ArcMap has no ability to export a Page Layout as a DWG/DXF file (CAD format file). Since MXD files contain information that cannot be correlated to CAD format automatically, special software is needed to make the conversion.


Here’s special software/extension for ArcGIS Desktop which enables the user to export a page layout from ArcMap (*.MXD) to an AutoCAD Drawing (DXF/DWG).

  1. DXF Page Exporter : The DXF Page Exporter is an export filter for ArcMap that gives the user the ability to export a Map Frame or a Page Layout as a DXF file.
    • Can export maps and layouts
    • Layouts and maps can be exported in “paper coordinates” or in “real world” coordinates (the coordinate system of one of the map frames); export to “real-world” coordinates can be done with rotated maps as well.
    • Preserves the symbology (line widths, line types, polygon fills, hatches, etc.)
    • The colors are matched as closely as possible using standard and enhanced algorithms.
    • Can export in inches and millimeters
    • Different DXF formats supported – 2000 and r12
  2. CEDRA-DxfExport : an ArcView® GIS and ArcGIS® extension which enables the user to create an AutoCAD Drawing Interchange File (DXF file) for all visible features in the current map from within ArcView 3.x or ArcMap.
  3. The CEDRA DxfExportTM extension processes all visible themes (shapefiles, personal geodatabases, file geodatabases, enterprise geodatabases and coverages) in the current map. For ArcView GIS users, the export can be performed from within a View document or a Layout document, while for ArcGIS users, the export can be performed from within a Data Frame or the Layout view. Furthermore, the CEDRA DxfExport utility will process annotation features and graphic text elements. As such, a DXF file created by this utility can include features and text.

  4. Arcv2CAD 6.0 converts ESRI shapefiles (ArcView, ArcGIS, ArcMap etc.) to AutoCAD DXF and DWG formats. This allows shapefiles to be read by virtually all CAD software, for example AutoCAD, MicroStation, CivilCAD, DesignCAD, SolidWorks, as well as numerous other Mapping and Graphics software, eg CorelDraw, Surfer, World Construction Set.
  5. SmartExporter.DXF for ArcGIS/ArcMap
    • Seamless integration in ArcGIS/ArcMap – adds a DXF export filter easily accessible through the ArcMap export dialog.
    • Creates well-formatted DXF files, which can be opened or imported in most CAD, GIS and drawing packages.
    • Complete support for all native ArcMap geo types, labels, layout elements, etc.
    • Export in paper and map coordinates with intelligent coordinate transformation and map rotation handling and no precision loss.
    • AutoCAD DXF layers used for splitting the exported objects in logical groups (e.g. data layers by name, labels, grids and graticules, etc.).
  6. ArcMAp to Adobe Illustrator to DWG
    • Open Adobe Illustrator and click on “Import.”
    • Select the MXD file to import it into Adobe Illustrator. Convert it to “AI” format and save it in a location of your choice.
    • Open your CAD software and import the “AI” file.
    • Convert the file to DWG format.