Top 5 Popular Tools To Open DWG File

We have reviewed popular tools to open a DWG file like AutoCAD, A360 Viewer, Microsoft Visio, Adobe Illustrator, etc:

DWG file extension isn’t a common file extension for everyone. However, if you are a designer, engineer, architect, etc, you would be aware of this extension. Usually, it is easy to open these files but sometimes, you might encounter some issues.

In such cases, you can use AutoCAD, CorelDraw, A360 Viewer, Microsoft Visio, Adobe Illustrator, etc. If nothing works, you can always try troubleshooting. But before that, let us find out more about the DWG extension.

How to Open DWG File

What Is A DWG File

dwg file

DWG is extracted from “Drawing”. It is a binary format that contains 2D and 3D design data. Fundamentally DWG is a Computer-Aided Design, better known as CAD. The drawings consist of vector image data along with metadata that is written in binary code.

Most CAD applications, especially AutoCAD, use it as the native format. Autodesk, the developer of AutoCAD, developed this file format in the 1970s. Today, DWG is widely used by designers, architects, and engineers for a variety of designing purposes.

How To Open A DWG File

There are a few tools that you can use to open a DWG file. AutoCAD, Viewer, Microsoft Visio, Adobe Illustrator, A360 Viewer, etc are such tools to open this type of file.

Let us review these tools:

#1) AutoCAD


AutoCAD from AutoDesk is a commercial drafting and design software application aided by computers. The professionals rely on it for creating precise 2D and 3D drawings.

Steps to open a DWG file using AutoCAD:

  • Go to the application menu denoted by the red A in the upper-left corner.
  • Select Open.
  • At the top, you will see a dropdown menu. Select the DWG file you want to open.
  • Click Open.

You will be able to see the contents of the DWG file.

You can also convert the DWG File to PDF by the following steps:

  • Launch AutoCAD.
  • Click on the AutoCAD logo button and select Open. Or press Ctrl+O.
  • Go to the DWG file you want to convert.
  • Click Open.
  • Now navigate back to the AutoCAD logo and select Print. Or press Ctrl+P.
  • Configure the printing options.
  • Select what you want to convert, Window, Extents, Layout, and Display from the Plot Area.
  • From the paper size option, choose your paper type.
  • Go to the plot scale option to select the scale of the printed drawing.
  • Select PDF from the printer/plotter section.
  • Click Ok and select where you want to save the PDF file.


  • Monthly- $210
  • 1 year- $1,690
  • 3 years- $4,565

Website: AutoCAD

#2) A360 Viewer

A360 Viewer

A360 helps teams of design, engineering, and various projects to work together on an online workspace easily. It makes it easy for them to search, view, and share files from their desktop or other devices. It is good for simple viewing and sharing.

Steps to Open a DWG file using A360 Viewer:

  • Navigate to the website if you want to open the DWG file online. Or you can download it on your Android device, iPad, or iPhone from your respective Play Stores.
  • Sign up for free if you haven’t already. If you have an account, Sign in.
  • Click on the Upload New File option.
  • Select the DWG file you want to open. Or, drag-and-drop the file to open it.

Price: Free

Website: A360 Viewer

#3) Microsoft Visio

Microsoft Visio

This software is used for drawing various diagrams like org charts, floor plans, process flow diagrams, swimlane diagrams, flowcharts, building plans, data flow diagrams, business process modeling, 3D maps, etc.

Steps to open a DWG file using Microsoft Visio:

  • Launch Microsoft Visio.
  • Go to the File menu.
  • Now, from the File menu, select Open.
  • Go to the DWG file you want to open and select it.
  • Click Open.

Price: If you are a user who needs to create and share simple diagrams in your favorite browser, go for Visio Plan 1  at $5.00 per user/month to be paid annually. But if you need something professional for meeting specific industry standards, Visio Plan 2 at $15.00 per user/month is best for you.

Website: Microsoft Visio

#4) Adobe Illustrator

Adobe Illustrator

Adobe has developed and marketed this vector graphics editor. It was originally designed for Mac. Its development started in 1985 and in 2018, it was declared as the best vector graphics editing program.

Steps to open a DWG file using Adobe Illustrator:

  • Download and install Adobe Illustrator if you don’t have it already.
  • Launch the Illustrator.
  • Click on the File Option and go to Open.
  • Now navigate to the DWG file you want to open.
  • Select the file and click on Open.

Price: $20.99 per month.

Website: Adobe Illustrator

#5) CorelDraw


This vector graphics editor is used mainly for large format print designs, mock-up design presentations, complete branding, Billboards and so much more. If you work with multiple pages, CorelDraw is a recommended tool. You can also use it to open the DWG file format.

Steps to open a DWG file using CorelDraw:

  • Download and launch CorelDraw.
  • From the File option, select Open.
  • Select the DWG file you want to open.
  • Click Open.

Price: $499.00

Website: CorelDraw

Troubleshooting A DWG File

Sometimes you get an error message while opening the DWG file, saying that the file is not valid. This usually happens when you try to open the newer version of the file with an older version of AutoCAD. In that case, update your AutoCAD and then try opening the file again.

Sometimes you can’t open the file because a third-party app that is integrated with AutoCAD might be interfering with the opening of the file. In that case, quit the third-party app.

Also, make sure that the DWG file originated from AutoCAD. If you are unable to open the file, chances are it is corrupt and has originated from a source outside AutoCAD or any other AutoDesk product.

Convert DWG File To PDF

How do I open a DWG File in PDF?

If that’s what you are thinking, then this section is for you. Here’s how you can convert a DWG File in PDF format.

#1) Autodesk TrueView

Autodesk TrueView

Autodesk TrueView is a tool from Autodesk used to view and plot AutoCADDXF and DWG files. It also publishes these files in DWG format.

Converting DWG to PDF with Autodesk TrueView:

  • Click on the logo of the TrueView.
  • Select Open.
  • Go to the DWG file you want to convert.
  • Select it and click Open.
  • Click the TrueView logo and select Print.
  • Choose a paper size.
  • Select Layout, Window, Display, or Extends from the Plot area.
  • Choose the scale for printing the drawing from the Plot scale section.
  • Select PDF from the printer/plotter section.
  • Click Ok
  • And last, pick a place where you want to save the converted document.

Price: Free

Website: Autodesk TrueView

#2) SolidWorks eDrawings

SolidWorks eDrawings

SolidWorks eDrawings is a leading design communication and collaboration tool used for 2D, 3D, and AR/VR design. It allows CAD and non-CAD users to share 3D models along with creating markups, interrogate the models, etc for accelerating the entire design process. This tool also allows users to print and view DXF, DWG files, etc.

Converting DWG to PDF With SolidWorks eDrawings:

  • From the File option, go to Open.
  • Now browse the DWG file you want to convert.
  • Select the file and click Open.
  • Press CTRL+P to open print options.
  • From the printer dropdown select PDF.
  • Go to the Properties option and customize the printing options.
  • Click OK.
  • Select the place where you want to save the PDF file.


  • Student Edition- $99
  • eDrawings Pro- $945.00

Website: SolidWorks eDrawings

#3) AnyDWG

Convert DWG File to PDF

AnyDWG is yet another tool that you can use to convert PDF to DWG and DWG to PDF. The DWG to PDF converter is a batch converter. With it, you can not only convert DWG but other files like DWF and DXF to PDF.

Steps to convert DWG file to PDF with AnyDWG:

  • Run AnyDWG converter.
  • Click on Add Files.

AnyDWG add files

  • Add the DWG file you want to convert. You can also drag and drop the files or add a folder of DWG files by clicking on Add a folder.
  • Select the output folder.
  • Set the options.
  • Click on the Convert Now option.

Website: AnyDWG

FAQs About DWG Files

Q #1) Can I open a DWG file without AutoCAD?

Answer: There are many other tools that you can use to open DWG Files. You can use the A360 Viewer, Microsoft Visio, Coreldraw, and similar tools instead of AutoCAD.

Q #2) Why I am not able to open the DWG File?

Answer: Chances are the file is corrupt. Open it with AutoCAD. The tool will attempt to recover the file and open it. Check if the file is created and saved by a non-Autodesk product. That might be the reason you cannot open it.

Q #3) Can I convert DWG Files into PDF?

Answer: Yes. There are tools that can help you convert a DWG File into PDF. Try SolidWorks eDrawings, Autodesk TrueView, and AutoCAD.


DWG file extension might not seem important to you, but it is an integral part of the design tools. The design files are usually saved with this extension. This means you can open them with design applications like AutoCAD, A360 Viewer, etc easily. However, sometimes the file might be corrupt and will not open in any tool.

In such cases, you will have to troubleshoot the file. Finding the issue with the file will help you find its solution as well, so you can fix it and open the file without any issue.

Further reading =>> How to open an .AIR file