How to: embed image to AutoCAD drawing

How do you insert image to AutoCAD drawing? You probably already use this tip, but I still see many people are asking about this, so I think I’ll share it anyway.

The first thing that cross your mind probably using reference. Yes you can attach an image, not only DWGs.

attach image

This method has it advantages. But that’s not what we will discuss here.

It’s the advantages. Like XREF, you need to send the image to when you send the drawing. Of course we can prevent it left behind by using eTransmit.

But some of us prefer to keep it simple. Not all of us are enhanced users. I was frustrated too before because of this.

You can simply paste it

Yes. It’s true.

All you need to do is open the drawing in image viewer. Any image viewer will do. At least I tested with Picasa and Windows Live Photo Gallery.

After you open it, right click, choose copy from context menu.

Now open your AutoCAD drawing. Now you can press [ctrl] + V to paste the image. Or choose paste from clipboard on your AutoCAD ribbon.

paste from clipboard

More tip about this, if you want to add your company logo for your title block, you may want to add it on your DWT template, so you don’t need to add it on each drawing.

So do you think this is preferred method than using image reference?

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  1. says

    Hello, plz help me
    I want to add a picture in my file in autocad, I can insert a picture in autocad. but when I delete source file (picture file in my computer) , autocad not show picture file in autocad file. ont written a file address.

    plz help me
    thak you

  2. 2thpic says


    is what i use. what it does is, it inserts what ever you have stored on your clipboard as an imbedded image into Autocad and it is not a reference. there for you can save and send with out having lost images.


    Go to a map on-line and use the Snipping Tool program from basic Windows. Once in the snip-it program, click on copy under the tools pull down.

    Go into Autocad and type PASTESPEC.
    Pop-up comes up click on "device independent bitmap"
    Then click OK. done, that EZ.

  3. Mike says

    Use the INSERTOBJ command and choose Create New and select Paintbrush Picture if your looking to insert pictures and have it embed in AutoCAD. It will open paintbrush and choose paste from drop down menu at the top and select paste from. Browse to the picture file and select. It will embed this picture in AutoCAD. Make sure you save the picture in paintbrush and it will embed into AutoCAD. Do this for each picture. No links to worry about.

  4. avoidingreallife says

    I tried Windows Picture and Fax Viewer, Irfanview, and Picture Viewer, and none of them allowed a right-click to copy. When I used the copy command in the edit menu, it pasted as a smeared, pixelated, unrecognizable mess. I don't know why it stopped working now, but even when I used this method before, it only produced a reference that was broken when I rearranged my file structure.

    Also, the click-and-drag approach from Windows Explorer just activates the standard reference attachment song and dance, with the additional hangup of telling me my file is invalid.

    Inserting as an OLE object does at least bundle the image with the drawing file, but it only displays a square thumbnail that ruins the aspect ratio of the original image and makes it illegible.

    AutoCAD has been really good for a lot of other things, but now I find myself asking why this program costs thousands of dollars and still can't handle a simple image insertion.

  5. srbelec says

    if the file is in .bmp you can insert OLE object.  It will stay with the drawing until you delete it.  I have just done this today, using 2010

  6. Kym says

    I find that using the copy & paste method still inserts the image as a linked file, so cant share the drawing with external parties (without also sending the additional file).

  7. says

    With inserting images, the image frame could be an issue. There are a few ways to deal with it:

    1. Put it on defpoints.

    2. Select it > mouse right click > draw order > send to back

    3.Type the imageframe command > modify > object > image > frame > then choose one of the three settings: 0 = off, 1 = on, and 2 = on in drawing, off in plot

    That's all that I can think off. =)