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This article describes the export tuning file syntax for CFF2, DDES, DWG, DXF and EPSF.  

CFF2 and DDES are packaging CAD formats for diemaking. DXF and DWG are AutoCAD formats for general CAD where DXF is a text file used as an exchange between different CAD systems and DWG is a native AutoCAD binary format.

EPSF is postscript for creating vector-based graphics files. ArtiosCAD can output its native format to these common file formats. The export tuning is used to convert ArtiosCAD line types to line styles of the appropriate format.

Export tuning files are installed in <root>\ArtiosCAD<version><language>\InstLib.  

Examples are:

  • tune.DwgDxf.txt
  • tune.epsf.txt

DDES3 does not need an export tuning file as its internally mapped.

A user will run an export from ArtiosCAD and select one of the previously configured formats.

That export will have properties and one of those properties will be a tuning file. ArtiosCAD already supplies a number of export tuning files and configures them with the export.

The supplied tuning files should be sufficient in most cases. However, there may be cases where a user will want to change properties or linestyles for the export format. This has to be done manually in a text editor as ArtiosCAD currently does not have a GUI option for export tuning. This article describes how to configure tuning properties.

Tuning File Format

Each tuning file for the CFF2, DDES2, DXF, DWG and EPSF and outputs consists of a header followed by a list of pairs of lines. The header consists of two lines as follows:

#ExportTuning V2.0
placesinch placesmm icorner rotnegtrans round64ths centerorigin offsetedgetypes nolayers|splines heighttable widthtable noheader


Export tuning version to allow for future changes. If the first line is not exactly #ExportTuning V1.0 or #ExportTuning V2.0, the tuning is ignored. Future versions may handle V2.0 and later version tuning files differently.
Number of decimals when units inch, ignored for EPSF, EPSF units are points. This is a formatting option. The unit is dealt with in the ArtiosCAD output configuration.
Number of decimals when units mm, ignored for EPSF. This is a formatting option. The unit is dealt with in the ArtiosCAD output configuration.
=1 output corner as triangle consisting of three lines (suitable for die), =0 output arc (suitable for rule bender).
=1 means combine the rotation and negation parts of the transformation for includes the wrong way round (some applications misinterpret the CFF2 spec for transformations). Has the effect of switching rotate 90 and rotate 270. Ignored for DXF, DWG, EPSF.
=1 means round numbers to 1/64ths when close, e.g. 3.062498 -> 3.0625. Stop diemakers from complaining that ArtiosCAD is "inaccurate". Ignored for EPSF.
=0 use design origin, =1 origin is center of design bounding box. Ignored for EPSF.
=0 output edge types as is, =1 convert edge types to pointage 2 and apply 1 point offset.
=0 or absent with layers, =1 EPSF output with no layers for PackEdge.

=1 export splines converted to arcs back to spline if single segment, non-modified (no added nicks, bridges) and number of control points = degree+1, 0= convert as arcs

DWG only (available in ArtiosCAD 14).

(Not applicable to any of the formats listed here; for VDS1 only) =0 no rule height table, =1 make rule height table.
(Not applicable to any of the formats listed here; for VDS1 only) =0 no rule width table, =1 make rule width table.
(for CFF2, DDES, EPSF) =0 include date in header, =1 omit date in header.

The line type tuning consists of  pairs of lines where the first line defines input attributes from ArtiosCAD, and the second of each pair defines the output attributes to the commonf file format.. The character "*" serves as a wild card. The format of the first of each pair of lines is:

layerclass linetype subtype minslotwidth maxslotwidth iwarning

The format of the second of each pair of lines is:

(For CFF2, DDES):
type auxtype slotwidth. See cff2 spec

(For DXF, DWG):
colornumber layername linestyle

(For EPSF):
strokewidth linestyle layername colorname cyan magenta yellow black


(Future, placeholder) class of design layer, not yet supported


ArtiosCAD generic line type, or special rule name, with spaces replaced with underline characters, * or -1 = any, -2 = do not output. For a list of ArtiosCAD linetypes, see the ArtiosCAD 'List of line types' appendix in the user guide at . Special rules which can be mapped to a file format line type will be mapped to the line type (example perf, cut/crease). Other special rule (example zipper, wave, zigzag) will be expanded to lines and arcs

For eg:

Tuning of:

* 1/2"_wave_left * * * 0  
777 0 *



If the wave length is not specifically defined, line type 13 (generic special rule) would have been logged rather than 777

In addition to the specific line type, the following special rule are also expanded as follows

Linetype 17: wave, scallop, zigzag

Linetype 16: zipper, S, echelon, staggered

The above is all true assuming the Output > Processing tab is configured as such:

If Design representation is configured, the special rule is expanded into its constituent parts for eg line 1 cut or 2 crease etc.

ArtiosCAD subtype, or * = any

Range of slot widths in mm (see slot widths below), * = any.

(Future, placeholder) =1 means warn if this type present, not supported in ArtiosCAD 3.0 outputs

Output CFF2, DDES type, * = same as ArtiosCAD generic type

Auxiliary type for CFF2. Not supported in DDES2.

Output slot width = pointage * 0.3556, * = same as ArtiosCAD slot width.

Optional, rule height to use in mm if the line type in ArtiosCAD has no rule height or zero rule height

DXF, DWG color number range 1 to 255. This is an index. See

Output layer name, with underlines for spaces

Stroke width of the stroke in the EPSF output in points, * = same as ArtiosCAD slot width

EPSF: Line style of the stroke in the EPSF output =0 continuous, =1 dashed, =2 dash-dot, =3 dots
DXF, DWG: Line style, user defined. Usually line type names such as "cut" or "crease" or DXF, DWG-defined such as CONTINUOUS, DOT, DASHED

Name of the color of the stroke in EPSF output

Color of the stroke in EPSF ouput

For the current project, the layerclass and iwarning parameters are placeholders that are included for completeness because they are mentioned in the Export Tuning spec. It is intended that they should be implemented as part of the future Export Tuning project.

Example tuning file for CFF2/ DDES:

#ExportTuning V2.0 Version header
# placesinch placesmm icorner rotnegtrans round64ths centerorigin offsetedgetypes nolayers heighttable widthtable noheader
5 3 0 0 0 1 1 0 1 1
0 * * 1.0668 1.0668 0 Map 3 point to CFF2 type 300 4 point
300 0 1.4224
0 1/2"_zipper * * * 0 Map 1/2" zipper to CFF2 type 213 auxiliary type 1
213 1 0.7112
0 1/4_1/4_perf * * * 0 Map 1/4 1/4 perf to CFF2 type 214 auxiliary type 2
214 2 *
0 1/2_1/2_perf * * * 0 Map 1/2 1/2 perf to CFF2 type 214 auxiliary type 3
214 3 *
# Map cuts to CCF2 type 100 and creases to CFF2 type 200
0 1 * * * 0 Map type 1 (cut) to CFF2 type 100
100 0 *
0 2 * * * 0 Map type 2 (crease) to CFF2 type 200
200 0 *

Example tuning file for DXF:

#ExportTuning V2.0 DXF Version header
# placesinch placesmm icorner rotnegtrans round64ths centerorigin offsetedgetypes nolayers
5 3 0 0 0 1 1 0
0 1 * * * 0 Map cuts to DXF color 1 main layer, line style cut
1 0 cut
0 2 * * * 0 Map creases to DXF color 7 main layer, line style crease
7 0 crease
0 11 * * * 0 Map bleed to DXF color 12 layer Bleed, line style bleed
12 Bleed bleed

Example tuning file for EPSF:

#ExportTuning V2.0 EPSF Version header
# placesinch placesmm icorner rotnegtrans round64ths centerorigin offsetedgetypes nolayers
5 3 0 0 0 1 1 0
0 1 * * * 0 Map cuts to black, EPSF layer "Structure"
* continuous Structure *cut 0 0 0 100
0 2 * * * 0 Map creases to red dash-dot, EPSF layer "Structure"
* dashdot Structure *crease 0 100 100 0
0 3 * * * 0 Map perf to blue dash-dot-dot, EPSF layer "Structure"
* 5_2_1_2_1_2 Structure *perf 100 40 0 0
0 11 * * * 0 Map bleed to green 1pt stroke, EPSF layer "Bleed"
1 continuous Bleed *bleed 100 0 100 0

Slot Widths

Slot widths are equivalent to rule pointage.

For generic rules, the slot width = pointage * 0.3556 (0.3556mm = 0.014 inches)

For special rules, the slot width may be part of the special rule definition for example, wave or zigzag special rule, or uses pointage.  

If the wildcard '*' is used, the pointage of the special rule will be used, else the slot width will be mapped according to the user-specified value and entered in the resulting formatted file.

Line style Output for EPSF

The line style can be specified as "continuous", "dashed", "dashdot", "dotted", or a specific pattern such as "5_2_1_2_1_2" can be specified. The pattern can have 2,4 or 6 numbers, and the numbers specify the length of on,off,on,off.

Block Output for DXF

DDES, CFF2, outputs support subroutines, but not when the output is tiled. DXF supports blocks (almost the same thing). If "Use subroutines" is checked on, each subroutine will be output as a block in DXF and DWG.

Selection of Text and Graphics

Text and dimensions should be selected in the tuning file as text type 20. Graphics should be selected as print image type 14.


  • For CFF2, DDES, DWG and DXF formats which don't support graphics, vector graphics are output as print image lines. Bitmaps are omitted.
  • Bitmaps are omitted in EPSF 3 output (but included in EPSF 8).
  • Bitmaps in EPSF output are represented in hex, uncompressed and are rather large.
Article information
Applies to

ArtiosCAD all versions

Last revised
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