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What is a DWF File?


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Question: What is a DWF File?

Did you find a DWF file on your computer and wonder what program should open it? Maybe someone emailed you a DWF file but you're not sure how to use it. Perhaps you tried to open the DWF file but Windows told you that it could not open it.

Before you can open a DWF file (assuming it's even a file format that's intended to be viewed or edited), you'll need to determine what kind of file the .DWF file extension refers to.

Answer: A file with the DWF file extension is an Autodesk Design Web Format file.

Other types of files may also use the DWF file extension. If you know of any additional file formats that use the .DWF extension, please let me know so I can update this information.

How To Open a DWF File

The easiest way to open a DWF file is to double-click on it and let your PC decide which default application should open the file. If no program opens the DWF file then you probably don't have an application installed that can view and/or edit DWF files.

Warning: Take great care when opening executable file formats received via email or downloaded from websites you're not familiar with. See my List of Executable File Extensions for a listing of file extensions to avoid and why.

AutoCAD and likely many other computer aided drafting (CAD) programs are able to open, create, and edit DWF files. Autodesk also creates a program called Autodesk Design Review that can view, print, and mark up DWF files.

If you know of any other programs that open DWF files, please send me a quick email and let me know the name of the program so I can update this page.

If you find that an application on your PC does try to open the DWF file but it's the wrong application or if you would rather have another installed program open DWF files, see my How To Change the Default Program for a Specific File Extension guide for making that change in Windows.

How To Convert a DWF File

There are two main ways to attempt to convert a DWF file to another file type:

The first option involving opening the DWF file in its native program is preferable because it's both easier and will probably result in a more accurate file conversion. Of course if you don't have a program that opens DWF files, a third-party file conversion tool (the second option) could be very useful.

Important: You cannot usually change a file extension (like the DWF file extension) to one that your computer recognizes and expect the newly renamed file to be usable. An actual file format conversion using one of the methods described above must take place in most cases.

Still Having Problems Opening or Using a DWF File?

See Get More Help for information about contacting me on social networks or via email, posting on tech support forums, and more. Let me know what kinds of problems you're having with opening or using the DWF file and I'll see what I can do to help.

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