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Running DXF to GDSII In Batch Mode

Steve DiBartolomeo
Applications Manager
April 8, 2002
revised June 25, 2008
revised October 26, 2022



This app note describes how one would bypass the GUI and launch the engine directly; either from a script, framework or another program.

DXF to GDSII Direction

To convert DXF to GDSII execute the d2g.exe engine with the correct command line options and the required resource (config) file.

block diagram for dxf2gds using command line

1. Scan the DXF File to Get Layer Information

This step is not mandatory -- but in some cases the user has no idea what layers are present in the DXF file. It will be helpful to extract the names of those layers so that the config file can control the mapping of AutoCAD layer names into GDSII layer numbers. The d2g64.exe engine can be run in "scan" mode where it does not do any translation but instead scans the DXF file and returns a list of layers and blocks used in the file.

Scanning a DXF File

d2g64.exe <dxf input file> -lscan output_file



the path and filename of the dxf2gds translation engine


the DXF input file name. use double quotes if the path or name has spaces in it.

-lscan <output_file>

scan the DXF file. If no output_file is specified then it will create one in the current directory using the input_file_name and suffix .lyr.


"d:\wcad\asm3500\d2g.exe" "d:\test\planar.dxf" -lscan

this would produce the ascii file planar.lyr in the current directory. If you wanted the output file to go somewhere else and have a different name you could use the command line:

"d:\wcad\asm3500\d2g64.exe" "d:\test\planar.dxf" -lscan "d:\temporary files\planar.txt"

To see the contents of a lyr file click here

2. Build Up The Configuration File

The d2g engine reads an ASCII configuration file that contains layer mapping information and also translation controls. There are quite a few options, so details are available on the configuration page.

3. Run the d2g64.exe Engine

Note: the long command line is broken below for clarity. Do not place any CR/LF's in the command line.

"D:\wcad\Asm3500\d2g.exe" D:\test\vector_test.dxf -gds D:\junk\qckvu\vector_test_from_dxf.gds -cfg:D:\test\sample.cfg -nolink -gap:0.001000



is the full path to the translation engine. Double quote this if there are spaces in the paths or file names.


is the input DXF file to convert.

-gds D:\test\vector_test.gds

is the name (and path) of the output GDSII file.


is the name of the configuration file to use.

The following command line options are generally used:


do not link lines and arcs. Alternative is to use -link


if linking were on, this would be the search radius around each line or arc's endpoint. The value is in the GDSII units.

Command line Arguments

In addition to link | no link, and the -gap arguments, there are additional ones:


if present, de-embedding is activated and the GDSII output is organized using data types to indicate the boundary's level of embedding.



boundaries are sliced and butting to form the clear areas.



Boundaries are generated using cutlines (re-entrant)

Directory Path and File Names

Notice that because all files referenced include the full path name, the required files could be located anywhere on the system.

Warning - it has come to our attention that if very long path directories are used the command line interpreter may not be able to handle the total length and the engine may not run correctly.