A Mr. Richard Feder of Fort Lee New Jersey sent an email to the WAUN email alias:
What is a DWFx file created in 2009? How is it different to the DWF file created in AutoCAD 2007? Can AutoCAD 2007 users view the DWFx file created in AutoCAD 2009, or do I have to open in AutoCAD2007 and create the DWF file there?
I couldn't remember the exact release that DWFx was introduced, so I had to look at my old stash of images. I am getting old:
After doing so, I was able to reply.
The DWF formal has been around a long time. You publish them from AutoCAD. You view them and mark them up in Autodesk Design Review. Who cares what’s inside?
That outlook is only partially true. DWF files used to be single sheet. Then they evolved into multi-sheet. When that happened the format changed quite drastically. No one noticed because Autodesk Design Review supported the current and older versions of the format. The same is true today.
DWF is Autodesk’s open format. To make programming with open formats easy, many open formats are based on XML – eXtensible Markup Language. Microsoft had a format called XPS – XML Paper Specification. Among other things, it is used by Microsoft operating systems to communicate with printers. To make DWF a more widely accepted open format, Autodesk swapped out the guts of DWF (2D) and replaced it with XPS. A side effect of this change is that programmers who want to work with DWF files can do so more easily because the contents of the file is XML. A second side effect is that the file can be viewed by people who do not have Autodesk Design Review. For example Microsoft Internet Explorer can view DWFx files natively.
To answer your specific question:
- If you create a DWFx file instead of DWF, users of Autodesk Design Review 2008, 2009, or 2010 can view and markup the file. Internet Explorer users can view the file.
- If you create a DWFx file instead of DWF and want to use the Markup Set Manager to view the comments people made using Autodesk Design Review, you will need AutoCAD 2009 or later. (AutoCAD 2008 could publish a DWFx but viewing the DWFx in AutoCAD via the Markup Set Manager was not supported until 2009.)
So there are the gory details.
The ability to view before (and possibly never) printing allows DWF to go beyond the paper.