I'm attempting to convert a .dgn file to .shp using QGIS.

I'm reading that support is only provided for v7 microstation files, is this still the case?

I've been using ogr2ogr -f "ESRI Shapefile" output.shp input.dgn and it throws the following error.

Unable to open datasource `input.dgn' with the following drivers.
  -> ESRI Shapefile
  -> MapInfo File
  -> UK .NTF
... The list goes on.

2 Answers 2


Yes v7 is the most current .DGN support. Have you tries loading it into QGIS and exporting it from QGIS? You can do this by right clicking on the .DGN file and choosing Save As, but again, only up to .DGN v7

  • FME (commercial) is so far best solution to handle DGN conversion to sane (OpenSource supported) file format. Costs a lot, but its good tool. I have not found any use full open source tool to handle dgn fileformat (v7 or v8) Aug 8, 2013 at 12:19
  • The problem with FME is that he will not export some attributes from dgn like symbol rotation, and he creates a shp for every single the dgn layer (and some times this could cause a lot of shapes..)
    – Sergio
    Nov 3, 2014 at 9:52

Try using Geomedia software to convert the DGNv7/v8 file into a feature file with its native projection intact.

How smoothly it handles and shows its cell also.

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