About DWF and DWFx Files

DWF and DWFx are secure file formats developed by Autodesk to combine and publish rich 2D- and 3D-design data for sharing with others.

Using DWF and DWFx for Reviewing Design Data

DWF and DWFx are highly compressed file formats and hence more suitable than DWG files for distributing over the Internet for review. You can export a single drawing or publish multiple drawings and sheet sets into a single DWF or DWFx file.

Reviewers don't need to install AutoCAD to review DWF and DWFx files. Instead, they can install the free program, Autodesk Design Review, to view, mark up, print, and track changes. You can read the markups in AutoCAD, change your drawings, change markup status, and republish to DWF or DWFx for further review cycles.

Note: Autodesk Design Review also works with various other file types, including PDF, DXF, and DWG.

PDF compared with DWF/DWFx

The PDF file format is also widely used to transmit drawing information over the Internet. The following are some significant factors to consider when choosing between PDF and DWF/DWFx:
  • PDF files can be viewed across several platforms, and are supported by many viewing and editing tools.
  • PDF drawings are limited to lines, cubic Bézier curves, fills, TrueType text, colors, and layers. Support for CAD specific design data is limited. Many use PDF to avoid allowing their DWG files to get redistributed.
  • DWF/DWFx was specifically designed with the digital design process in mind. Hence, DWF/DWFx lends itself to the design review process better than PDF.

DWFx compared with DWF

DWFx is the newest version of the DWF file format. DWFx is based on the XML Paper Specification (XPS), and hence can be viewed and printed with the Microsoft XPS Viewer. The XPS Viewer is a free program that is distributed with the Windows Operating System.

DWFx files are typically larger than the corresponding DWF file. You typically use the DWFx file format to share design data with reviewers who cannot install Autodesk Design Review.

Note: Currently, the Microsoft XPS Viewer does not support sheets containing 3D content, password-protected content, object properties, restricted content, or georeferenced map coordinates.