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ezdxf-browse - Man Page

ezdxf browse – PyQt DXF structure browser for DXF debugging and curious people


ezdxf browse [-h] [-l LINE] [-g HANDLE] [FILE]


The browse command opens a DXF structure browser to investigate the internals of a DXF file without interpreting the content. The intended usage is debugging invalid DXF files, which cannot be loaded by the ezdxf.readfile() or the ezdxf.recover.readfile() functions.

Line Numbers

The low level tag loader ignores DXF comments (group code 999). If there are comments in the DXF file the line numbers displayed in the DXF browser are not synchronized, use the ezdxf-strip(1) command beforehand to remove all comments from the DXF file in order to keep the line numbers synchronized.

GUI Features

The tree view on the left shows the outline of the DXF file. The number in round brackets on the right side of each item shows the count of structure entities within the structure layer, the value in angle brackets on the left side is the entity handle.

The right list view shows the entity content as DXF tags. Structure tags (data type <ctrl>) are shown in blue, a double click on a reference handle (datatype <ref>) jumps to the referenced entity, reference handles of non-existent targets are shown in red.

Clicking on the first structure tag in the list opens the DXF reference provided by Autodesk in the standard web browser.

Auto Reload

The browser automatically displays a dialog for reloading DXF files if they have been modified by an external application.

Menus and Shortcuts

File Menu
  • Open DXF file... Ctrl+O
  • Reload DXF file Ctrl+R
  • Open in Text Editor Ctrl+T, open the DXF file in the associated text editor at the current location
  • Export DXF Entity... Ctrl+E, export the current DXF entity shown in the list view as text file
  • Copy selected DXF Tags to Clipboard Ctrl+C, copy the current selected DXF tags into the clipboard
  • Copy DXF Entity to Clipboard Ctrl+Shift+C, copy all DXF tags of the current DXF entity shown in the list view into the clipboard
  • Quit Ctrl+Q
Navigate Menu
  • Go to Handle... Ctrl+G
  • Go to Line... Ctrl+L
  • Find Text... Ctrl+F, opens the find text dialog
  • Next Entity Ctrl+Right, go to the next entity in the DXF structure
  • Previous Entity Ctrl+Right, go to the previous entity in the DXF structure
  • Show Entity in TreeView Ctrl+Down, expand the left tree view to the currently displayed entity in the list view – this does not happen automatically for performance reasons
  • Entity History Back Alt+Left
  • Entity History Forward Alt+Right
  • Go to HEADERS Section Shift+H
  • Go to BLOCKS Section Shift+B
  • Go to ENTITIES Section Shift+E
  • Go to OBJECTS Section Shift+O
Bookmarks Menu
  • Store Bookmark... Ctrl+Shift+B, store current location as named bookmark
  • Go to Bookmark... Ctrl+B, go to stored location


Positional Arguments


DXF file to browse

Optional Arguments


show a help message and exit

-l LINE--line LINE

go to line number

-g HANDLE--handle HANDLE

go to entity by HANDLE, HANDLE has to be a hex value without any prefix like ‘fefe


See ezdxf(1).


See ezdxf(1).

The browse command stores options in the config file, e.g. for the Notepad++ on Windows:


text_editor = "C:\Program Files\Notepad++\notepad++.exe" "{filename}" -n{num}
icon_size = 32

text_editor is a simple format string: text_editor.format(filename="test.dxf", num=100)

Quote commands including spaces and always quote the filename argument!

For xed(1) on Linux Mint use (note: absolute path to executable):


text_editor = /usr/bin/xed "{filename}" +{num}
icon_size = 32

For gedit(1) use (untested):


text_editor = /usr/bin/gedit +{num} "{filename}"
icon_size = 32


Browse the internal structure of a DXF file like a file system:

$ ezdxf browse gear.dxf

See Also


ezdxf-audit(1), ezdxf-draw(1), ezdxf-view(1), ezdxf-browse-acis(1), ezdxf-strip(1), ezdxf-config(1), ezdxf-info(1), ezdxf-hpgl(1)

Referenced By

ezdxf(1), ezdxf-audit(1), ezdxf-config(1), ezdxf-draw(1), ezdxf-hpgl(1), ezdxf-info(1), ezdxf-strip(1), ezdxf-view(1).

May 2024