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Rationalising imports with thousands of lines

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This is a problem that crops up now and again ... I import something like a manufacturer's detail section through a window from profile. The import process sometimes seems to convert complicated polylines and curves into thousands of little linked lines. This obviously makes the imported stuff terribly unwieldy and bogs down any drawing I include it in.

Is there way of simplifying these drawings automatically... losing a bit of accuracy or detail (which is generally much more than I need anyway) in exchange for less lines?

Or is there something I should be doing at the import stage to stop this happening?

edited to add:

In the instance I am dealing with at the moment I have imported a drawing which seems to have been partly created in 3d so I am getting loads of "3d polygons" (about 3900 of them for a drawing of a single window frame) which I am trying to convert into 2d polygons (resulting in thousands of those instead - 23000 objects to be precise!)

Edited by wma
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