Today, almost every profession relies on a computer and computer software to do their work. Most designers install professional design software to create drawings instead of drawing by hand.

DWG files are widely utilized owing to the growing need for design drawings, especially in the packaging and automobile industries. Find out all you need to know about DWG if you're new to it.

What is DWG?

DWG is a file format developed by Mike Riddle in the 1970s for storing drawings. You can understand that DWG is derived from the word “Drawing”. The format is denoted by the .dwg filename extension.

The DWG format is the default format for computer-aided design (CAD) software, especially AutodeskAutoCAD, the market leader. The format is also supported by a number of other CAD drafting programs and is probably the most widely used format for drawings.

What Is a DWG File?

A DWG file is a two-dimensional (2D) or three-dimensional (3D) drawing or model file created by a CAD application. Simply put, DWG files are CAD drawings containing vector image data and metadata.

Mostly, architects, engineers, and other designers use DWG files for designing machinery, buildings, or other objects with all physical components and layouts included, which can visualize and simulate design results. This type of drawings greatly helps with precise construction or assembly.

To be specific, there are different versions of DWG files with filename extensions as follows, along with .dwg:

.dws (Drawing Standards Files)

.dwt (Drawing Template Files) 

.bak (Drawing Backup Files),

.sv$ (Temporary Automatic Save)

Since they are still DWG files, the extensions can be renamed as .dwg in File Explorer.

How to Open a DWG File

You can open a DWG file with plenty of CAD applications such as desktop-based AutoCAD and AutoCAD web apps as well as some other programs such as SolidWorks eDrawings, CorelCAD, and Adobe Illustrator through a licensing agreement.

To open a DWG file without AutoCAD or the mentioned software, you can use a free online DWG viewer called Autodesk Viewer and a desktop freeware for Windows, DWG TrueView, which are both provided by Autodesk, the company behind AutoCAD. If you need to create or edit DWG files, it’s required to employ a licensed CAD application. 

Tips: In terms of transferring designs between different programs, another type of CAD file, Drawing Exchange Format (DXF) files are more preferred because the open-source DXF format is supported by almost all the drafting software.

How to Convert a DWG file to a PDF?

When you just need to view 2D DWG files, you may wish to open them in PDF format. To make a DWG file a PDF, using a PDF converter, SwifDoo PDF will save time and energy.

SwifDoo PDF can convert DWG files to PDF documents in batch via its desktop application, and also enables you to convert a file from CAD DWG to PDF format online for free.  

Charlotte has been in the software industry for 8+ years. She works for AWZWARE now as a passionate writer. She is good at providing simple guides to use various video, office and entertainment software. Charlotte also recommends many other useful tools to make your work and life easier. A food lover too.