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  • Autodesk DWF6 & the Autodesk Express Viewer

    ... the latest pieces in Autodesk's digital design data strategy puzzle!

    By GeoCommunity Staff (, December 9, 2002 (GeoCommunity AU 2002 Home)

    Last week at the 2002 Autodesk University (AU) - Autodesk's 10th annual user conference - much of the content focused on the company's commitment to digital design data (aka. "d-cubed" or d3) and project collaboration. As a testament to Autodesk's commitment to d3, the company introduced attendees to DWF6 and a new light-weight viewer - Autodesk Express Viewer.


    As an Autodesk product user (or potential user) the latest file extension you'll need to become familiar with is DWF, otherwise known as the Design Web Format. Version 6 of DWF is a publishing format (think of the CAD or mapping equivalent of a PDF file) that provides for non-editable and highly compressed data files. DWF6 is an ideal solution enabling users to share design information with the added ability of the file's creator to password protect files as well. Users can accomplish the following with DWF6 formatted data:
    • batch publish and plot/print within the AutoCAD environment
    • create DWF files using design publishing extension - free to current subscription holders
    • view, print (and much more) using a new, FREE, light-weight viewer (Autodesk Express Viewer)

    For Existing Autodesk Product Users

    DWF data provides non-product users with numerous options for working with your data. While non-Autodesk product users will simply require the free browser, file authors can easily accomplish the following:
    • drag and drop file sets
    • arrange drawings in plotting order
    • create multi-sheet DWF files & plot sets
    • password protect your data
    • share data with non-Autodesk product users
    • published data is WYSIWYG
    The design publishing extension can be accessed by subscription holders at

    For Autodesk Express Viewer Users

    • plot drawing in order and in batch mode
    • view all DWF formats upto r.6
    • small lightweight viewer is available as a free, 2 MB download
    • right-click for view options
    • toggle on/off data layers
    • run as embedded Active X control. This is perhaps the coolest feature of the viewer. This will enable users to easily view DWF data in compatible programs such as IE, MS-Word, and Power Point. Simply email users a DWF file and it will appear visible in documents provided the Viewer has been downloaded and installed.
    Autodesk Express Viewer is available as a small, free download by visiting

    Want to get fancy with the Viewer? Download this help file to learn more about customizing Autodesk Express Viewer

    Autodesk is committed to digital design data and facilitating the eventual migration to a paperless work environment. The DWF6 data format and complementary Express Viewer are a couple of pieces in the puzzle that will help Autodesk realize that dream.

    Product Support:
    A new discussion group has been created for the Autodesk Express Viewer. To access this resource, simply Navigate via a web browser to:
    or via a newsreader to:

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