Work with XYZ files in ZWCAD

Watch this video to see how to Import XYZ files into ZWCAD:

<b>ZWCAD XYZ file</b> - Open XYZ file in Notepad

ZWCAD XYZ file - Open XYZ file in Notepad

This technical page describes the ZWCAD XYZ import method. The XYZ files are one of the most common types of files to store points coordinates. They are plain-text ASCII files, without binary numbers or any other data type that has to be interpreted, can be easily read or written by any application and a user can look at their content using common utilities, such as Window Notepad

Every line in the file corresponds to a point data and every number between two delimiter characters in a line corresponds to a coordinate (X, Y or Z) of a point feature. There are various characters that may be used as the delimiter character. The most common used delimiter characters are the comma, the tab, the space character or the semicolon


CAD applications users often need to import these kind of point data files into their drawings, and the content of the files is usually very diverse: GPS generic data, surveying data, hydrants, signals, address points, etc.

ZWCAD, being one of the popular applications in the CAD market, cannot directly translate the contents of XYZ files to ZWCAD, not even as Point type Entities. To perform a task such as Import XYZ to ZWCAD, you will need an additional ZWCAD utility or plug-in

Import ZWCAD XYZ file

Spatial Manager™ for ZWCAD includes, in addition to many other access tools, a powerful “ZWCAD XYZ” data provider to import XYZ files into ZWCAD

As when importing point type features using any other data provider included in the application, you can choose between Point Entities or Block references and many other interesting drawing options through the import process

You can also perform a coordinate transformation “on the fly” when importing. The coordinate transformation is an important issue to consider in Spatial Manager™ for ZWCAD when importing from XYZ files because a lot of  coordinate data comes from GPS devices or similar. Thus the coordinate data is formatted using Latitude and Longitude values and the users usually need to import the data to projected coordinates into the DWG drawing

Example: Import XYZ file into ZWCAD

This example shows how to Import a XYZ file into ZWCAD. We will import a set of surveying points into an ZWCAD drawing. First, we will choose ZWCAD Block references to import the Points as 3D Entities by selecting a “XYZ” file format

Next, we will apply a nice trick by adding an Attribute to the Block definition and by catching the Z coordinate inside the Attribute to get 2D Points with the Z coordinate labeled right next to the point, when selecting “Custom” as the file format