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Pros and cons of DWG files.
DWG may be the go-to for graphics when putting together new engineering or architecture projects, but there are a few drawbacks, too.
Advantages of DWG files.
- They are often considered the industry standardfor technical drawings and blueprints.
- The binary makeup of a DWG file makes it a smaller file by far than its leading rival DXF, which uses plain text. This makes it much more suitable for sharing with colleagues and saving on storage space.
- The real beauty of the DWG is its ability to map 2D and 3D images together, so the two versions are always compatible at different stages of design.
Disadvantages of DWG files.
- DWG has limited capability. DXF is a more widely supported file on CAD packages, which means collaboration between agencies and their clients tends to happen in DXF form.
- The DWG format has changed a lot over time. This means more than one version of the file extension currently exists, which can be confusing. Plus, older software may not recognize newer features built into later versions of DWG, making entire files potentially unusable.
- DWGs can’t be opened or accessed by anything other than CAD software without converting first. Again, this can be problematic when it comes to collaboration.
How to open a DWG file.
If you don’t need to make edits, you can use a DWG viewer to open the files. With the right software on your computer, you shouldn't have any trouble viewing your DWGs.
Here’s how you can open a DWG with Adobe Illustrator on desktop:
- Right-click on the image file on your desktop or file explorer window. (On Mac, press the COMMAND button and click the mouse button.)
- Scroll down to Open With, then scroll right to view the list of programs that can open a DWG file.
How to create and edit a DWG file.
As mentioned, you need one of the CAD programs to be able to create and edit a DWG file from scratch. However, if you’re using Adobe Illustrator, you can create a file and export it to DWG so it can be opened using CAD software.
Just follow these steps:
- From the File menu, select Open.
- Locate the file you want to open using the file explorer window.
- Click to open the file.
To export it as a DWG file, do the following:
- Choose File, then Export.
- Select a location for the file and enter a filename.
- Select the DWG format from the Save As Type (Windows) or Format (macOS) pop‑up menu.
- Click Save (Windows) or Export (macOS).
Remember, you may experience issues with versioning – so make sure your recipient can open the file.
DWG files: frequently asked questions.