There may be situations where you have incorrect property values in your DGN file, and have the correct values in a SHP (or MIF/MID or TAB) file. In this case, you'd like to update the property values in the DGN from those in the SHP. Follow along in this tutorial that describes how this can be doing by using a Join.
In this example, the Parcel features have incorrect OWNER values as shown in the Data Browser:
And the SHP file contains current OWNER information as shown in Excel:
To update the DGN OWNER values, establish a join between the DGN and SHP using the ID_NUM column. To do that, ensure you have a Map Definition in the DGN, and select JOIN from the feature right-click menu. In the Define Joins dialog, choose New File Source and navigate to the SHP file. NOTE: The SHP file and associated DBF, SHX and PRJ must have a different name than the feature.
Select the same feature property on the left side as well as the right side. Then click Add Selected Left/Right Properties. Then press OK. NOTE: The selected properties must be the same data type. ie: string, integer etc. NOTE: If the dialog is not showing the Joined Properties panel, then resize the dialog vertically about the red line as shown below. This can occur when your display settings Scale and Layout option is set to 125% or more.
Verify that the join was established by reviewing a feature with Analyze or loading into the Data Browser. If the Join is correct, the Analyze Dialog and Data Browser will show the properties of both the DGN and the SHP file.
At this point, it's simply a matter of copying the SHP property values to the DGN property. To do that, select the values from the SHP column, and press CTRL+C. Then highlight the SECOND value in the DGN and press CTRL+V. The first value will have to be copied and pasted manually. NOTE: You can use CTRL+C and CTRL+V to also copy/paste data from Excel into the Data Browser. Just be mindful that the first row is not included and will have to be dealt with separately. As well, ensure that the column data types are compatible. For example, if the DGN column is defined as an integer and the SHP column is a string, you won't be able to paste the values.
This workflow can be used for any data joins.
The attached ZIP file contains files to test and learn from.