By Dennis Collin
For many years AutoCAD has had many ways to transfer data between drawings. Copy & Paste and the Wblock command are useful for the extraction of selected data and to incorporate into one’s own drawing files. These methods work well in most cases, but sometimes users are in receipt of files containing proxy objects from another ‘flavour’ of AutoCAD e.g. Civil 3D or a third-party provider. Trying to copy entities from these files usually yield error messages similar to the image below and can be immensely frustrating to what should be a routine task.
Fig 1. Error messages relating to the copying of proxy objects within a CAD drawing.
Solutions to this are to download and install the appropriate object enabler plug-in to help translate the specialist objects to workable entities. However, this can be problematic if you don’t know the plug-in involved or have limited access rights to external web sites or for installing software on the local workstation.
Fig 2. Saving as an old DXF format
A more reliable method is to save the drawing as an R12 format DXF file. This function will strip out any bespoke unsupported data and revert drawing elements to classic object classes such as lines, polylines, hatch and text etc. Any unsupported elements are not transferred making it essential to verify that the desired elements are included in the back save. It is often the case that these proxy elements are redundant and not required in the final file, but it is always a good idea to check on this, in case desired portions of the drawing disappear!