Geographic Information Systems Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for cartographers, geographers and GIS professionals. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I am a frequent recipient of microstation dgn files and don't like it because I don't have software to convert it to autocad. I do have ARCVIEW, but I can't edit the files. I have tried other open source programs to convert, but they all are lacking.

I'm wondering if anyone has used QGIS to convert from dgn to shp or dwg file types? I'm skeptical because I noticed that QGIS supports dgn file types, but doesn't support dwg file formats. This is odd...

I'm probably going to install QGIS this week on a production machine!

share|improve this question
in ArcView you can export to shapefile then you can edit them. Depending on how complex the DGN's are can be a straightforward process. – Mapperz Aug 31 '12 at 14:46

try FME , costs , but manages all your conversion problems

For me it has been the best spatial tool in my job, i do file type conversion, i reproject data with it, i do some spatial db stuff with it.

share|improve this answer

Note also, that GDAL/OGR supports only pre-v8 dgn. What software do you have and what do you use it for? Doesnt Autocad support dgn?

share|improve this answer
I use BRICSCAD - a variant of Autocad and intellicad. They ALL USE the dwg format. Apparently dgn's are hard to get freeware for. Like I mentioned, I have arcview and I can manipulate linetypes, lineweights, etc, but I can't directly edit them. If QGIS only supports pre-v8, then it's not going to be very helpful. – DATAfiend Aug 30 '12 at 15:35

if you want to convert files from microstation to autocad, you can directly convert files in microstation to dxf format. then just open dxf file in autocad.

share|improve this answer
I don't have microstation - that's the point. – DATAfiend Aug 30 '12 at 15:33

QGIS uses GDAL/OGR under the hood which supports dgn/dwg (read only) and dxf (read/write). See OGR formats for a list of supported formats. Note: dwg support may be missing as it is not compiled into OGR by default.

share|improve this answer

DWG DGN converter can convert dgn to dwg easily, No AutoCAD or MicroStation required.

share|improve this answer

I have been wanting to do the same thing, with the same issues. I have successful imported my DGN files into QGIS using the Grass plugin. I used the tool in Grass. It allows you to bring DGN files in as lines, points and polys.

share|improve this answer

For what it's worth GvSIG is said to be able to "work with" DGNs and DWGs. See: Not tested here, I'm afraid. N.

share|improve this answer

I now use HTools Menu. It costs a little and does the job and also has other function.

Description about this H tools

share|improve this answer
Can you give more details on how you would use this tool to complete the task that the OP has requested assistance with? – WhiteboxDev Sep 15 '14 at 13:07

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.