What is HPGL-DXF?
HPGL-DXF is a small program that was written originally to allow the conversion of HPGL formatted circuit board CAM files into DXF files so that they could be subsequently processed by a laser cutting system.

How does it work?
HPGL-DXF is a compact program that breaks the tokenizes HPGL data stream into individual HPGL commands and selectively translates them into DXF output.

Screen shot
(Screen shot depicting PCB CAD program with the HPGL output on the left and the converted result in QCAD as a DXF. Note the crosshatching in the PCB CAD program is not part of the HPGL output.)

How do I use it?

	hpgl-dxf -i datafile.hpgl -o datafile.dxf 


  • Only converts pen up/down and absolute/relative commands (usually more than ample for most plots)
  • Does not convert colours
  • Does not convey dimensions (though a lot of HPGL files are set in 'mils' or 1/1000")
Most of these limitations will be removed in the course of the next couple of releases.

What software licence is this released under?
HPGL-DXF is released under the modified BSD licence. This means that it's compatible with other licences like GPL as well as being commercial/closed-source friendly.


Installation is quite simple, a two step process

  • (unpacking) tar zxvf hpgl-dxf-0.0.2.tar.gz
  • (building) cd hpgl-dxf-0.0.2; make
  • (installing) make install