DWG files are closely associated with CAD (computer-aided design) programs. Originally named as an abbreviation for the word drawing, it’s a file that contains two and three-dimensional vector graphics. Typically, drafters, architects, and engineers use DWG files to develop design sketches.

If you need to share a DWG file with someone who might not have the CAD software to open it, you can convert DWG to PDF before sending your file. This will make it easier for your client or teammate to access and view the design you created in the DWG format.

How to convert a dwg file to pdf with AutoCAD?

There are many commands and methods in AutoCAD that you can use to produce PDF files. Use these guidelines to select the most appropriate method.

OperationRecommended Command/Workflow
Export model space or a single layout to a PDF fileThe PLOT or EXPORTPDF command
Export all layouts of a drawing to a PDF fileThe EXPORTPDF command
Export selected layouts of a drawing to PDFThe PUBLISH command
Export model space and selected layouts to PDFThe PUBLISH command
Export multiple drawing files to PDFThe PUBLISH command
Export a sheet set to a PDF fileThe Publish to PDF option in the Sheet Set Manager

How to convert a dwg file to pdf with AutoDWG Programs?

AutoDWG offers several programs that convert dwg to pdf, such as DWGSeePro, DWGSeeCAD, DWG to PDF Converter. Additionally, AutoDWG offers advanced features such as batch conversion, which allows users to convert multiple files at once, significantly increasing productivity.


DWGSee CAD is a popular dwg viewer, you can use DWGSee CAD to open the dwg file, and then click print button to Print DWG as PDF.

DWGSee CAD also supports Export DWG to pdf, you may just click export botton to choose pdf, and then you can follow the steps to convert dwg to pdf.

AutoDWG DWG to PDF Converter

AutoDWG DWG to PDF Converter Key features:

  • Batch conversion of multiple files in one go with Batch Mode;
  • Convert specific layout or layer;
  • Retain the TTF, True Type Fonts, to make them searchable in PDF;
  • Support for permissions such as printing, clipboard copying, and modifying;
  • Manage line width and support CTB file import;
  • Support OLE entity;
  • Customized watermark support in PDF (Pro only).
  • Command-line support for Server version.

How to convert a dwg file to pdf with Adobe PDF Maker?

PDFMaker is an Acrobat feature that operates within many business applications, such as Microsoft Office applications, AutoCAD, and Lotus Notes. When you install Acrobat, PDFMaker controls appear in the work area of the authoring application.

Use PDFMaker to convert AutoCAD files from within the AutoCAD application. You can also use the Batch Conversion feature to convert many AutoCAD files in one operation. Even if you don’t have AutoCAD, you can convert AutoCAD files to PDF from Acrobat.

Acrobat PDFMaker allows you to preserve selected layers and layouts when converting AutoCAD files to PDF.

  1. In Acrobat, from the top menu bar, select Create. Then choose Single file Select a file > Create.
  2. (Optional) From the Files Of Type menu, select Autodesk AutoCAD, then click the Settings button and change the conversion settings as needed.
  3. Locate and select the AutoCAD file.
  4. If the Adobe PDF Settings For Autodesk AutoCAD Documents dialog box appears, specify the settings as needed, and click OK.

How to convert a dwg file to pdf online for free?

How to batch convert dwg files to pdf?

AutoCAD Publish

You can assemble a collection of drawings and create a paper or an electronic drawing set. Electronic drawing sets are saved as PDF files.

If you enter +PUBLISH at the Command prompt, you can select an existing Drawing Set Descriptions (DSD) file from the Select List of Sheets dialog box (a standard file selection dialog box). The Publish dialog box opens and displays the drawing set saved in the DSD file under Sheets to Publish.

  1. If the list of drawings to publish is not displayed:
    1. Click Output tab > Plot panel > Batch Plot
    2. In the Publish dialog box
    3. In the Load List of Sheets dialog box, locate the *.dsd file that lists the drawings to publish, and click Load.
  2. In the Publish to drop-down list, select PDF.
  3. In the PDF Preset drop-down list, select the type of PDF file you want.
  4. In the Publish Options information section, verify whether the options selected by default are correct. If not:
    1. Click Publish Options.
    2. Specify the settings for the PDF file. Note: To produce a single multi-page PDF file, select Multi-Sheet File. To produce multiple single-page PDF files, clear Multi-Sheet File.
    3. Click OK.
  5. Click Publish.

Adobe PDF

  1. Choose Adobe PDF > Batch Conversion.
  2. Specify your preferences for layers, page size, plot style, and output PDFs. Click Conversion Settings to specify the Acrobat PDFMaker settings.
  3. In the DWG List, do any of the following:
    • Click Add Folder or Add Files, and then specify the folder or files.
    • To load a previously saved list of files, click Append List, and then specify the list.
    • As needed, expand individual files and select or deselect the items you want, such as model space and layouts. To exclude or include all model space, click the associated buttons.
    • To exclude a file from the conversion, deselect the file box. As needed, select or deselect all of the files in the list, change the order of the files, remove files, or clear the list.
    • To show the complete file paths, select Expand File Name(s).
    • To save the DWG list for later use, click Save List. This action saves the list in its current state, including the file order and file selections. You can retrieve this list at any time by clicking Append List.
  4. Click Convert.
  5. Once the conversion has finished, you can click Save Details to save a log file of the conversion.

DWGSee CAD Batch Print

Run DWGSee CAD and click “File/Batch Print”, then move to tab “Print Files” to add the drawings to print as pdf.

AutoDWG DWG to PDF Converter

You can add files or select a folder to batch convert with the converter.

Select files to convert
Select a Folder to Convert

How to convert dwg files to pdf with AutoDWG command line?

In command line, enter “D2P.exe [/Input file or folder] [/Output file or folder] [/IncSubFolder] [/AutoDWG
configuration file]” to call the DWG to PDF converter in command line. Please enter “D2P.exe /?” first to refer to the D2P syntax

Convert Office.dwg to Office.PDF
d2p.exe /InFile D:\My Drawings\Office.DWG /OutFile D:\Output\Office.PDF

Please note, only AutoDWG DWG to PDF Server Version supports command line.

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AutoCAD, DWG TrueView, and Design Review do not have a conversion feature to change DWF files into DWG format. DWF/DWFx files are a “digital plot” file containing only low-intelligence entities. It is not intended for use as a drawing file exchange format and cannot be fully recovered or changed back to a standard drawing file with AutoCAD Programs.

But AutoDWG has developed several programs to convert back dwf to dwg, such as DWGSeePro, DWGSee CAD and DWF to DWG Converter Pro.


Save as

Open a DWF file with DWGSee Pro, go to “File” > “Save as” or click the “Save as” button on the navigation bar. In the open “Save as” window, give the new drawing file a name and from the drop down menu of the “Save as type”, select DWG format and the CAD version. Choose where you want to keep the new drawing file and click “OK”.


Save As

DWGSee CAD has the same save as function as DWGSeePro.

Underlay DWF

You can create a new drawing with DWGSee CAD, and then click “Insert/DWF Underlay” to insert the dwf file, and then save the new drawing to a dwg file.

AutoDWG DWF to DWG Converter Pro

With AutoDWG DWF to DWG Converter Pro, all DWF entity types exported by AutoCAD are supported, including arcs, elliptical arcs, ellipses, True Type Font, etc., so that you can retain DWF entities to correspond with DWG entities easily. For layers saved in DWF, the converter will read the information and recreate the layer in DWG, new DWF v6.0 multi page specification. And this program also support process mutiple files at one time.

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The choice between an online conversion tool and a desktop converter often depends on several factors, each with its own set of advantages and limitations:

Online Conversion


Accessibility: Accessible from any device with an internet connection.
Convenience: No installation or setup required.
Simple: Usually straightforward and user-friendly interfaces.
Free or Low Cost: Many online converters offer free versions or basic functionalities without a cost.


Internet Dependency: Requires an internet connection for operation.
File Size Limitations: Often imposes restrictions on the size of files you can convert.
Privacy Concerns: Uploading sensitive or proprietary files might raise privacy concerns as they are processed on external servers.
Limited Features: Usually provides basic conversion options without advanced functionalities.

Desktop Converter


Offline Access: Works independently of an internet connection.
High Performance: Generally faster processing times for conversions.
Enhanced Features: Offers advanced features, batch processing, and higher customization options.
Privacy Control: Files stay on your local system, reducing privacy concerns.


Installation: Requires installation on your device, which may take up storage space.
Cost: Often desktop converters might come at a higher cost for full-featured versions.
Device-Specific: Tied to the device where it’s installed.
Updates and Maintenance: Requires manual updates and maintenance, unlike online tools that are updated automatically.

Choosing between the two depends on your specific needs. If you have occasional conversion requirements, an online tool might be more convenient. However, if you frequently handle conversions, deal with large files, or require advanced features and privacy control, a desktop converter could be a better choice.

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You may use the PDFIMPORT command in AutoCAD, and then save the new drawing as DXF format file.


  • Lines will become editable geometry and text will become editable text.
  • The accuracy of the resultant AutoCAD content is largely dependent upon the quality of the original PDF, so results may vary.
  • PDF underlays in drawings created with previous AutoCAD releases can be converted into editable drawing geometry using the PDFIMPORT command. 
  • Prior to AutoCAD 2017, it was not possible to convert a PDF file to a DXF file using AutoCAD or AutoCAD LT.
    • PDF files could only be inserted as underlays (external references). The content could then be traced and scaled to known dimensions, if desired.
  • Using PDFIMPORT with PDFs created from scanned images/documents will result in the creation of a raster image file, which is then attached to the drawing as an xref.
    • The raster imagery will not be converted into editable geometry.


The data in PDF format supports the following:

  • Real numbers that are usually represented with single-precision floating-point accuracy in recent versions
  • Five graphical object types: path (line segments and Bézier curves), shading, TrueType™ text, inline image, and external
  • Several properties that include primarily colors, layers, and line widths

In contrast, the data in DXF format supports a far richer data set including the following:

  • Real numbers that are represented with double-precision floating-point accuracy, which is several orders of magnitude more precise than single precision
  • More than 60 types of geometric objects, including compound objects such as dimensions, hatches, and blocks
  • More than 50 types of properties
  • Object associativity such as is available with hatches, blocks, and dimensions

Due to the difference in precision between PDF and DXF formats, the values for coordinates, angles, distances, and widths are rounded off in PDF format. As a result, objects will be modified slightly when you output geometric data to a PDF file. These differences are most noticeable when working with large distances and dynamic ranges, as is common with large maps.

How Objects are Translated from pdf to dxf?

When a PDF file is generated, all supported objects are translated into paths, fills, raster images, markups, and TrueType text. In PDF, paths are composed of line segments and cubic Bézier curves, either connected or independent. However, when a PDF file is converted to DXF, note the following:

  • Bézier curves are converted into circles and arcs if they are within a reasonable tolerance to those shapes. Otherwise, they are converted into 2D polylines.
  • Elliptical shapes can be converted into 2D polylines, splines, or ellipses depending on how they were stored in the PDF.
  • As an option, each set of approximately collinear segments can be combined into a polyline with a dashed linetype named PDF_Import.
  • Compound objects such as dimensions, leaders, patterned hatches, and tables result in many separate objects as if these objects were exploded.
  • Solid-filled areas are imported as 2D solids, or optionally as solid-filled hatches. They are assigned a 50% transparency to make sure that any text within the areas is visible.
  • Text that used TrueType fonts is preserved, but text that originally used SHX fonts is imported as separate geometric objects.
  • Raster images generate PNG format files that are attached to the drawing file as external references. These image files are saved in a folder specified by the PDFIMPORTIMAGEPATH system variable, which can also be specified in the Options dialog box, Files tab.
  • Point objects are converted to zero-length polylines.
  • Markups are not imported.

If your AutoCAD is Prior to AutoCAD 2017, you may choose our AutoDWG PDF to DXF Converter or Online PDF to DXF Conversion to convert pdf to dxf, the converter supports batch conversions.

AutoDWG PDF to DXF Converter Pro

AutoDWG PDF to DXF Converter allows you to quickly and accurately convert mutiple PDF files to editable DXF formats, with support for vector and raster images.

PDF to DXF Conversion Free online

  1. Upload your pdf file to AutoDWG pdf to dxf online converter
  2. Wait a few seconds and then download your converted DXF
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Often, downloaded drawings or drawings sent by others will be prompted with a version too high when opened in AutoCAD.

At this time, we need to convert the drawings to a lower version before we can continue to use them in the current version of CAD.

Tip 1: Installing AutoCAD 2018 can open all current versions of CAD drawings

Tip 2: Because converting a drawing to an earlier release format may cause some data loss, we recommend that you assign a different file name to avoid overwriting the current drawing file.

The following are several ways to convert drawings. (Without Latest AutoCAD)

DWGSee DWG Viewer

The latest version of DWGSee can open all versions dwg files, open the dwg file and then click “Save as” button, give the new drawing file a name and from the drop down menu of the “Save as type”, select DWG or DXF format and the CAD version. Choose where you want to keep the new drawing file and click “OK”.

If you just need open dwg file, you can just use DWGSee Free DWG Viewer, there’s no need convert the drawing again.

AutoDWG DWG DXF Converter

With AutoDWG DWG DXF Converter, you may change versions of DWG and DXF both from low to high and high to low between AutoCAD R12 and Auto CAD 2024, it supports batch conversion.

DWG TrueView

Download and install the latest version of DWG TrueView (a free Autodesk file viewing software) and use the DWG Convert feature to convert the drawing.

  1. Create a copy of the drawing file to be converted.
  2. Launch DWG TrueView.
  3. Click the application menu in the upper-left and choose DWG Convert (or pick it on the ribbon if a file is open).
  1. Add the file(s) in the Files Tree list (click the green plus Add Files button).
  2. Choose the appropriate file format version.
  3. Click Convert.

Note: AutoCAD itself has the DWGCONVERT command for batch-converting files to older formats.

Free Online Conversions

Many Online Conversion Websites offer the free service to convert cad files to lower version, see following.

Free online conversion services usually have limitations on the number and size of files.

How to Identify the Drawing Version Quickly?

If you don’t want to purchase and install the latest version, how can you identify the drawing version to select the CAD version?

Firstly, we select the drawing, right click, select Open With, and select Notepad to open it, after opening it, we can see a bunch of messy codes. Just remember the AC1021 in front of it.

Then, by comparing the version format comparison table below, you can know the version of the drawing saved.

MC0.0 – DWG Release 1.1
AC1.2 – DWG Release 1.2
AC1.4 – DWG Release 1.4
AC1.50 – DWG Release 2.0
AC2.10 – DWG Release 2.10
AC1002 – DWG Release 2.5
AC1003 – DWG Release 2.6
AC1004 – DWG Release 9
AC1006 – DWG Release 10
AC1009 – DWG Release 11/12 (LT R1/R2)
AC1012 – DWG Release 13 (LT95)
AC1014 – DWG Release 14, 14.01 (LT97/LT98)
AC1015 – DWG AutoCAD 2000/2000i/2002
AC1018 – DWG AutoCAD 2004/2005/2006
AC1021 – DWG AutoCAD 2007/2008/2009
AC1024 – DWG AutoCAD 2010/2011/2012
AC1027 – DWG AutoCAD 2013/2014/2015/2016/2017
AC1032 – DWG AutoCAD 2018/2019/2020/2021/2022/2023

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