What is a CATDRAWING File?

How to Open, Edit, & Convert CATDRAWING Files

Screenshot of the 3DS CATIA logo
© Dassault Systèmes

A file with the CATDRAWING file extension is a CATIA Drawing file created with the 3D CAD manufacturing software called CATIA.

A CATDRAWING file stores a two-dimensional drawing and is always linked to a .CATPART file, which holds the 3D elements of the model. Without this other linked file, the CATDRAWING file can not open.

How To Open a CATDRAWING File

CATDRAWING files can be opened with Dassault Systèmes CATIA tool.

Other 3D CAD programs may be able to open CATDRAWING files too, like Oracle's AutoVue 3D Professional Advanced. You can read more about this software on Oracle's website.

CATDRAWING files can be opened in WorkXplore 3D as well, and maybe even Siemens NX and SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD software.

Tip: Though I find this extremely unlikely, it's possible for your CATDRAWING file to be unrelated to CATIA or CAD programs at all. If you can't open it with the suggestions from above, I recommend using Notepad++ in order to view the CATDRAWING file as a text file.

Once open in Notepad++, if you see the text "V5" at the very beginning of the file or the word "CATIA" anywhere within the text, then your CATDRAWING is in fact a CATIA file. The reason it's not opening in CATIA may be that there's an issue with the installation of the CATIA program or a problem with your CATDRAWING file.

If your CATDRAWING file doesn't have that text at its start and is full of clear text that you can read perfectly fine, then your specific CATDRAWING file is a text file and can be read normally with any text editor.

I don't suspect this is the case with most CATDRAWING files, but it is something you should look for if CATIA doesn't work.

If you find that an application on your PC does try to open the CATDRAWING file but it's the wrong application or if you would rather have another installed program open CATDRAWING files, see my How To Change the Default Program for a Specific File Extension guide for making that change in Windows.

How To Convert a CATDRAWING File

CATIA can export CATDRAWING files to CAD formats like STEP, DXF, and others. You can also save a CATDRAWING as a PDF file in CATIA using the File > Save as menu.

Tip: If you want to save multiple CATDRAWING files to the same PDF, you have to change some of CATIA's settings. Go to Tools > Options... and expand the General tab to select Compatibility. Access the Graphics Formats tab and place a check in the box next to the Save multisheet document in a single vectorial file option.

Another option for converting a CATDRAWING to PDF is to use Tetra4D Converter.

eDrawings Professional for CATIA V5 is a type of plug-in for CATIA that lets you export models to a read-only format that's compressed and easy to share with others. This software might support CATIA's .CATDRAWING file format but I haven't tested it myself.

More CATDRAWING Format Help

See Get More Help for information about contacting me on social networks or via email, posting on tech support forums, and more.

Let me know what kinds of problems you're having with opening or using the CATDRAWING file, what programs or converting you've tried already, and I'll see what I can do to help.