Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the Autodesk DWF Writer?
The free* Autodesk® DWF™ Writer enables you to publish your design data to DWF™ files, no matter what design application you use. DWF technology gives your project teams a secure and easy way to share crucial design data while minimizing errors, costs, and information loss throughout the entire project. DWF Writer enables project teams to standardize on the DWF format, improving digital design workflows and team communication. It supports publishing of 2D files directly from a Microsoft® Windows® system printer driver and capturing of 3D models while retaining intelligent design information. More information and a free download are available at www.autodesk.com/dwfwriter.
Any member of a project team can download the free Autodesk® DWF™ Viewer to easily view and print designs shared electronically with DWF.
2. What are some of the benefits of using Autodesk DWF Writer?
The Autodesk DWF Writer enables you to publish to DWF so that you or your team can
- Standardize on DWF to improve digital design workflows and team communication.
- Quickly and easily share designs with your extended team without requiring the original design software to be installed on their systems, and without requiring CAD expertise.
- Securely share designs in a published format with contractors, clients, or other third-party partners.
- Save time and money on overnight shipments, by sending CAD files and 3D models electronically.
- Archive designs, saving valuable storage space and lowering costs. DWF files are compact, often 1/20 the size of DWG files and 1/10 the size of PDF files, while still maintaining the visual and printing fidelity of the original file.
In sum, DWF files are
- Smart—High fidelity preserves design intelligence built into CAD files and 3D models, including object properties, sheets, and layers.
- Small—Multilayered compression technology means DWF files are often 1/20 the size of AutoCAD® files and 1/10 the size of PDF files.
- Simple—With the free Autodesk DWF Viewer and one-click publishing from design applications, there’s no need to buy additional software.
3. How do I create DWF files with DWF Writer?
DWF publishing is built into all Autodesk products, and you can use DWF Writer to publish DWF files from other applications, including:
- SolidWorks® 2005
- Pro/ENGINEER® Wildfire 2.0
- UGS® NX™
- UGS® Solid Edge®
- Microsoft® PowerPoint®, Word, Excel®, Visio®, and Outlook
Visit the DWF publishing page for detailed instructions.
4. Is Autodesk DWF Writer only for publishing to DWF from AutoCAD?
No. Autodesk developed the DWF Writer to work with other CAD applications that do not offer built-in DWF publishing, such as SolidWorks, Bentley® MicroStation®, and ESRI ArcGIS software. The optimal way to publish DWF files is using the built-in Publish command in Autodesk products, and built-in DWF support in other Autodesk applications (such as DWF Writer for SolidWorks and DWF Writer for Pro/ENGINEER).
5. What are the system requirements for Autodesk DWF Writer?
Autodesk DWF Writer requires one of the following operating systems:
- Microsoft® Windows® XP Professional or Home Edition
- Windows 2000 (SP4)
- Microsoft® Windows Server™ 2003
6. What is new with the latest release (DWF Writer 3)?
For a comprehensive list of new DWF Writer features, visit our What’s New page.
7. What language is DWF Writer available in?
DWF Writer 3 is available in English.
DWF Writer 2 is available in the following languages:
- Chinese (simplified)
- Chinese (traditional)
- Portuguese (Brazilian)
8. What do I get when I install DWF Writer?
DWF Writer 3 includes the following four components:
- Autodesk® DWF™ Writer 3 for 2D
- Autodesk® DWF™ Writer 3 for 3D
- Autodesk® DWF™ Writer 3 for SolidWorks®
- Autodesk® DWF™ Writer 3 for Pro/ENGINEER®
- Autodesk DWF Viewer 6.5
(Note: You can customize the installation process to specify which of these components you would like to have installed.)
9. How do I change the 2D DWF settings for DWF Writer?
In the Windows Printers and Faxes control panel, right-click Autodesk DWF Writer, and then choose Properties. Choose Printing Preferences to customize the DWF paper size, resolution, file location, and other DWF output settings. Choose Help for tips on publishing DWF files using this Windows printer driver.
10. How do I capture 3D models from my 3D design application?
Refer to the DWF Writer for 3D online help for tips on publishing 3D DWF files from your OpenGL 3D application.
11. How does the Autodesk DWF Viewer differ or work with the Autodesk DWF Writer?
The Autodesk DWF Writer enables users to publish from any design application, and with the free DWF Viewer users can view and print the 2D and 3D designs you share. Autodesk DWF Viewer is a free application for viewing and printing 2D and 3D drawings, maps, and models published to DWF. Additional functionality like measuring, marking up, and annotating DWF files along with round-trip markup integrated with Autodesk design applications is available with Autodesk® DWF™ Composer. To learn more, take a look at the Viewer Comparison.
12. Can I use Autodesk DWF Viewer for redlining DWF files?
Autodesk DWF Viewer does not provide functionality for measuring or redlining. If you or others on your design review team have a measuring or redlining requirement, Autodesk DWF Composer is the product for you. Compare Autodesk DWF Viewer and Autodesk DWF Composer at www.autodesk.com/viewercomparison.
13. Can I give Autodesk DWF Viewer to others?
Yes. You can redistribute Autodesk DWF Viewer to anyone without prior approval from Autodesk, subject to the terms of the license agreement.
The easiest way to share DWF Viewer is to include a short message and the URL when you send a DWF file. Here is an example:
To view the attached DWF file, download the free Autodesk® DWF™ Viewer from /www.autodesk.com/dwfviewer-download.
DWF—the ideal way to accurately share designs with your team!
You may also install DWF Viewer and distribute it to a larger group of users. Electronic distribution of Autodesk DWF Viewer in its intact form is encouraged. DWF Viewer is available free to end users, including developers creating end-user applications. Any customization of Autodesk DWF Viewer must be accomplished using the application programming interfaces (APIs) provided by Autodesk.
14. What is DWF?
DWF is built to distribute CAD files and 3D models so the fidelity and intelligence of designs can be communicated easily and securely. Often at 1/10 the size of other formats, DWF files are easy to distribute and share online. With one-click publishing from AutoCAD software and other design applications and the free DWF Writer, there is no need to purchase additional software.
More information on DWF, including a DWF white paper, is available online in the DWF Center at www.autodesk.com/dwf.
15. How do I convert a DWG or other file type to a DWF file?
The ability to publish DWF files is built into Autodesk design applications, including AutoCAD-based products, Autodesk Inventor, Revit®-based products, Autodesk® VIZ, and Autodesk® 3ds Max® software. Tips on how to publish DWF files from Autodesk applications are available here.
If you are using design applications such as SolidWorks, Pro/ENGINEER, ESRI, or Bentley MicroStation software, you can use the Autodesk DWF Writer.
16. Is DWF an open file format?
DWF is an open, standards-based specification. Autodesk publishes the DWF specification and makes available C++ libraries for any developer who wants to build applications with DWF technology, with the DWF Toolkit. More information is available at the Autodesk Developer Center or link directly from www.autodesk.com/dwf-developers.
17. How secure is my DWF file?
Autodesk recognizes the importance of protecting your intellectual property when sharing designs as a DWF file. As such DWF files by default include only what the designer intends to share. Layer information can be turned on or off; and object properties or block attributes are not included unless published by the CAD user. For additional security DWF has digital encryption features, such as password protection, that can be applied when publishing a DWF file from design applications.
18. How accurate or precise is my DWF file?
A DWF file is highly accurate, when compared to paper, but carries less data and accuracy than the original DWG file from which it was published. By default DWF files are published at 400–1200 dpi (dots per inch), similar to a printout, regardless of the virtual paper size you are plotting to. For example, a 300-foot-long building with a floor plan that fills 66 percent of the width of the page equates to 4,000 * 0.66 = 2,640 dots at which the lines can end. In terms of a precision level, this means you can measure accurately to 300 feet/2,640 dots = 0.1136 feet, or 1.36 inches. One inch is much higher accuracy than you could attain with a ruler and physical paper, but less precise than the original DWG file because of compression algorithms applied to publish the DWG file to DWF.
When higher accuracy is required, you can increase the precision of your DWF file by changing the paper size or increasing the dpi setting. (Note that the DWF file size increases when you increase dpi.) These settings are found in the Publish settings in Autodesk design applications. See the DWF Tips section at www.autodesk.com/dwf-tips to learn more.
*This product is subject to the terms and conditions of the end-user license agreement that accompanies download of this software.