Five Tips for Translation of CAD Drawings

CAD files are widely used in engineering, architecture, and manufacturing. These drawings often need to be translated and localized to meet the standards of international business. Here are five basic recommendations to help you translate CAD drawings properly.



When Third-party Tools Are Indispensable


If you are using any version except AutoCAD Mechanical, there is no built-in tool. The developer recommends using a free program called COINS Translate. This will allow you to translate text online, switching between languages and localizations. The software may be downloaded from the official App Store on

COINS Translate is a plug-in that copes equally well with the text, mtext, multi-leader, and attributes. All processes will be performed inside of your AutoCAD. The tool provides translation based on the Microsoft Translator service. It is compatible with versions of AutoCAD released between 2012 and 2020.



Use Software to Convert to DXF


Some programs, such as TranslateCAD, require you to first convert your original .DWG files to .DXF, which is the exchange format. This can be done manually – just open each file and convert it into the desired format. However, in the case of several drawings, the process will go faster with a dedicated converter. This could translate into substantial time savings depending on the volume of work.



How to Convert Text In AutoCAD Mechanical


Here, the built-in tool makes the task simple. Moreover, procedures for all languages are similar. For illustration, consider the task of translating text in your drawings from English into French. This can be achieved through the following sequence.

Begin by clicking the Annotate tab. In the Text panel drop-down, select Language Converter and click “Find”. The Online Translation dialog box will appear. From there, set English as your source language and French as destination language. Once you click “Translate”, the process will begin. 

Upon completion of translation, you will see a dialog box titled Online Translation Information. Click OK to finalize the process. You will now see the English text in the drawing replaced by the text in French. 



What Translation Warnings Mean 


Sometimes, the system may detect a phrase that may not be translated. This means it is not included in any of the dictionary files. In this case, you will see an Online Translation Warning displayed. The dialog window will include a box titled Destination String. Enter the desired translation into the field and confirm with “Yes”. 



Store Missing Translations


If you want the translation to be stored for future reference, it is possible. You can include it in a custom multi-language dictionary file by using the “New Rule” button. The resulting .MLD file will have the same name as the drawing.

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