Wednesday, March 03, 2010

X Marks The Spot!

Almost every AutoCAD class that I instruct, be it a basic or advanced course the question comes up, “What is the difference between a DWF and a DWFx?”

DWF is an open format from Autodesk. It has been around since AutoCAD 2005. You can view them and mark them up in Autodesk Design Review (Markups available in releases 2009 and 2010). Initially they were a single sheet file but have now evolved into multi-sheet. Autodesk Design Review supports all versions of DWF.

Now, what about that ”X”? For programming purposes, open formats can be based on XML. This is eXtensible Markup Language. Microsoft’s version is called XPS-XML Paper Specification. Microsoft uses it to communicate with printers as well as other applications. Autodesk reprogrammed the DWF to XML to make dwf more widely acceptable in the programming world. This enables a DWFx file to be viewed by Microsoft Internet Explorer.

So, concerning Autodesk Design Review, if you create a DWFx, it can be viewed in Versions 2008, 2009, and 2010. Internet Explorer users can only view the file.

If you create a DWFx and want to use Markup Set Manager to view comment, you will need AutoCAD 2009 or later. Markup Sets were not supported in AutoCAD 2008 even though you could create a DWFx file.

So now you can impress your CAD BFF’s by sharing this Xtra tidbit of information with them!

Keep the lines straight and the circles round.

Till next time


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