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Should I Link or Import CAD files into my Revit project?

There are two ways to include CAD in a Revit project; Link or Import.


When you Link CAD, Revit will remember the location of the CAD file, and will update if the CAD file is modified.


When you choose to Import CAD, the CAD file now lives in Revit. If the CAD file changes, those changes will NOT be displayed in Revit. You can change (override) the overwriting line colors, styles and turning on/off layers.

So which method do you choose? Either could be appropriate. Without knowing the details, I would recommend using links. If you search the internet on the topic you can easily find conflicting information about which method is best from a performance point of view. In our testing we do not see any difference in performance or file size.

We do see 2 advantages for links. If you do need to reload the CAD file, the linked file will maintain changes to its position or adjustments made to the visibility or the graphics (such as color & line type). That is not the case for imported files. If you need to reload an imported CAD file all those changes would be lost. Secondly, linked CAD files are accessible from the Manage links dialog which makes it easy to keep track of them. There is no such ability for imported files, and if you want to track them down in large projects it is not as easy.


Download PDF – KB-201230-Link or Import CAD into Revit