DWG Viewer: Top features to choose the best DWG Viewer in 2019

DWG Viewer:

DWG Viewer is a modern approach and technological advancement to any sort of applied sciences has changed the work aspects and nature of people.

May it be from a simple drawing file to a fully constructed high rise-building, everything has shifted from being a stereotype with older practices.

Drawings are now computerized for more precision and for more proper and safe documentation. It created and drafted in several work platforms but most recommended and highly accepted is the DWG format or Drawing File Format (with a file extension of .dwg).
To access and visualize the drawing file restricted to some professionals as they had knowledge and accessibility to the software used to perform actions on a .dwg file format.

So, in order to provide this privilege to the concerned people as well as for portable work experience with the .dwg drawing file, DWG Viewer application came into existence.

In this article, we would be discussing the products and features associated with DWG viewers.

Drawing File format or .dwg files

Drawing File format or .dwg files the commonly used file format in the CAD Platforms.

DWG file is a proprietary used to draft, sketch and save two dimensional (2D) and three dimensional (3D) data which is native to several CAD platforms like View AutoCAD, Draftsight, IntelliCAD along with its variants.

But ownership of this application accessing this DWG file format is basically not possible for all due to some of its factors of being understandable to them or due to pricing aspects as this software would cost a higher amount.

Common people who have some relation to DWG file but do not have access to CAD application will be found, sending and asking a CAD operator to convert there DWG files to a file format compatible with their applications with which they can easily access the DWG Files.

They ask for converting the DWG Files to PDF format or JPEG formats so that they can analyse 2D and 3D data as per their convenience. In order to eradicate this hassle, DWG Viewer developed and brought in action to overcome the accessibility and compatibility issue.



As time passes and technology advances, several other data, and features associated with the Drawing file also changes.

Till today, there are around 20 DWG File formats which are based on compatibility with software versions used. The DWG File format ranges from DWG R1.0 to DWG 2018. All the DWG Formats listed below for reference.

Many DWG viewers are available in the market but they restrict the user to limited DWG file formats. The user can only open and visualize that DWG file versions which are only supported by the DWG Viewer available to them.

So there has to be a conversion module in the DWG Viewer so on allow the user to convert there existing DWG file format to the file format which supported by the DWG Viewer itself.

dwg software
              DWG FILE FORMATS [Info Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.dwg]

All major CAD Software like AutoCAD DWG, IntelliCAD along with its variants etc support DWG File but there arises a question which CAD Software provides accessibility to all DWG Versions? So, with respect to this, ActCAD 2018 STANDARD an IntelliCAD product supports DWG file format from DWG R2 to DWG 2018.

ActCAD 2018 STANDARD also has an inbuilt DWG converter which allows the user to open and save a DWG file in the version the user needs. This function available in ActCAD 2018 STANDARD makes it an effective DWG Viewer available to CAD User.

The conversion takes place without any data loss. So the user has his all the data secured but it recommended to keep a backup file to be safe from some unwanted mishaps.

dwg file format viewer

ActCAD 2018 STANDARD also supports DWG DXF, DGN, and DWF drawing file formats which adds to extra convenience level to the user.


A DWG viewer accesses a drawing file with all its data intact. The DWG Viewer should be capable enough to make the user visualize both in two dimensional (2D) and three dimensional (3D).

DWG Viewer main objective is for viewing drawing files, marking up and printing or plotting as desired. But if editing with the DWG Viewer is possible then it adds to an additional advantage and a win win situation for the user as he gets an all-round package in a software.

Many DWG Viewers are available in the market which only provides viewing, marking printing or plotting functionalities but there a few DWG Viewers present which enables the user to also perform editing with the DWG Files.

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dwg file viewer free download

ActCAD 2018 STANDARD is native DWG software which performs both as DWG Viewer as well as helps the user in editing two-dimensional files only to the user acting as a CAD Software as well.

It creates drawing files and can used to save in different DWG file format as desired by the user based on support activity in the software to used.


The DWG Viewer should also enable the user to save and share the drawing file to others as per their mode of compatibility.

For example, Should also provide the user to create and save files in the form of PDF and JPEG/ PNG formats which is widely used and accepted by others.

So the user saves its Drawing file in the form of PDF or JPEG or PNG and can share it with others so that the other also need not worry to find a software that can read and access DWG file.

Some DWG viewers available to the user lack in this feature and the user finds him helpless after owning that kind of DWG Viewer.

ActCAD 2018 STANDARD being an all-around DWG Viewer provides the user to modify, save and share files in the forms of PDF, JPEG, PNG, DXF, DGN and DWF Viewer etc.

It also has the ability to save an existing CAD Version DWG file to the desired DWG Version ranging from DWG R2 to DWG 2018 as discussed above.

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Xref or external reference came into existence to minimize the size of a CAD Drawing file and the user can refer different other CAD Drawings and view them at a time as if they are one. Whole CAD Drawings can be referred by using the command XREF.

DWG Viewer also should have the option to support XREF so that drawing file size need not required to overweight and gradually arising slow performance with the software.

Some DWG Viewer lack in this aspect as it uses the latest technology to incorporate this function of XREF. ActCAD 2018 STANDARD DWG Viewer enables the usage of XREF command and with this command, the application performance is also kept intact.

dwg reader


DWG Files contains many data and the most important is the Layer information which used in the drawings to make the drawing richer, informative, precise and distinguished.

This layer information must be readable by the DWG Viewer so that at the time of visualizing the drawing file, the user does get confused.

The DWG Viewer should support Layer Visualization as well as should have Layer Manager so that the user can identify the purpose of the layer used.

ActCAD Provides the user with Layer manager with a very familiar user interface as that of popular CAD Software available.

Some commands which are available in ActCAD 2018 STANDARD DWG viewer regarding Layers are LAYISO (Layer Isolation), LAYFRZ (Layer Freeze), LAYUNISO (Layer Unisolation), LAYTHW (Layer Thaw), LAYMCH (Layer Match), LAYMCUR( Layer Match Current) etc.

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DWG Viewer being a light-weight, powerful and useful software in the CAD Industry often holds criteria for licensing and pricing.

Not all the DWG viewer are available for free and not all available free of cost, hold these functionalities. So licensing and pricing also plays an important role in owning.

edwg viewer

Some of the DWG Viewers available :

  1. ActCAD 2018 STANDARD
  2. AnyCAD Viewer
  3. Autodesk DWG Trueview
  4. DoubleCAD XT
  5. MyCAD Viewer
  6. CityCAD Viewer etc.
  7. DWF Viewer
  8. DXF Viewer

These CAD DWG Viewers are commonly available with variable pricing and licensing criteria. ActCAD 2018 STANDARD being a powerful software is available to the user for a lifetime with a nominal cost.

For more details on ActCAD 2018 STANDARD, click here.


All the software should assured by a support package from the software vendor whether available free of cost or the vendor charges a support package cost additionally.

It should mandated with every software. Similarly, in DWG Viewer, it should also associated with Software Support Packages to ensure a stable and comfortable usage of the software.

ActCAD 2018 STANDARD DWG viewer comes with lifetime validity along with a cost-free dwg viewer technical support package.

With the availability of this feature with the software, adds a step more towards higher confidence level with the usage of the software.


As discussed earlier in this content regarding the variety of DWG Viewers available to the user. The best one comes out when it consists all the features above along with some add-ons to make future ready.

The technology used and the performance, these two criteria should also fulfilled by the software vendor. The satisfaction level of the user and gradually Software organizations user base.

Considering all the feature and functionalities, I found ActCAD 2018 Standard, a product variant from IntelliCAD to be one of the best DWG viewers. It is very lightweight and convenient in use.

ActCAD 2018 Standard also has Layer Manager and Block Attribute viewer feature With ActCAD 2018 Standard DWG Viewer, the user can also markup some entities by converting the DWG File into any PDF or JPEG or PNG Format which is also very useful during printing or plotting purpose.

ActCAD 2018 Standard comes with lifetime validity, the global licensing facility which ensures its durability as it is also equipped with latest 8.4a CAD Engine from IntelliCAD (as on 12/10/17).

The user does not worry about its Licensing where ever he has to travel irrespective of location as the ActCAD.

ActCAD comes with Self License Transfer Mechanism. Which allows the user to transfer his CAD Software license from one PC to another.

DWG Viewer, we can view 2D and 3D data DWG Files and also edit and draft 2D drawings.

So create a win-win situation for user rendering for the feature of DWG viewer only. He is getting these many additional features as advantages.

Sarthak Patra

A Civil Engineer Graduate from Trident Academy of Technology. Currently working as Senior CAD Engineer and Sales Executive for Asia-Pacific Region for ActCAD LLC, USA