.DWG File Extension
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.
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. Because AutoCAD is a leading CAD program, many other applications also allow users to export technical drawings as DWG files.
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 do I open a DWG file?
Because DWG files are so prevalent, a wide variety of CAD programs and viewers allow users to open DWG files. For example, you can open a DWG file in Autodesk AutoCAD (cross-platform), CorelCAD (Windows, Mac), Dassault Systemes SolidWorks eDrawings Viewer (Windows, Mac), and Adobe Illustrator (Windows, Mac).