Does anyone have any experience with Autocad 2018? The latest release doesn't seem to be compatible with ArcMap Desktop 10.5. I've tried running the CAD to GDB tool and adding the files in the table of contents - both methods are coming up blank, when they would work fine with the previous Autocad 2017.
I'm not very familiar with Autocad, but the drawing comes up with no issues in the cad environment. The only work around I can think of would be to save with a previous version of cad, but that may come with some loss of functionality.


4 Answers 4


In short, no, it doesn't appear that latest AutoCAD 2018 has a compatible plugin to use ArcGIS. According to Esri's ArcGIS for AutoCad and For AutoCAD 2013-2017

Installation recognizes the most recent version of AutoCAD 2016 and 2017, as well as previous version 2013-2015.


Save your autocad drawing to an older version (2013) before adding it in. This the easiest way I've found. I haven't experienced any problems so far.


AutoCad and ArcGIS don't "play" nice together. I have imported a AutoCad file into ArcMap before to print off an image for a client. However, the labels didn't turn out well--overlaps, sizing issues, ect.. I could only view the image in ArcMap. I could not edit it at all.

There is a company out of Utah that talk at conference I went to. They could get AutoCad and ArcGIS to work together but it took a good 27 steps that involving Modelbuilder and Python scripting. So it can be done. The real question is it worth it?

  • I work for a local municipality and all our water and sewer services are updated and maintained in cad, along with as-builts for new services and developments. We've been able to maintain these datasets in the GDB with ArcGIS for Autocad with minimal problems in the past. You can import CAD annotation under the conversion tools. It works well for us if you get the scale right.
    – uniscorn
    Commented Jun 15, 2017 at 14:39

You save as an older version. Then open it up, and explode the pipe networks. Because 10.5 ARC doesn't recognize the new pipe networks in AutoCAD 2018. Once you have exploded the lines, you can select what you need and "wblock" to save as a new drawing...make sure you are saving as older version for this as well. Then you can bring the lines into ArcMap once they are just polylines.

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