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#1
Tor Anderson

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Greetings,

Please forgive my ignorance if this question has already been posted and solved.

BUT... How can I open DXF files in Mac Illustrator CS3 and keep the layers separate and organized? Or is there a better file format that will allow this?

I'm new to posting, but it seems like my question is a hot topic on these boards. I'm an experienced graphic designer who creates a lot of maps in Illustrator, but by tracing, redrawing and importing USGS DRGs. I've been playing with GlobalMapper and some GIS files, and want to now get the files into Illustrator where I can refine the designs.

For the time being, I cannot afford Avenza Mapublisher, but it seems like this may be the way to go. Are there any other software options (Mac or PC) that I should consider, to help me get files from the GIS world into the graphic design world?

Thanks!
Tor Anderson
Telluride, CO

#2
Hans van der Maarel

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Greetings,

Please forgive my ignorance if this question has already been posted and solved.

BUT... How can I open DXF files in Mac Illustrator CS3 and keep the layers separate and organized? Or is there a better file format that will allow this?

I'm new to posting, but it seems like my question is a hot topic on these boards. I'm an experienced graphic designer who creates a lot of maps in Illustrator, but by tracing, redrawing and importing USGS DRGs. I've been playing with GlobalMapper and some GIS files, and want to now get the files into Illustrator where I can refine the designs.

For the time being, I cannot afford Avenza Mapublisher, but it seems like this may be the way to go. Are there any other software options (Mac or PC) that I should consider, to help me get files from the GIS world into the graphic design world?


DXF is probabely my least favourite format to work with, but since it's the lowest common denominator, it sometimes can't be avoided. For opening them directly into Illustrator, MAPublisher is the way to go.

An alternative might be Manifold (website), an inexpensive GIS. No Mac version of it, but I'm told it runs well on Bootcamp. Using Manifold, you can import a DXF then export an Illustrator file.

Hope this helps...
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
Red Geographics
Email: hans@redgeographics.com / Twitter: @redgeographics

#3
CHART

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I agreed with Hans MP is probably the best option.

If it is a one shot deal, you could use the select same in Illy to build your layers.
Chart

#4
Martin Gamache

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If you can get whoever supllies you with the CAD files to export them to a .dwg instead you might be able to read them in with Illustrator with layers intact.

#5
BEAVER

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Manifold would be a way to go. You can always ask any of us to convert the file for you.

#6
Tor Anderson

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Thanks everyone for your advice. I'll check out Manifold, but it sounds like Mapublisher is the way to go. I'll start saving. How is the support and learning curve for MP? Do most CAD/GIS programs export DWG files? Can Illy CS3 open DWG files?

Tor Anderson

#7
Martin Gamache

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http://www.hotdoor.c...navcontent=none

#8
natcase

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Thanks everyone for your advice. I'll check out Manifold, but it sounds like Mapublisher is the way to go. I'll start saving. How is the support and learning curve for MP? Do most CAD/GIS programs export DWG files? Can Illy CS3 open DWG files?


Support for MP is excellent, learning curve is fairly low. It should be noted, however (see Martin's HotDoor link below) that there are a variety of DXF formats. I have had problems with importing DXF files through MP in the past, related (I believe) to points-per-layer limits in AI and some CAD's habit of making curves as hundrends of short straight segments. I've several times ended up going through a freelancer who has a variety of translation scripts to process these.

Nat Case
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