Open DXF File – What is and How to View – Format and Programs

Files type: Drawing Exchange Format


What is

The DXF file extension is used in Autodesk applications for Drawing Interchange Format or Drawing Exchange Format files. This data format for CAD files was created by Autodesk for the purpose of allowing data interoperability among Autodesk software and other applications.

It was initially launched as a component of the AutoCAD 1.0 in December 1982. The release had the intention to provide the same and exact data representation of an AutoCAD drawing with the .dwg file extension, which is its local file format.

The files with the .dxf extension are vector image files and are the data format designed by Autodesk used in computer-aided design.

It is similar to the DWG  but it has more compatibility with other programs because it is cased in ASCII. AutoCAD versions from Version 10 and later support binary and ASCII forms of files with the .dxf extension. Early versions of AutoCAD only support ASCII.


Detailed information 

Category: Settings file, Developer files
Files format: Proprietary
Open with Windows: IMSI TurboCAD, Autodesk AutoCAD or DWG TrueView, SolidWorks eDrawings Viewer, ACD Systems Canvas, DWG converter such as AutoDWG, IrfanView
Open with Linux: TurboCAD, Autodesk AutoCAD
As the AutoCAD software was developed to have more powerful features and tovsupport objects of the more complex type, the DXF format became less used. Some object types such as ACIS regions and solids cannot be documented.
Because of this, various CAD applications utilize only the DWG file  licensed by Autodesk or can be supported non-natively by Open Design Alliance.