Thursday, March 26, 2009


New free viewers for DWG and DWF CAD data

A good book writer (author) has many readers - and similarly a CAD designer (good designer) has many consumers (viewers) for his CAD data.

That's why it is important to have applications capable of reliable viewing of CAD formats. Autodesk has two of them, both of them free, and both were just released in a new "2010" version.

Autodesk DWG TrueView 2010
is a free DWG viewer. It is basically a cut down version of full AutoCAD so you can be sure that it displays, plots, measures and converts your DWG and DXF files exactly the same way as AutoCAD. The downside of this is that the installer is huge - 180MB, and also running TrueView takes quite a lot resources.

If you prefer lightweight applications and lightweight data, you will like Autodesk Design Review 2010. This a viewer for DWF and DWFx design files which can be easily published from any Windows application. And not only a viewer. In Design Review you can print, measure and first of all markup (redline) CAD data. And the markups can be brought back into AutoCAD. Version 2010 introduces ribbons and the ability to open DWG, PDF, DGN and JT files. DWG files are not viewed directly but they are first converted to DWF (in the background, with DWG TrueView). The added support for PDFs is quite surprising but it goes in line with the PDF support added in AutoCAD 2010.

You can download these two new applications from and

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