What is DWG?

DWG refers to two different but related things:

  • A file format (.dwg)
  • A technology environment (DWG) in many Autodesk CAD software products

The native file format for AutoCAD data files is .dwg. It contains all the pieces of information a user enters, such as:

  • Designs
  • Geometric data
  • Maps
  • Photos

The .dwg file format is one of the most commonly used design data formats, found in nearly every design environment. It signifies compatibility with AutoCAD technology. Autodesk created .dwg in 1982 with the launch of its first version of AutoCAD software.

DWG technology environment

Autodesk® DWG TrueView™ software is a free* stand-alone DWG™ viewer. Built on the same viewing engine as AutoCAD® software, DWG TrueView enables you to view the latest DWG and DXF™ files, just as you would in AutoCAD.

By also installing the free* Autodesk® Design Review software, you can then open DWG files in Design Review to take advantage of powerful measure and markup capabilities, sheet set organization, and status tracking.

  • Facilitate collaboration—Share AutoCAD drawings easily and accurately.
  • Measure accurately—Take accurate distance and area measurements.
  • Integrate with Autodesk Design Review—View and plot DWG and DXF™ files, then publish as DWF files for quick, easy review and markup in Autodesk Design Review.
  • Work with AutoCAD 2011 files—Get support for files created from the most current AutoCAD DWG file format.
  • Convert drawings to other AutoCAD versions—Use the included DWG TrueConvert™ DWG version converter to convert drawings in newer versions of AutoCAD to older versions, and vice versa.

* Free products subject to the terms and conditions of the end-user license and services agreement that accompanies download of the software.
** Not all AutoCAD features are available in AutoCAD 360.