AutoCAD DWG>DXF>Trados: Full tool overview?!
Thread poster: Jan Sundström

Jan Sundström  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:57
English to Swedish
+ ...
Mar 23, 2009

Hi all,

I've read previous threads about exporting AutoCAD files to Trados.

My understanding is that the process is broken down in two steps:
1. Converting the DWG into DXF
This can be done with:

a) AutoCAD itself
Price: expensive

b) Adobe Illustrator CS3/4
Price: $599
Requirements: AutoCAD not needed
Compatibility: Illustrator CS3 and CS4 include DXF and DWG import and export in R13, R14, 2000, and 2004/2005/2006 formats.

bb) AppliCraft CADgate 3
Price: $199
Requirements: Plugin to Illustrator CS/CS2/CS3, providing roughly the same functionality as Illustrator CS4 native.

c) Any DWG DXF Converter
Price: $75
Requirements: AutoCAD not needed
Compatibility: Supports every version of DWG/DXF files (R2.5 to R2009 DWG/DXF formats).

d) DWG DXF Convert 1.0
Price: shareware ($30)
Requirements: AutoCAD not needed

e) DWG DXF Converter
Price: $195
Requirements: AutoCAD not needed
Compatibility: all versions of DWG, DXF and DXB file, from AutoCAD Release 2.5 all the way up to AutoCAD 2008.
AFAIK this is the same software as d), but with commercial license and better documentation.

f) DwgConverter
Price: $30 (free trial adds commecial message to output)
Requirements: AutoCAD not needed

2. Extract the translatable text from DXF and prepare it for Trados + recreate the DXF afterwards.
This can be done with:
a) TranslateCAD
Price: $29
Requirements: AutoCAD not needed
Compatibility: Any(?) DXF file by tools mentioned in step 1.

Alternatively, there are some tools that bypass the DXF step, and extract the text into other Trados-readable formats:
a) Xanadu TRANS
Price: Free
Requirements: plugin, AutoCAD needed.
Compatibility: ?

b) AnnotationTranslator
Price: Free
Requirements: plugin, AutoCAD needed.
Compatibility: AutoCAD 2000 and higher.
NOTE: inserts segments from a CSV file which must be created manually(?), very inconvenient for CAT use.

b) DwgTextTtranslator
Price: $570
Requirements: AutoCAD not needed
Compatibility: AutoCAD2007 or higher / Access 2000 or higher

For those of you who tried any of the software above, I have a few questions:

Does Xanadu TRANS work with demo/trial versions of AutoCAD?
Does Xanadu TRANS, DWG DXF Convert 1.0, DwgConverter or TranslateCAD manage batch conversion?

Did anyone run into issues using the tools above?

I also understand that Illustrator can convert between DWG and SVG (for translation in Trados). Are there any drawbacks going this route, instead of DWG>DXF? Like features lost or layers forcibly merged?

Thanks a lot for your feedback!


[Edited at 2009-03-23 16:33 GMT]

[Edited at 2009-03-24 14:47 GMT]


Jaroslaw Michalak  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:57
Member (2004)
English to Polish
SVG? Mar 23, 2009

I went a different route altogether...

1. Import DWG files into Corel Draw and export them as SVG.
2. Open SVG in Trados TagEditor.
3. Export as SVG.
4. Convert with Corel from SVG to DWG.

Admittedly, the files I have worked on were relatively simple, I know that sometimes conversion DWG-SVG-DWG might prove more problematic... You should certainly check out the conversion process before you start to translate anything.

Of course, the conversion does not have to be done with Corel Draw (that's what I have available). Illustrator will do, too, maybe even (freeware) Inkscape.

Edit: Unfortunately, Inkscape does not support DWG...

[Edited at 2009-03-23 16:39 GMT]


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AutoCAD DWG>DXF>Trados: Full tool overview?!

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