I don’t usually import AutoCAD files into Cisco Prime. But when I do, I do it in style

Importing a Map to Cisco Prime Infrastructure.

Do you prefer to import AutoCAD files into Prime Infrastructure over a JPG or PNG perhaps?  Sure we all do.  Here are some things you need to know about Prime and CAD files.

“I don’t usually import AutoCAD files into Cisco Prime.  But when I do, I do it in style”

If your like me and crave high-resolution images.  You might want to consider these steps.

Lets Get Started.

When importing a AutoCAD *.DWG, keep in mind that the level of resolution and detail may not be what you expect coming from an actual DWG file.

Example of a DWG imported directly to Prime (notice the resolution of the text)


Now for the alternative method.

  1. First, make a backup copy of the AutoCAD DWG file. Open the DWG file in either AutoCAD or a 3rd party viewer/editor.
  2. Depending on the floor plan you may need to make some adjustments. e.g. colour of lines, removing extra lines that layers can’t control because they maybe tied to a line that you need on your map.
  3. Uncheck the clutter layers that you do and don’t need. e.g. these are usually markers or labels for items etc.
  4. Now you will want to print the floor plan.
  5. Notice the Custom Paper Size 1682 by 2378 mm.  This is important in creating a  high-resolution image.
  6. Make sure you choose “What to Print”.  By clicking  the drop box and selecting “window” it will take you back to the drawing and the selection tool will be enabled.  Select only the building outer walls that you need for your floor plan.
  7. Once you have selected the printable area you are now ready to save it as a PDF from the PDF drop down box.  Choose a file name and save.
  8. Your next step is to open the newly created file in Photoshop or some sort of photo editing software that is able to export the PDF to a JPG.
  9. Open the newly created PDF map to either Adobe Photoshop or similar editor capable of exporting it as a high-resolution JPG.  You shouldn’t have to make any changes to the default settings.
  10. Once the file is open you can now proceed to export the PDF to a JPG. Be patient as the file can take some time to save.  File sizes can range from 20mb – 30mb.
  11. Now you can proceed with importing the map as a JPG to your Prime Infrastructure.
  12. Don’t worry about the size of the image. Prime does not restrict the import file size of JPG’s for maps.  One caveat is to be patient when importing the large file, as it can take time for the system to rasterized it the first time.  Once its loaded it looks great!

Example of a high-res JPG import. Notice the level of detail and Zoom Level compared to the standard DWG import.


I look forward to your comments and suggestions.


Update Jan24th, 2014
Followup on Image usage on Prime from the User guide.

Images can be in a variety of formats and there are many parameters embedded as metadata in an image.  These parameters impact the appearance of the image. The following recommended parameters ensure that images appear clearly:

  • Image resolution—For higher zoom, use an image that has at least one dimension (X or Y) exceeding 4096. For example, (4096 x 2160), (3072 x 8192), or (15360 x 25600). Higher the image resolution, more will be the zoom levels. Lower image resolution can provide only 3 zoom levels. There are no restrictions on the supported image resolution. For example, 100 Mega Pixel and 1 Giga Pixel. Image resolutions that are higher than 1 Giga Pixel are also accepted depending on the memory availability.

Note Files with lower resolution that are used by existing maps can provide 3 or 4 zoom levels depending on the dimensions.

  • File formats—The supported file formats are .png, .gif, or .jpg.
  • RGB settings—Images must have the colour space set to RGB. These images must be in eight bit depth or higher. Otherwise, they will appear black on the floor.
  • Gamma settings—The black and white images with gamma settings set to maximum and after tile cutting, will appear black on the floor. Such issues cannot be auto-corrected because the images will loose resolution and boundaries. These images must be opened in an image editor and the RGB colour space must be added. You may also need to adjust the white balance depending on the image histogram and convert the image to eight bit or higher.
  • CAD file format must be AutoCAD version 2010 or earlier. Before you save a CAD file, ensure the following: Zoom images to maximum.
    Remove unwanted layers from the CAD files, that is, layers that add unnecessary artifacts to CAD files and layers that do not provide significant information about the image on the CAD files.

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