professionally we shouldn’t be wasting time with this sort of stuff, when we have to deal with multiple engineers with multiple CAD file revisions, everyday.


Seconded. If this has not been written up as a feature request please do so.

For the second part, it wouldn’t be all that bad if the APIs got a new TextGroup class for these “special” instances.

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AutoCad has been around for ages. It would just be nice if this was built into SketchUp finally.

The trick to getting 2d text in sketchup is to use autocad command
“CREATEHLR” command

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I usually just receive the files so I can’t edit them. Hopefully the SketchUp team finds a good way of supporting text.

I expect if this was within the SketchUp team’s capability to change the importer to support text, they’d have done it long before now. In any case it’s a sure thing it won’t happen for SketchUp 2021.

It is not likely to happen. As ACAD text predated SketchUp, and in the ~24 years since ACAD-like text has not been implemented for SketchUp.

The thinking is that annotations belongs in the LayOut paper-space application.

Your best solution (as said above) is TIG’s extension. Or one similar that creates 3DText groups.

Perhaps reassign this topic to the Feature Requests category?