I am using autocad for students 2017; I have tried to use the compiled command, but it has not worked. Also, I have tried the command, Mapimport and AutoCad doesn't even found it.

How can I import a shapefile into AutoCad in order to get some measurements I'm interested with?

  • Have tried importing without command? If not this will help you. Link Commented Dec 13, 2016 at 5:04
  • 1
    @BunnyChowdary, that link states that the workflow applies to AutoCAD Civil 3D 2017, AutoCAD Map 3D 2017, and AutoCAD Utility Design 2017. Not AutoCAD for Students 2017.
    – Fezter
    Commented Dec 13, 2016 at 5:08
  • I'm no CAD expert, but as far as I know only those mentioned by Fezter can import shapefiles, and it might not be possible in "plain" AutoCAD. Related: gis.stackexchange.com/questions/182009/… (FME is the way to convert easily, not sure if there are student licenses available.)
    – Martin
    Commented Dec 13, 2016 at 7:02
  • 2
    I voted to reopen because this question is about AutoCAD and not about AutoCAD Map 3D. There will be two different answers for AutoCAD and for AutoCAD Map 3D.
    – Jens
    Commented Jan 2, 2017 at 8:58
  • Haven't tried this online or portable mygeodata.cloud/converter
    Commented May 10, 2017 at 0:36

3 Answers 3


Plain AutoCAD has no command to open or import the geospatial vector data format shapefile.

The geospatial vector data format shapefile consists of a collection of files (*.shp, *.shx, *.dbf and other).

Beware of confusion: AutoCAD uses *.shp files for custom symbols. These *.shp files are also called shapefiles but are not the same as the geospatial vector data format shapefile. The AutoCAD command compile converts the *.shp to a *.shx file. But this *.shx file is used for custom symbols.

What other options are there?

  • AutoCAD Map 3D and AutoCAD Civil 3D are able to open or import the geospatial vector data format shapefile. (The command mapimport can be used in AutoCAD Map 3D but not in plain AutoCAD)
  • The plug-ini Spatialmanager for AutoCAD imports shapefiles into AutoCAD.
  • Use another software to convert shapefiles to dxf (e.g. QGIS, FME)

You can also use the ArcGIS Export To CAD tool to export your shapefiles to the DXF or DWG format first, and then import/use it in AutoCAD.


This site will do it all for you:


Drop all 3 files ( .shp and .dbf and .shx) and it will convert to a .dxf file which can easily be opened in AutoCAD.

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