What Is a CATDRAWING File?

How to open, edit, & convert CATIA drawings

What to Know

This article describes what a CATDRAWING file is and how to open one on your computer, plus how to convert one to a different format.

What Is a CATDRAWING File?

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

It stores a two-dimensional drawing and is always linked to a CATPART file, which holds the 3D elements of the model. Without that part file, the drawing can't open.

CATDRAWING files in Windows 10 that open with WorkXplore

How to Open a CATDRAWING File

The typical program used to open CATIA drawings is CATIA from Dassault Systèmes. However, other 3D CAD programs might also work, like Oracle's AutoVue.

Glovius and SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD are compatible with the format, too, and possibly Siemens NX and WORKXPLORE. Here's a video showing how to open a CATIA v5 file in SOLIDWORKS if you need help.

You can also try using a text editor. If you see the text "V5" at the very beginning of the file or the word "CATIA" anywhere within it, then your drawing is, in fact, a CATIA file. The reason it's not opening may be that there's an issue with the installation of the program or a problem with your specific 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 file is a text document and can be read normally with any text editor. This is probably not the case with most CATDRAWING files, but it is something you should look for if CATIA doesn't work.

How to Convert a CATDRAWING File

CATIA can export the drawing to CAD formats like STEP, DXF, and others. You can also save the file as a PDF in that program via File > Save as.

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 multi-sheet document in a single vectorial file option.

Another option for converting CATDRAWING to PDF is to use Tetra4D Converter. The other file openers from above might support converting the file, too.

eDrawings Professional for CATIA V5 is a plug-in for CATIA that lets you export models to a read-only format that's compressed and easy to share with others.

Still Can't Open It?

Some files look similar because their file extensions use some of the same letters or numbers, so they can be easy to confuse for other files and therefore not open with the program you'd expect to use them with. This most likely isn't the case with CATDRAWING files, since the extension is fairly easy to read.

However, maybe you have a CATPRODUCT file which looks similar and is indeed used by CATIA, but it's not in the exact same format. So, if your file won't open as you'd expect, consider that you might be dealing with one of those files instead.

DRAWING files resemble this file extension, too, but they're Artboard drawings.

Was this page helpful?