You can add an AutoCAD or MicroStation dataset to a map document by dragging it from the Catalog window and dropping it into your map. Adding a child feature class displays a subset of the data based on shape type.
When you add CAD data to a map document, all standard map functions are enabled, including attribute tables and labeling functions. You can snap to geometry, substitute symbology, and use CAD data with any geoprocessing tool that accepts a feature class or layer as input.
You can also add CAD data using the following methods:
- Click the Add Data button from the main menu in ArcMap.
- Type the keywords CAD, DWG, or DGN in the Search window and click the Data filter.
- Right-click and unpack a layer (.lpk) package on the Catalog window.
Refresh the connection
Connections to DGN and DWG datasets are maintained while the ArcGIS application is running. Any edits made to the CAD file are reflected in the dataset when the connection is refreshed. Actions in ArcMap, such as zooming or panning, can trigger a refresh. To refresh a CAD feature dataset in the Catalog window, you can right-click the parent folder and click Refresh, or press F5.
Rename the feature layer
ArcGIS for Desktop adds the dataset in the table of contents as a group layer. The group layer name matches the CAD dataset name. By default, CAD feature layers are also named the same as the CAD dataset with the feature class name appended to it.
You can rename a CAD feature layer with the Layer Properties dialog box in the General tab, or press F2 in the table of contents.
Set the visibility for attribute fields
When you open an attribute table for the first time, the default settings display an uncluttered view of critical information. The fields set to be visible are limited to only those needed for rendering and common query operations—all others are turned off.
You can change the field visibility settings in the Layer Properties dialog box in the Fields tab. When you are in the attribute table, you can turn all fields on from the Table Options pull-down menu.