I exported a DXF from QGIS by right-clicking on the layer. Then tried to open in AutoCAD 2000. That did not work. AutoCAD gave a failure-message:

Unknown Value "AC1018" found in drawingversion.

Then I tried to view the file in DWG-Truview2013 - which didn't work either giving the following error:

Invalid database handle 0 on line 1548. Invalid or incomplete DXF input -- drawing discarded.

Does anyone know a solution? Or is there anywhere in QGIS change the DXF-Version to export?

  • what QGIS version are you using? Commented May 11, 2015 at 12:59
  • I've had issues importing dxf files into autocad when there are spaces in the layer names in the dxf file, sounds simple but it's a common problem.
    – user67145
    Commented Feb 15, 2016 at 18:41
  • This doesn't really answer the question. Commented Feb 15, 2016 at 18:54

5 Answers 5


Given that your autocad version is 12+ years old it may be an issue with autocad dwg or dxf file format version (major format version: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.dwg#Version_history). You should try to open it in a newer version of ACAD, or try saving it into an older format.

  • Yes, its 12 years old, but i tryed to open the DXF in AutDesk TrueView 2013, a native AutoDesk viewer which shows the actual DXF-Formats. And it didn´t open the DXF created in QGIS.
    – Frank
    Commented Oct 22, 2012 at 10:37
  • 2
    And i´m not the only one with this problem. Please have a look at this thread: osgeo-org.1560.n6.nabble.com/DXF-EXPORT-td4983642.html#a5002719
    – Frank
    Commented Oct 22, 2012 at 10:47

I use DoubleCAD, for which you can get a free version, to take the dxf from QGIS and resave it as DWG. Although there are many formats of DWG and your mileage may vary.

Are you dealing with lines or points?

  • Right now i´m downloading DoubleCAD for a test. Will post the result. I´m dealing with lines and polygons.
    – Frank
    Commented Oct 22, 2012 at 10:44
  • I tryed to open with double-CAD, but it failed. Also tried with free A9CAD, and it failed too .... Perhaps i´ll save it as shape and then convert the shape to dxf, but thats not satisfying.
    – Frank
    Commented Oct 22, 2012 at 10:59
  • Found a way. I´ve googled for freeware to convert shapes to dxf and discovered dxfAuthor: mediafire.com/?dc8tch4d5n77uuz I´ve installed it. Then saved an ESRI-Shape in QGIS, opened it in dxfAuthor and saved a DXF. It was no problem to open this DXF in AutoCAD. For now this may be a solution, but i think, when QGIS offers the possibility to save a DXF, CAD-Software should be able to open it.
    – Frank
    Commented Oct 22, 2012 at 11:23
  • 2
    Thank you for your answer and your hint to DoubleCAD. It is surely a good software and it was worth trying. If 3 different CAD-Applications aren´t able to open the DXFs written by QGIS, i think there is a bug in the DXF-Writer of QGIS. Do you know if there is a bug-tracker?
    – Frank
    Commented Oct 22, 2012 at 14:48
  • 1
    The dxf conversion framework comes from GDAL/OGR. There are bug reporting/tracking systems for both QGIS and GDAL/OGR. see gdal.org
    – Willy
    Commented Oct 23, 2012 at 21:46

It did work renaming the layers so that no spaces nor special characters appear and after sucessfuly importing into cad (ZWCAD 2014+ Pro), all entities simply have to be changed in color as it imports them all with (0,0,0) color (?) - simple: select all, change color to bylayer or other color and it's done.


I have for a long time been frustrated with this aspect also and have asked several questions on them... only to have useless answers coming back and eventually being closed as a duplicate.

The only effective way I have found is to use GRASS. Load the file into it and export as dxf. They work fine that way.

If you are like me and you are unfamiliar with GRASS then this tutorial helped me with the basics:


You do initially need to set up a directory and crs but tinker around for a short while and you will get it.


If you want to export shape to CAD, before you export you must to select the entity and then use the export tool.

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