Microspot Limited | March 17 2015
Microspot develops and markets applications for 3D modeling and animation, interior design, 2D vector drawing and drafting, image editing, and media management.
How do I open this file? That’s a question we get asked on a daily basis here in tech support and it isn’t always as straight forward as you might expect. Have you tried opening it yourself? Where did you get it from? Whats supposed to be in the file? These are all the standard questions we could throw back at the customer to try and determine what we are looking at but there is an easier way to decipher this, looking at the extension.
The file format:
File format is the key ingredient when looking at what flavor your unknown file pie is. It determines how the data within the file is read, what it will look like when it opens and most importantly lets us know what software is best equipped to open it.
The file extension:
So the extension on the end of the file says .PDF or .DWG what now? Well lets take .DWG as an example. First a history lesson. DWG or Drawing File, is a binary file format used for storing two and three dimensional design data and metadata. It is supported by the majority of todays biggest CAD softwares and is most notoriously linked with AutoCAD. It was originally developed in the 70’s by Mike Riddle and was licensed in 1982 by Autodesk. As the applications for the file format grew a group of developers got together to form an association called OpenDWG Alliance in 1998 with the hopes to make DWG an open standard but it hasn’t succeeded so far, at the same time though Autodesk has not been able to register a trademark for it. So with a bit of behind the scenes work anybody can use the format in their software today.
What have we learnt?:
So we now know a little bit about what DWG is but that hasn’t helped us open the file. AutoCAD is a hugely successful PC based program and the issue may boil down to the fact that your client has created this DWG file on PC and you’re running a Mac, disaster? not necessarily. You need to consider what it is you want to do with the file, want to simply view annotate and print it? Microspot DWG Viewer will let you do just this and at a fraction of the cost of other programs. You can draw annotate and print the file or resave it and send it back to your client. If you want to edit the file then you need a more powerful software, we use MacDraft Pro as you can directly edit the file, saving you time as you don’t need to send it back to the client for them to make suggested changes.
Why choose DWG?:
It can be frustrating and seem like such a slog to find softwares on different operating systems that link perfectly together and of course there are always hiccups when sending data between PC and Mac but the DWG file format certainly bridges this gap. Never has it been simpler and when you have the right software yourself it shouldn’t have to be an issue again.