Here is a thread for FrameMaker users that has some data you might find useful in doing what you want: http://forums.adobe.com/thread/316489
I have to handle this headache on occasion with MicroStation DGN files and I don't know of any plug-ins that will do this for either DWG or DGN. I try to get an EPS export from the CAD program first, if that export option is available, and bring it into Adobe Illustrator. This should be a standard for any CAD software. The next thing I try is PDF export and bring that into AI. If that doesn't work...
Your next problem is that version 5 of Illustrator is 17 years old! I'm sorry to inform you but that could be the problem you face, your software and computer are too old and that version of Illustrator isn't sophisticated enough to handle what you want to handle. You may have no option but to get a newer Mac or Windows computer and get a newer version of AI, at least!
I run Windows XP on a Dell Dimension 5150 and AI CS4 at work and I can barely get by at home with a 4 year old Mac Mini running Mac OS X 10.5 and AI CS2. That should give you a baseline to work from.
I hope this last hasn't upset you too much.
I don't think AI supported scripts until CS1 or 2(?). The OP has versions 5!
The OP has versions 5!
Betcha she doesn’t.
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You mean CS5?
I meant "CS5" <blush!> (geeze, I think V.5 was popular with big hair and blue eye shadow!)
i use concatenate plugin. still tedious, but works well. not sure if it runs on cs5
There is a big improvement in CS5 on how Join works. You no longer have to select individual pairs of path endpoints. You can now select multiple paths. When you do Join (Cmd/Ctrl+J) with multiple paths, all of te path segment will be joined to create one open path. Doing Join a second time will then close that path. This should be a huge timesaver for CAD import.
This Worked a charm, CS5
"The "join reasonable" script here might work for you.
Help installing scripts"
Thanks for the heads up