As CAD files are not common office documents for a large group of people, you might get stumped on how to read a file affixed with the .dws extension. Today, this post talks about what is a DWS file and how to open it.

What Is a DWS File

A DWS file refers to a drawing standards file created by AutoCAD, a computer-aided design program used to help 3D designs and engineering, and the file extension of a DWS file is .dws. A drawing standards file defines standards on the drawing file layout such as the layers, line types, dimensions properties, and other related factors. With a DWS file, multipersonal collaboration on one single design can be more standardized.

Besides, there are two more good features for DWS files, including detecting every violation against the defined drawing settings and generating a report to inform users. Thanks to these features, a DWS file can save much time on formatting and correcting.

The DWS format is a derivative of the DWG format. To bring a DWG file into line, users can save it as a DWS file to enforce graphical standards. Other derivative formats consist of the drawing template file (.dwt) and the drawing interchange format (.dxf). The former is created as a default template file to set up basic configurations on AutoCAD files, and the latter is applied to transfer DWG files among different platforms.

How to Open a DWS File

DWS files are most popular in the fields of construction, engineering, and graphic design. As a result, how to open a DWS file might be a frequently asked question by other professionals. Generally, you have to install a DWS file viewer to read DWS files. Otherwise, you cannot view the content even though you open a DWS file somehow.

The following chart tells you several programs that support the DWS format, and the developers and specific platforms are also listed respectively:






Windows and macOS



Windows and macOS



Windows, macOS, UNIX, and Raspberry Pi

FILExt online file viewer



FileProInfo DWS viewer



The FILExt online file viewer and FileProInfo DWS viewer are two free online DWS viewers. Users can use Google Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and any other modern web browsers to access the online service.

How to Convert DWS to PDF

It could be a bother to open DWS files by installing a new program. So despite using online DWS viewers mentioned above, you can also convert a DWS file to a PDF file, the most reliable format for reading and better sharing. SwifDoo PDF online converter can help you convert DWS to PDF swiftly and easily. Go to SwifDoo PDF online converter, click “CAD to PDF” > “Choose file” > “Download” to export your converted PDF file. Besides, you can use the SwifDoo PDF desktop application to further edit your new files.

Lydia is an English columnist for AWZware. She is familiar with different technology products such as office software, location changers, and video software applications. Focused on tech blog writing, she is willing to solve your problems with up-to-date information.