CAD data in ArcGIS Pro

Computer-aided design (CAD) is a system of hardware and software used to design and document real-world objects in industries such as engineering, architecture, surveying, construction, and so on. Currently, AutoCAD and Microstation are the two most widely used general-purpose CAD platforms. These systems accommodate a wide range of applications. ArcGIS Pro accepts data generated by AutoCAD- and Microstation-based applications.

CAD text as a label

CAD data often has text that you need to use for GIS content, either to display or to convert to an annotation feature class. When CAD text is added to ArcGIS Pro, it is displayed as labels. You can then customize the design of the labels and convert them to annotation.

Display CAD feature classes as individual CAD layers

In ArcGIS Pro, CAD data is displayed as a group layer to match the CAD file name. Individual layers organize the data by geometry type and reflect the layers, levels, and colors defined by the CAD file. Feature layers generated for each CAD layer or level allow you to identify and use the CAD content.

A group layer is created with the feature class name and the suffix group. The feature class is included with its layer visibility turned off. Additional feature layers are included for each CAD layer or level that contains entities that belong to the CAD feature class. A definition query distinguishes the features that belong to the unique CAD layers or levels in the drawing.


If the visibility of the CAD layer is frozen or off, the feature layer visibility will be turned off in the map.

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