Home > How-To > Copy and Paste a SolidWorks Drawing directly into Draftsight or AutoCAD

Copy and Paste a SolidWorks Drawing directly into Draftsight or AutoCAD

I recently came across a Youtube video showing how in SolidWorks 2007, a drawing view (2D) could be copied and pasted directly from SolidWorks into DWGEditor (now called 2D Editor). As DraftSight is the new free 2D CAD Tool, I wanted to see if this would work in SolidWorks 2011 and Draftsight.

It does work, and very nicely.
If you want to quickly copy a SolidWorks Drawing View into Draftsight/AutoCAD/DWG without having to go Saving As a DWG etc. this tip will save time.

Copy from SolidWorks to DWG / Draftsight
  1. Select the Drawing View in SolidWorks
  2. Edit (drop-down menu) -> Copy to DWG Format
  3. Go to Draftsight
  4. Edit (drop-down menu) -> Paste
  5. Left Click to Paste the View into Draftsight


Select Drawing View in SW -> Edit Menu -> Copy to DWG Format -> Go to CAD -> Edit -> Paste

Of course the reverse is equally true. You can copy and paste directly from Draftsight DWG into a new Sketch in SolidWorks. CTRL+C and CTRL+V make things nice and easy.

Copy from DWG / Draftsight to SolidWorks
  1. Window select what you want to copy in Draftsight/CAD
  2. Press CTRL+C
  3. Go to SolidWorks
  4. Create a New Part
  5. Create a New Sketch
  6. Left Click into the Graphics Area
  7. Press CTRL+V
  8. Zoom out
About Draftsight

Just a quick word on draftsight. It is a free 2D CAD Program which will let you open and save all version of AutoCAD. Its interface is very similar to AutoCAD with layers, grid, layouts and object tracking (called etrack). I remember using AutoSketch in 1999 which I got from a Computer Magazine, to draw up go-kart plans. If I had Draftsight back then, things would have been a lot easier. Draftsight is available for Windows, Apple MACs and also Ubuntu Linux. Head to www.draftsight.com to download your copy now.

How-To , , ,

  1. E.G. Head
    June 7th, 2012 at 18:31 | #1

    Does not work with Draftsight V1R2

  2. June 8th, 2012 at 09:22 | #2

    @E.G. It works fine for me with V1R2. You need to make sure to follow the steps (bullet points) above, carefully. If you are getting the error ( “The item on the clipboard cannot be pasted here.”), you are not following the points correctly. After creating a new sketch in SolidWorks, you need to left click into the graphics area, and then press CTRL+V.

  3. E.G. Head
    June 26th, 2012 at 16:11 | #3

    S, I did try it several ways from Tuesday, and it still doesn’t work. The other seats of Draftsight are V1R1.3 in our office, and work fine. I had Dassault investigate this further. They acknowledge that this is a bug and state “You are advised to follow the http://www.draftsight.com web site for new release announcements. If you have a particular query about the bug, feel free to reopen the SR”. So, now we wait. Thanks for your input, though.

  4. E.G. Head
    October 22nd, 2012 at 17:26 | #4

    Loaded V1R3 today. This update has corrected the problem. I can once again paste into Draftsight.

  5. N.B
    October 1st, 2013 at 22:29 | #5

    By the way, if it’s still not working it may just be pasting in a really small scale. Mine appeared to fail, didn’t present any warnings, but upon double clicking my middle mouse button (zoom to fit) it zoomed in and the drawing was pasted into DraftSight.


  6. DION
    March 25th, 2015 at 06:15 | #6

    I have tried to copy and paste into solidworks and does not work ?????

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