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What does a .DXF File Mean?

This file is described as the Drawing Exchange Format created by Autodesk as a means of storing the CAD models. Furthermore, the theory behind this is that when the format of the file is supported by different 3D modeling software, then they will all easily export and import the very same documents.

This file format, also known as Drawing Interchange Format, seems to be comparable to that DWG file extension-based Drawing Database format from AutoCAD. However, because .DXF files may be found in a ASCII, text-based format, which is naturally easier to use in these kinds of applications, they are more frequently employed in CAD systems.

DWF files, however comparable to other files, are utilized to transfer files online as well as through a free program. DXF on the other hand are majorly for interoperability.

For more applications to open AutoCAD files, Autodesk created the .DXF file format as an open and universal standard. For instance, its Valve Hammer Editor allows you to export the 3D models in form of DXF files, which you can then import and edit in other applications for 3D like ACD Systems Canvas and Autodesk AutoCAD.

Ways for Creating the .DXF file

Depending on the CAD application, several processes are required to create the DXF file. For instance, in AutoCAD, click File, then “Save As”, and then select DXF format out from the menu bar to produce the DXF file.

Opening .DXF Files

Both the DWG TrueView application and the Autodesk Viewer are free viewers offered by Autodesk. You can see the DXF files which are kept in the online services for file storage like Dropbox using the AutoCAD mobile app as well. Utilizing ShareCAD is another fast online file opening method. It also functions with the Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks’ eDrawings Viewer.

The Design Review and AutoCAD programs from Autodesk, as well as CorelCAD, TurboCAD, ABViewer, CADSoftTools’, Adobe Illustrator, as well as Canvas X Draw, are some additional programs that are compatible.

The file can be opened on macOS using Cheetah3D and a few of the tools indicated above. Utilizing LibreCAD, Linux users will be able to work using the format.

Since ASCII DXF files are simply text files, every text editor can be used to open them. However, doing this prevents you from viewing the drawing as you would for actual model viewers. There will only be various groups of numbers and letters.

Converting the .DXF File

DXF files can be converted to various formats by a number of programs, including CorelCAD and AutoCAD.

In order to convert the DXF file into SVG, use the Adobe Illustrator. Utilizing a free web converter such as Convertio is an additional choice. With the trial edition of AutoDWG DXF Converter, then you can get it in DWG format (both older and newer versions). This software has a 15-day usage limit and can only be used on one file at a time.

One can save their work in a number of formats, including ZIP, EDRW, HTM, EXE, TIF, BMP, PNG, and JPG, using the eDrawings Viewer application stated above.

One way to convert it to PDF is to go ahead and upload it into the then go ahead and select PDF as the output format. The file can also be saved to JPG, PNG, TIFF, and SVG on that website. Adobe Acrobat may also be used to convert .DXF file into PDF. If you need to save your .DXF file into the STL format, Bear File Converter can be handy.  An NGC file extension can be added to the .DXF file in order to save it in the G-CODE designed for the Linux CNC format.

You can transform the file’s text content so that it can be used with Excel and any other spreadsheet program. This is possible by converting the file into CSV using MyGeodata Converter.

The file might also be convertible to another format, such as the AI file of the Adobe Illustrator, using any of these viewers up above.

.DXF File Still Not Opening?

If neither of these services or programs are able to open your file, make sure this file extension truly does read.   

Also, DXF rather than a similar format like OXT. Even while many files have similar file extensions, that doesn’t necessarily mean that these formats are connected or that the software supports them.

For instance, DXL as well as DXR both run with programs unconnected to a CAD software described here. DFX is a comparable one. This one can be utilized with the AutoCAD as well because the document is a CAD type.

More Details About the DXF File Format


You may have one DXF file in the binary format as well as another present in the ASCII since the DXF format’s standards have changed since it was first introduced in 1982. The specifications are available as a PDF on the website of the AutoCAD.

Both binary DXF as well as ASCII files are all supported by more recent editions of AutoCAD. However, you only can deal with the files of the ASCII DXF if you are making use of the Release 10 (this has been available since 1988, although it’s doubtful).

The sections of a DXF file are HEADER, TABLES, CLASSES, ENTITIES, BLOCKS, THUMBNAILIMAGE, OBJECTS, and the END OF FILE. The PDF that is provided above has all the information on every section.

You may download DXF files for free from a few websites, including myDXF and Scan2CAD.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Photoshop support DXF export?

No. Due to the fact that DXF files represent vector files and are often handled by applications such as Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop does not support the direct exporting into DXF.

What purposes do DXF files serve?

The design and engineering of products, as well as the creation of photorealistic models to serve advertising campaigns, all make use of the DXF files.  DXF files provided various compatibility solutions in the CAD industry, enabling collaboration between engineers and artists on a single file format.


We hope you understand what the .dxf file is, and how to open it. If there is any aspect of this article you need some clarity on, please contact us.