.DWG File Extension

AutoCAD Drawing

Developer Autodesk
3.5  |  752 Votes

What is a DWG file?

A DWG file is a 2D or 3D drawing created with Autodesk AutoCAD, a professional CAD program. It contains vector image data and metadata that AutoCAD and other CAD applications use to load a drawing. DWG files are related to .DXF files, which are ASCII versions of DWG files.

More Information

Screenshot of a .dwg file in Autodesk AutoCAD 2022
DWG file open in Autodesk AutoCAD 2022

Autodesk AutoCAD is a robust CAD application that architects, engineers, and other construction and design professionals use to create 2D and 3D technical drawings. By default, AutoCAD saves users' drawings as DWG files. Also, many other applications allow users to export technical drawings as DWG files since AutoCAD is a leading CAD program.

Variations of the DWG format

Over the years, AutoCAD has used several variations of the DWG file format. For example, since 2000, the program has saved users' files in the DWG 2000, DWG 2004, DWG 2007, DWG 2010, DWG 2013, and DWG 2018 formats, all of which use the .dwg file extension. While these formats are similar, their file structures differ slightly. Therefore, some third-party CAD applications may be able to open some DWG files but not others.

How to open a DWG file

You can open DWG files with many CAD programs and viewers. For example, you can open a DWG file with Autodesk AutoCAD (cross-platform), CorelCAD (Windows, Mac), Dassault Systemes SolidWorks eDrawings Viewer (Windows, Mac), and Adobe Illustrator (Windows, Mac).

How to convert a DWG file

Various applications, including Autodesk AutoCAD, CorelCAD, and Adobe Illustrator, can convert DWG files to other formats.

For example, Autodesk AutoCAD can convert DWG files to many file types, including the following formats:

  • .DWF - Design Web Format
  • .DWFX - Design Web Format XPS
  • .SAT - ACIS SAT 3D Model
  • .BMP - Bitmap Image
  • .DXX - AutoCAD Drawing Interchange Attribute
  • .EPS - Encapsulated PostScript
  • .IGES, .IGS - IGES Drawing
  • .STL - Stereolithography File
  • .WMF - Windows Metafile
  • .DGN - MicroStation Design
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Programs that open DWG files

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