Can't use CAD symbology in ArcGIS Pro

09-06-2018 04:38 PM
New Contributor II


In Arcmap, I can bring in a CAD file, convert it to a featureclass and then import the entire CAD symbology for that geometry type into the layer.

While it's great that Pro automatically creates separate layers for each CAD Layer, there does not seem to be a way to use ALL the symbology in the one complete layer as it is separated them into separate layers.

Is there a step I'm missing?

Thanks in advance

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8 Replies
MVP Esteemed Contributor

How are you working with your cad files?

CAD to Geodatabase—Conversion toolbox | ArcGIS Desktop 

Cad reading links if you didn't see them

CAD data in ArcGIS Pro—ArcGIS Pro | ArcGIS Desktop 

How CAD data is organized—ArcGIS Pro | ArcGIS Desktop 

plus some of the other ones in the table of contents to the left of those links

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New Contributor II

Hi Dan

In ArcMap, the workflow was this:

Add Data - add DWG file

Open Symbology - change symbology type from CAD-based symbology to multiple fields

Convert CAD lines to featureclass

Open symbology for new featureclass, import symbology from CAD polyline line

This way, I end up with one GIS layer in my ToC symbolised exactly how the CAD file was created.

In Pro, when you add a CAD file, it automatically splits the polylines into separate layers in the ToC using definition queries.

Yes, it preserves the colours from the original CAD, but how am I supposed to apply all the symbologies back into the one single imported featureclass?

See graphic.ArcPro CAD Symbology

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MVP Esteemed Contributor

Dustin... I suspect that is why there is a Cad to Geodatabase tool... like an Excel to Table tool

Bringing in non-native file types seems to be better handled through their tools rather than just adding directly.

Wouldn't hurt to compare the results of the two approaches.

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New Contributor II

Sure, but that tool completely ignores the preset symbology from CAD. Defects the purpose.

The idea is I want to keep the CAD symbology but use it in a featureclass.

And I definitely do not want to deal with alot of separate layers in my ToC that are all referencing the same single polyline FC in my gdb.

From all the searching I've done, it seems the only workaround is:

Open ArcMap, use the tried and tested workflow. Save as lyr file. Bring it into Pro.

Just another reason why Pro fails.

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MVP Esteemed Contributor

Yes.. when you go to the Project, Options, Cad the only options for cad are the checkbox

…. on adding new layer to map.... 

So not much in the way of configuring.

The explanation apparently is given here...

Maybe a 'batch cad to layer' is what you need in the interim

CAD options—ArcGIS Pro | ArcGIS Desktop 

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MVP Notable Contributor


I find myself with the same issue while using Pro. I love all that Pro has done for CAD integration, but there are times, like you, when I need the CAD to be on the same layer with all the symbology intact. And, like you, I have to go back to ArcMap and bring it in that way.

I would suggest creating an ArcGIS Ideas for this but it looks like one was already made, sort of...: 

It's hard to tell what this Idea is exactly asking for but it looks close enough. Either way, it would be a good idea to vote this Idea up.

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New Contributor

ugh, I was hoping someone figured out a way around this.  These two new approaches (CAD to gdb, group layers) are incredibly inefficient for some simple things I want to do.

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New Contributor II

It's been a while since this thread was last updated, but I'm also trying to do the same thing.

Does anyone know how to do this nowadays?

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