When an Autodesk DWF Composer R2 user received an AutoCAD drawing (DWG file), he had to fire up the Autodesk DWG viewer, publish the DWG as a DWF, and then load the DWF into Autodesk DWF Composer to perform markup and measurement. Our customers complained about the hassle. We listened.
Autodesk Design Review 2007 (new name for Autodesk DWF Composer) allows you to import a DWG. It converts the DWG to DWF on the fly by invoking Autodesk DWG TrueView on behalf of the user. The resulting DWF file is automatically loaded into Autodesk Design Review 2007.
If you invoke Autodesk Design Review 2007 from the program menu, i.e. without opening a DWF file, you get a File menu that looks like:
It would have been nice if Import had been available without an open file, but it is not. So the best way to invoke Autodesk Design Review is to double click on one of your favorite DWF files. Long time Autodesk customer, Charles Bliss, has even created an empty DWF file for this purpose.
After you open a DWF file, you get a File menu that looks like:
When you select Import, you get a standard file browser dialog that allows you to navigate to and select a DWG file:
Once a DWG is selected, there is a slight pause. Although the hourglass cursor does not appear, work is occurring on your behalf. Autodesk DWG TrueView 2007 is being invoked. The selected DWG is being loaded. A DWF is being published. Publishing feedback is provided by a progress dialog that appears:
After the DWF has been published, it is loaded into Autodesk Design Review. All DWF related capabilities are then available.
As one would expect, double-clicking on a DWG file invokes Autodesk DWG TrueView - not Autodesk Design Review. The DWG file extension remains rightfully associated with a DWG-based application. For novice users who wish to work exclusively with Autodesk Design Review, double clicking a DWF, even an empty DWF, is the best way to begin. Alternatively, they can use the straight to import method depicted in this blog article.
The ability to transform a DWG easily so that it can be marked up and measured, in addition to being printed, is another way DWF goes beyond the paper.