Many of us in the Visio user community have struggled with Visio’s inability to convert AutoCAD files in DWG format versions later than 2000/2002. Hope is on the horizon with Visio 2010 but many of us cannot wait that long.
If you don’t have access to a copy of AutoCAD and would like to convert a late version DWG file to an earlier version that Visio can open, there are a couple of free tools that we have recently found to accomplish this. One is Autodesk TrueView 2008. However, TrueView requires a whopping 150+ MB of disk space and requires a lengthy installation process so if you do not need DWG viewing capabilities, it’s overkill.
In our opinion, a more elegant solution is available from A9Tech of Redmond, WA which is right in Microsoft’s backyard. The A9Converter requires only about 5MB, is much easier to use for conversions than TrueView, and performs batch conversions on groups of files into multiple versions of DWG including the 2000/2002 format that Visio 2003 and 2007 recognize.
As we said, both are free but the A9Tech solution is preferable for conversions. By the way, they also offer a free mini-CAD program that you can use as a DWG viewer called A9CAD. Both A9Converter and A9CAD offer very modestly priced “Pro” versions as well… great values!
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