What’s the difference between DWG and DWF?

DWF is a smaller, more compressed file format than native DWG files, making them easier to transmit over the web. This is particularly pertinent when attaching files through email. DWF files can be generated from a variety of Autodesk products as well as non-Autodesk products using the free Autodesk DWF Writer.

What is DWF? #

DWF is secure file formats developed by Autodesk to combine and publish rich 2D- and 3D-design data for sharing with others.

What is DWFX? #

DWFx is the newest version of the DWF file format. DWFx is based on the XML Paper Specification (XPS), and hence can be viewed and printed with the Microsoft XPS Viewer. The XPS Viewer is a free program that is distributed with the Windows Operating System.

DWFx files are typically larger than the corresponding DWF file. You typically use the DWFx file format to share design data with reviewers who cannot install Autodesk Design Review.

What is DWG? #

DWG files are primarily associated with Autodesk’s AutoCAD software, which is one of the most widely used computer-aided design (CAD) programs in the world.

Here are some key points about DWG files:

Purpose #

DWG files are used to store drawings, blueprints, schematics, and other design-related information. They can contain both 2D and 3D data, making them versatile for various design and engineering purposes.

Compatibility #

While DWG is associated with AutoCAD, it’s also supported by many other CAD and design software applications. AutoCAD has its native DWG file format, but it can import and export DWG files in different versions to ensure compatibility.

Versions #

DWG files come in different versions, with each version being associated with a specific release of AutoCAD. It’s important to be aware of the DWG version you’re using to ensure compatibility with other software and to avoid data loss or formatting issues.

Features #

DWG files can store a wide range of design elements, including lines, shapes, text, dimensions, layers, and 3D objects. They can also include metadata and additional information about the drawing.

Editing #

DWG files can be edited and modified using CAD software like AutoCAD. Users can add, remove, or manipulate elements within the drawing as needed.

Interoperability #

DWG files are commonly used for sharing and collaborating on design projects across different teams and organizations within the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industries.

Protection #

DWG files can be password-protected or encrypted to prevent unauthorized access or modifications.

Open Design Alliance #

The Open Design Alliance (ODA) is an organization that develops libraries and tools for working with DWG files, even without AutoCAD. This allows developers to create software that can read and write DWG files.