DWF file icon

DWF File Extension

Design Web Format
  • Developer
  • Category
  • Popularity
    3.6 (20 votes)

What is DWF file?

DWF file format is designed to store 2D/3D drawings used by various CAD design software. The format was created by Autocad. DWF files can hold design data, including 2D raster graphics, 3D graphics, and text. DWF file can have a simple structure comp o sed of only a single worksheet, or can be very complex and contain multiple files such as fonts, colors, and images.

The purpose of DWF format

DWF format was created to facilitate CAD project distribution. The main goal is to provide users with an open format – not to replace the standard formats used in CAD software environment – to enable users to open project files without the need of access to CAD software.

DWF format advantages

  1. DWF file is in fact a highly compressed CAD file, and thus is more accessible for viewing, priniting and sharing as the file size is smaller then that of the original CAD file.
  2. DWF file structure enables reduction of selected project data and print style so that the author can share only the information they want to share.
  3. DWF file has high mathematical precision, and contains metadata for sheets, objects and markup data.

Programs which support DWF file extension

Below you will find an index of software programs that can be used to open DWF files divided into 4 categories according to system platform supported. Files with DWF suffix can be copied to any mobile device or system platform, but it may not be possible to open them properly on target system.

Updated: 12/28/2019

How to open file with DWF extension?

Being unable to open files with DWF extension can be have various origins. What is important, all common issues related to files with DWF extension can be resolved by the users themselves. The process is quick and doesn’t involve an IT expert. The list below will guide you through the process of addressing the encountered problem.

Step 1. Download and install Autodesk Design Review

Install software to open DWF file The main and most frequent cause precluding users form opening DWF files is that no program that can handle DWF files is installed on user’s system. This issue can be addressed by downloading and installing Autodesk Design Review or different compatible program, such as TurboCAD, CorelCAD, DWGSee. On the top of the page a list that contains all programs grouped based on operating systems supported can be found. The safest method of downloading Autodesk Design Review installed is by going to developer’s website (Autodesk, Inc.) and downloading the software using provided links.

Step 2. Check the version of Autodesk Design Review and update if needed

Update software that support file extension DWFIf the problems with opening DWF files still occur even after installing Autodesk Design Review, it is possible that you have an outdated version of the software. Check the developer’s website whether a newer version of Autodesk Design Review is available. Software developers may implement support for more modern file formats in updated versions of their products. The reason that Autodesk Design Review cannot handle files with DWF may be that the software is outdated. All of the file formats that were handled just fine by the previous versions of given program should be also possible to open using Autodesk Design Review.

Step 3. Set the default application to open DWF files to Autodesk Design Review

After installing Autodesk Design Review (the most recent version) make sure that it is set as the default application to open DWF files. The method is quite simple and varies little across operating systems.

Associate software with DWF file on Windows

The procedure to change the default program in Windows

  • Clicking the DWF with right mouse button will bring a menu from which you should select the Open with option
  • Next, select the Choose another app option and then using More apps open the list of available applications
  • The last step is to select Look for another app on this PC option supply the directory path to the folder where Autodesk Design Review is installed. Now all that is left is to confirm your choice by selecting Always use this app to open DWF files and clicking OK.
Associate software with DWF file on Mac

The procedure to change the default program in Mac OS

  • From the drop-down menu, accessed by clicking the file with DWF extension, select Information
  • Open the Open with section by clicking its name
  • Select the appropriate software and save your settings by clicking Change all
  • Finally, a This change will be applied to all files with DWF extension message should pop-up. Click Continue button in order to confirm your choice.

Step 4. Verify that the DWF is not faulty

You closely followed the steps listed in points 1-3, but the problem is still present? You should check whether the file is a proper DWF file. It is probable that the file is corrupted and thus cannot be accessed.

Check DWF file for viruses
1. Verify that the DWF in question is not infected with a computer virus

If the file is infected, the malware that resides in the DWF file hinders attempts to open it. It is advised to scan the system for viruses and malware as soon as possible or use an online antivirus scanner. DWF file is infected with malware? Follow the steps suggested by your antivirus software.

2. Verify that the DWF file’s structure is intact

If the DWF file was sent to you by someone else, ask this person to resend the file to you. It is possible that the file has not been properly copied to a data storage and is incomplete and therefore cannot be opened. If the DWF file has been downloaded from the internet only partially, try to redownload it.

3. Ensure that you have appropriate access rights

Sometimes in order to access files user need to have administrative privileges. Log in using an administrative account and see If this solves the problem.

4. Make sure that the system has sufficient resources to run Autodesk Design Review

If the system is under havy load, it may not be able to handle the program that you use to open files with DWF extension. In this case close the other applications.

5. Check if you have the latest updates to the operating system and drivers

Latest versions of programs and drivers may help you solve problems with Design Web Format files and ensure security of your device and operating system. It is possible that one of the available system or driver updates may solve the problems with DWF files affecting older versions of given software.

Do you want to help?

If you have additional information about the DWF file, we will be grateful if you share it with our users. To do this, use the form here and send us your information on DWF file.

Top File Extensions
Show more
File Extension of the day
eml icon


E-Mail Message

Files with the .EML extension contain a single email stored in a single file comprised of the header of the message and its body, and possibly some...