What is a DWF File?

How to Open, Edit, & Convert DWF Files

Picture of the DWF file icon

A file with the DWF file extension is an Autodesk Design Web Format file created in computer-aided design (CAD) programs.

The DWF format is a highly compressed version of a CAD file that's useful for viewing, printing, and transmitting the design without the need for the recipient to understand how to use the CAD software that created the original drawing.

DWF files are also useful in that they can be created in a way that masks part of the design from the recipient.

How To Open a DWF File

Autodesk's AutoCAD and Inventor software, ABViewer from CADSoftTools, and likely many other CAD programs are able to open, create, and edit DWF files.

Autodesk has several free ways you can view a DWF file without the need for their AutoCAD software. This can be done through their Design Review software, the free online DWF viewer called A360 Viewer, and their mobile app Autodesk A360 (available for iOS and Android).

The free Navisworks 3D Viewer opens DWF files as well, but it, too, cannot edit them.

The Revit software from Autodesk can export to the DWF format, so it may be able to open DWF files too.

DWF files, having been created with ZIP compression, can be opened with a file zip/unzip program. Opening a DWF file this way lets you see various XML and binary files that make up the DWF file, but it won't let you view the design like you can with the programs I just mentioned.

How To Convert a DWF File

Using AutoCAD is, of course, the easiest way to convert a DWF file to another format. Look for the option in the File menu, or an Export or Convert menu.

AnyDWG's Any DWF to DWG Converter does just what you'd think - it converts the DWF file format to DWG or DXF, and can even do so in batch so as to convert several folders of drawing files at once.

Also supported is the ability to extract images from the DWF file.

You may also be able to convert DWF to DWG using nothing but the Design Review program linked to from above. See this post at JTB World Blog for details.

Another DWF file converter from AnyDWG, called DWF to PDF Converter, converts DWF to the PDF format. AutoCAD and Design Review should have the ability to save DWF files as PDFs too, but if not, you can install a free PDF printer like doPDF, which lets you "print" files to PDF.

Note: The AnyDWG converters above are trial programs. The DWF to DWG converter is free only for the first 15 conversions, and the PDF converter can only save DWF files to PDFs 30 times.

More Help With DWF Files

See Get More Help for information about contacting me on social networks or via email, posting on tech support forums, and more. Let me know what kinds of problems you're having with opening or using the DWF file and I'll see what I can do to help.