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What is the .DGN File Extension?

.DGN File Extension Description:

Files with the .dgn extension refer to "DesiGN" files, the native drawing format used by MicroStation software -- a suite of Computer-Aided Design applications and developed by Bentley Systems. Microstation utilizes DGN files solely in Windows Operating Systems, but provides support for other drawing files, such as those with the .dwg extension.

Files with the .dgn extension are vector image files designed to house drawings of construction design, and are basically used by engineers, architectures, and the like to create digital representations of architectural structures. Two versions of DGN files are used. First is the ISFF-based DGN file, which was used until year 2000, while the other is V8 DGN, an updated format that has a different structure from the ISFF standard.

The structure of the older DGN files, based on the Intergraph Standard File Format (ISFF) specification, was defined as a set of binary files having a number of information stored. The information included Design File Header, graphic elements, file set-up details, and non-graphic data. The Deisgn File Header had three types: the Digitizer setup, Design file settings, and Level symbology -- all of which were situated as the first three elements of the .dgn file.

The V8 DGN file format, the latest .dgn file specification, is a superset of universal DWG file formats and MicroStation ver. 7 standards. This .dgn file extension format uses double precision floating coordinates, which means that the design plane is larger, has more accuracy in defining units, and allows for better resolution. Another feature is that the DGN file is created with one or more models, and removes all constraints of the DGN format that were in previous .dgn file versions. This means that the DGN format is maximized in its use of drawing architectural designs.

All files with the .dgn file extension contain elements that make up the entire drawing design. These consist both of primitive and complex elements. Lines, strings, ellipses, shapes, text, arcs, cones, and the like are of the primitive type. Complex elements are sets of elements that are logically related and include cells, nodes, chains, complex shapes, etc.

Author: Bentley Systems, Incorporated
Author URL:
Related Applications: MicroStation:, PowerDraft:, Bentley Redline:, Bentley View
Common Path: n/a


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What Causes .DGN files Errors to Occur?

When receiving errors with .DGN files you are in all likelihood receiving a severe Windows file system error - the error may be the result of damage to your registry and action is required to correct it at once to avoid further corruption to the program registry. Experiencing these errors places your PC at risk for fatal crashes, blue screen errors as well as hardware failure.

What are the Symptoms of .DGN files Errors?

.DGN files error symptoms include application crashes, start up or shut down troubles, slow personal computer performance, laggy behaviour, screen freezing, internal speaker beeps, trouble accessing application files and issues while installing applications.

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