File Types Used in AutoCAD Electrical

16 February 2023AutoCAD, autodesk, Construction, Digital Transformation, Electrical, Fabrication, MEPautocad electrical, Electrical, electrical controls, electrical engineers, productivity



The AutoCAD Electrical toolset includes electrical design features that help you create, modify and document electrical controls systems. With the Electrical toolset, you can access a library of over 65,000 intelligent electrical symbols, automate the numbering of wires and generation of component tags, and generate and update multiple customized reports automatically. These features can boost your productivity by up to 95%.

Electrical panel designed with AutoCAD Electrical toolset; image: Autodesk

The most common file types used in AutoCAD Electrical are:

  1. AutoCAD files – .dwt and .dwg
  2. ASCII text file
  3. MS Excel – .xls
  4. MS Access – .mdb

The most common ASCII text files used in a typical project are:

  1. WDP – Project files used by AutoCAD Electrical for organizing project drawings. You can have unlimited number of projects but only one project can be active each time.
  2. WDD – Project specific description file for components, Source/Destination description (for example, wd_desc.wdd is the project description default).
  3. WDL – Project descriptive line information files. Typically, these files are changed to match the attribute values of the drawing title.
  4. WDT – Project-based title block mapping files. With most configuration files, AutoCAD Electrical first searches for the first matching project name, for example *.WDT. If the WDT file with the project name is not found, AutoCAD Electrical uses the default.wdt file.

The most common Microsoft Office file types are:

  1. MDB – AutoCAD Electrical uses Microsoft Access for its database files. Examples are Catalog (default_cat.mdb), Footprint Lookup (footprint_lookup.mdb), PLC (ACE_PLC.MDB), and the project database.
  2. XLS – AutoCAD Electrical uses Microsoft Excel for its data exchange and output files. Examples are Export/Import From Spreadsheet and Save Report to File.

Import and Export file types are:

XLS, CSV, MDB, and XML – You can select various file types to import into AutoCAD Electrical. For example, Insert Connector from List tool, Export from Spreadsheet and Save Report to File. ASCII is also used as an export report format.

Additional AutoCAD Electrical file types are:

File Extensions: File Type: Description:
.env ASCII text file Environment File – Project search paths
.dat ASCII text file Menu Files, Family Code Mapping
.set ASCII text file Report Format – Report presets
.wda ASCII text file User defined attribute list
.rep ASCII text file ASCII report export file
.loc ASCII text file Location Codes
.inst ASCII text file Installation Codes


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Autodesk commissioned a study that compared basic AutoCAD to the Electrical toolset when performing tasks common to electrical engineers. Results showed that the Electrical toolset enabled over 95% overall productivity gains compared to basic AutoCAD when tasks were performed by an experienced AutoCAD user.

If you’re not using the AutoCAD Electrical toolset for productivity gains, contact Applied Software, Graitec Group today to find out what you’re missing.



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