User’s Guide — Microsoft Office Importer for AutoCAD

Chapter 6 — Troubleshooting

How to calculate text size

You can easily calculate your Excel/Word-to-AutoCAD text size ratios using the Text Size Calculator (Text | Size | {Calculate...}).

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Values shown in picture are for example purposes only.

Formatting Options

Microsoft Office applications have many powerful formatting options that can be used to control the appearance of text in your Office documents. It is not possible for Microsoft Office Importer to duplicate all of these formatting options. In fact, some of the formatting information for these options is not placed in the Windows clipboard when you copy your text to the clipboard. Because of this, Microsoft Office Importer cannot always format your imports exactly as they are in the Office document. This section describes specific conditions that can be caused by this lack of formatting information. Please review this section if your import is ever substantially different from what you expected, which should be rare.

Excel Tables

In Microsoft Excel, text overlaps cell border

Text has an inherent problem that the fonts available in AutoCAD may not match those used in Windows. Even when using the same font as Word of Excel, AutoCAD can use a different size for some or each character. This makes it difficult to correctly simulate an effective “cell” or word width in the DWG.

In Microsoft Excel, cell contents print on top of each other

When pasting from a spreadsheet, do cell contents print on top of each other? If you open the “Page Setup” dialog for that spreadsheet in Microsoft Excel, you may see that the scaling is adjusted to something other than 100% of normal size. This causes all the sizes in the clipboard to be changed except for font size. If you turn on the borders in your cells, you can see that the pasted cells overlap because they are too small.

Just change the scaling in the source file to 100% and everything should be pasted correctly.

Microsoft Excel produces other anomalies

According to Microsoft engineers, Excel is subject to inconspicuous file corruption that result in incorrectly pasted data in Microsoft Office Importer (i.e. mismatched lines, overlapping, wrong sized text). Microsoft recommends copying the cells in question into a new workbook using only “Edit | Paste Special | Values” and reapplying the formatting to the new workbook, or selecting “Edit | Paste Special | All” to preserve the formatting. This will correct the problem in the majority of situations. Such corruption is quite rare.

Grid lines or borders do not display

No grid lines or borders will be imported into AutoCAD unless:

  1. Borders are selected in the source file and the “Table | Import lines:” option is set to “As in source”; or
  2. “Table | Import lines:” is set to “Always”.

Microsoft Word documents

The following section covers troubleshooting data for doing pastes from Word documents.

Numbered lists have insufficient space after the numbers.


  1. This is the first line and it is short.
  1. This is line number 2 and it is also short.
  1. This is the third line.

Does your sample paste look like the image below?

The usual cause is that the text indenting space in the Word file is relatively small and the font in AutoCAD is wider than the one in Word. You can handle this by increasing the text indent in the Numbered list properties of the Word document and you will see the space increasing in the data pasted into your DWG.

Here is how to handle this:

  1. Highlight some of the numbered text in the source document and right click with the mouse.

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  1. Select “Bullets and Numbering” from the pull down menu.
  2. In the box that appears, you will have several formatting selections under the “Numbered” tab. Select one that gives a larger indentation as in the image below. Then click {OK}.

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  1. Before you paste, be sure you turn off the toggle for “Import paragraphs as text nodes.” in Microsoft Office Importer’s “Paste clipboard contents” box.

Your next paste should look more like this:

Hanging indents overlap.

To handle problems with overlap in hanging indents, open the document in Word and put your cursor in the section of text with a hanging indent. Then go to “Format | Paragraph… | Indents and Spacing”. Increase the value in the “Indentation By:” field as needed.

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Text size is inconsistent with original document.

When a document is overcrowded with styles and these styles are strongly interconnected, the internal Microsoft Word conversion to RTF format can contain errors in the font size used. Try copying the text to a new blank Microsoft Word document and eliminate some styles before attempting to paste into AutoCAD again.

Tables in Word documents import with cell height too cramped.

Cell height squashed down to the size of the text is usually the result of a specific corruption in the Word document that can be easily tested for and fixed.

Highlight a row in the table. Then select “Table | Cell Height and Width…” from the Microsoft Word menu. The dialog that opens may look like the image below. The row height “At least” has been set to 7.2pt although the text size is 10pt. This is the field that AutoCAD uses to determine cell height. Increase the “At:” size to handle the problem.

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Tabs in Word documents not lining up

Using tabs for formatting in Microsoft Word is an unreliable practice. Changing the value of tab size in Word as well as changing font properties will break formatting in a Word document formatted via tabs. For this reason, we recommend you use tables without borders instead of tabs in Word.

Other errors/problems not covered here

If you encounter errors not covered in this manual, please send a detailed email to Please include as much information about your operating system, the problem that you are experiencing and exactly what you did when this problem occurred. Also make sure to include the version number of AutoCAD and Microsoft Office Importer that you are running.