Tutorials for Exporting AutoCAD to Illustrator

By James Crider

Updated February 10, 2017

3D image manipulation with AutoCAD.
i Modern furniture on a white background 3d image image by aleksey kashin from Fotolia.com

Auto CAD is the leading Computer Aided Design program on the market. It allows users to create complex and detailed three-dimensional objects for the architecture, 3D animation and image manipulation markets. Adobe Illustrator is likewise the leading vector image editor and is standard equipment for print shops and graphics firms everywhere. It's important to know how to take your AutoCAD design, export it into a neutral file format and import it for editing in Adobe Illustrator.

Start AutoCAD on your Windows computer. Click "File," then "Open." Open the AutoCAD DWG file you want to convert. Adjust the three-dimensional camera until you achieve the view that you want to export.

In the menu at the top of the AutoCAD workspace, click "Export." Click "PDF." A new window will appear, allowing you to specify the name and location of your exported document. Name the PDF whatever you wish and save it to the computer desktop.

Open Illustrator. Do not open the PDF with the Illustrator "Open With..." command, just launch Illustrator from the Start menu or its shortcut.

Click "File," then "Open." Navigate to the computer desktop and select the file that you exported in AutoCAD. Click "Open." The file will appear in your Illustrator workspace.

Items you will need

  • Windows computer

  • AutoCAD software

  • Adobe Illustrator software