Revit® Lesson 3 - Revit® Tutorials Insert Tab in Revit® - Link CAD File

This is a short Revit tutorial to learn how to insert and link a CAD file such as DWG, DXF, DGN, SAT, and SKP to an active Revit project.  In my last Revit tutorial, I described how to link a Revit file to an active and open Revit project.  Image below shows what king of CAD files are possible to be linked into a Revit project.

Linking a CAD file into a Revit file is almost like linking a Revit file into your Revit project. There are few differences between those two, which are the important settings before linking a CAD file into a Revit project. As shown in the image below, the Revit user has some more possible settings before inserting a CAD project into a Revit project. Those settings are:


There are three possible choices that the Revit user can use: Invert, Preserve, or Black and White. I would say that Black and white is the best choice because Revit is in Black and White and it might be good to have all of them in the same color.


CAD files have always lots of layers which do not exist in Revit. During linking a CAD file to a Revit project, Revit is asking the user about the layers which should be inserted into the Revit file. There are three possible answers: All, Visible, or specify. If you really know what layers are important in your CAD file, and then I would say Specify the layers is the best answer for that question.

Import Units:

It could be Auto-Detect, feet, inches, meter, decimeter, centimeter, millimeter, or Custom Factor. If you know the exact units in CAD file which you are going to link, then chose from the list, if not then use the auto-detect version, which works fine too.


This is an important step for linking a CAD file into a Revit project. I will have a separate Revit Tutorial about the Positioning during linking CAD and also Revit files in to an active Revit project. If you are not sure, user the Auto – Center to center when you are linking a CAD file.

Current view only:

You can decide in what level or view you want to link a CAD file into a Revit project. Automatically Revit will link a CAD file in the current view only, but you can uncheck that and decide in which level you want to insert the CAD file, which is shown in the image below.

Linking a CAD File into an Active Revit Project

Linking a CAD file into a Revit project is like external reference in AutoCAD, where the CAD user can reference and link an external CAD file into an active AutoCAD project. It works the exact way in Revit. Every time you open the Revit project, it will update the linked CAD file automatically. You can also reload a CAD file into a Revit project to download all new changes from the original CAD file, if any has made. Here it shows the step by step tutorial how to link a CAD file in a Revit project:

  1. Insert Tab
  2. Link CAD (image below)
  3. Point to the external CAD Project
  4. Select the external CAD file
  5. Select the right positioning and all other settings explained at the beginning of this Revit tutorial and then click Open button
  6. Now the external CAD project is linked into the Revit project. It can be reloaded, downloaded, and managed under Manage Links tool in Insert Tab of Revit Architecture.

I hope I could explain how to link a CAD file into a Revit project in this Revit tutorial. I appreciate your visit and I hope you will enjoy visiting Revit Users at any time. Feel free to be a powerful member at Revit Users to share your knowledge about Revit with other members.

Revit Tutorial Link Cad File

Revit Tutorial Link Cad File

Revit Tutorial Link Dwg File Positioning

Revit Tutorial Link Dwg File Positioning

Revit Tutorial Link Dwg File

Revit Tutorial Link Dwg File

  • Hits: 3777

Revit® Users Copyrights

All Revit® blogs, lessons, and tutorials published on Revit® Users Website is subject to Copyrights. Copying and re-publishing these contents without permission of Revit® Users ownership, is prohibited.

Meet Our Team

Upcoming Lessons

These introductory Revit Architecture tutorial series will lead the user through the basic procedures of designing an integrated 3.

About Us

Legal Information

Say Hello to Revit® Profession

Revit® Users is the only place on World Wide Web, where you receive the best tools to learn Autodesk® Revit®.

Revit® Users North America

Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA