How to Print or Convert DWG files to PDF without AutoCAD

Have you ever received an AutoCAD DWG file from someone and needed to view, collaborate, or print it, but you didn’t have AutoCAD or a proprietary viewer installed on your computer? You can just convert it to PDF or image format and then work with it without AutoCAD even being installed on your system.

Sometimes there's a need to convert a DWG to PDF, batch convert DWG to JPG, print DWG files without AutoCAD or any extra software installed. You can convert or print AutoCAD, MathCAD or Solid Edge drawings one by one by yourself... or set up their printing or conversion to PDF or images automatically — by using FolderMill.

Besides FolderMill, we'll review even more easy ways to convert and print multiple DWG files without AutoCAD installed.

How to Print or Convert DWG files to PDF without AutoCAD with FolderMill

How to convert DWG to PDF automatically without AutoCAD

With FolderMill, you can convert DWG and DXF drawings without any CAD software. The program can automatically process — convert or print files — without the need to have any CAD software installed, such as Autodesk AutoCAD or eDrawings Viewer.

How to convert DWG to PDF without AutoCAD

You can combine different Actions together for one Hot Folder and set a sequence of operations, e.g.

  1. Filter incoming files by .dwg and .dfx extension only
  2. Batch convert AutoCAD files to PDF
  3. Print the resultant PDFs on a selected printer or multiple printers

Actions can be combined in different ways and assigned to different Hot Folders.

When the Hot Folders are configured, you just drop a new file into the Source (Folder/FTP/Email). The program will process them automatically and give you the resultant files in the Output folder or will send them to the selected printer.

FolderMill can make the printing process fully automated and user-unattended. There's a wide range of settings available, e.g. you can configure to print CAD drawings in black and white mode only. FolderMill can automate printing of DWG, DXF and other CAD drawings.

Automatically send drawings to a certain printer or printer tray

You can configure FolderMill to filter files by paper size. It will send them to a certain printer, so that your drawings will be printed on the right printing device. In addition, you can let FolderMill automatically select the best paper tray, depending on page size of each incoming drawing. 

Other tools to simplify printing or conversion of DWG files

As an alternative, there are less complex desktop CAD processing software solutions – a batch printer and a batch converter. Both programs have a trial/free version available.

Print Conductor: Easy way to print multiple DWG files at once

If there's no need to set up the printing process in real time, you can try a simple application called Print Conductor. It can print DWG and DXF files in bulk without any other software plus other CAD formats (SLDDRW, EDRW, and more) with the help of a free CAD viewer. Print Conductor is free for personal use and can print CAD drawings in batches with adjustable settings. All you've got to do is add multiple DWGs to the list and press a single button.

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DocuFreezer: Easy way to convert multiple DWG files at once

If you only need to save many DWG files to PDF or image format like PNG, TIFF or JPEG, try a free file converter DocuFreezer. It is also a simple program with an intuitive interface where you just add files to the program's list, and change a few settings if necessary. DocuFreezer provides high-quality output maintaining the original format and quality of the documents. It supports popular CAD formats as well. Besides AutoCAD drawings, DocuFreezer can also convert Mathcad Prime (MCDX, MCTX) and many other file types. You can set up merge and split options, image quality, and other parameters. 

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Easy ways to convert and print multiple DWG files


Why convert DWG to PDF or images?

Today, the process of drafting has largely been simplified through the use of computer-aided design systems (CAD / CAE / CAM). Engineers, drafting technicians and other professionals sometimes need to convert or batch print drawings. Once a CAD file is converted into PDF or image, it gets difficult to edit it. That's why PDF or image files are commonly used when submitting a drawing for approval or when making a printed copy.

DWG, DXF, DFT, XMCD files can only be opened with specific CAD programs. If you only need to view a CAD drawing and don’t need to edit the file, it may be just easier to convert the DWG into a PDF file or image. By converting your DWG files into PDF or JPEG / PNG / TIFF, you can open the file with any standard file viewer (even your web browser will do). It’s important to keep the highest image quality of these files in order to preserve every detail.

Why automate printing of CAD files?

CAD experts often prefer a printed drawing over a digital on-screen copy. If you print files occasionally, there's no problem printing them one by one. But if you or your colleagues have multiple drawings to print in bulk every day, FolderMill can become your time saver. With once configured FolderMill, all you have to do is just copy new files to a folder or FTP server, and they will be instantly printed on one or many printers. You can specify the right paper tray as well.

Is it possible to use SHX fonts?

Yes, SHX fonts support is available in FolderMill by default. That means, the program will try to use them if it is possible. Besides, you may turn this option on or off for CAD to PDF conversion. To do it, open Convert to PDF Action. When the Action's dialog is open, open its Advanced settings and change Try to use SHX fonts to Yes. You will also need to set the location to the fonts by using the SHX font folders setting (type "SHX" in the search bar to quickly find both settings). 

What is DWG?

AutoCAD’s native file type is DWG, a proprietary file format created by Autodesk. DWG (from drawing) is a binary file format used for storing 2D and 3D design data and metadata. It is the native format for several CAD packages such as DraftSight, AutoCAD, IntelliCAD, Caddie and Open Design Alliance compliant applications. In addition, DWG is supported non-natively by many other CAD applications.

What is DXF?

AutoCAD DXF (Drawing Interchange Format, or Drawing Exchange Format) is a CAD data file format developed by Autodesk for enabling data interoperability between AutoCAD and other programs. According to Autodesk, the DXF format is a tagged data representation of all the information contained in an AutoCAD drawing file. Virtually all user-specified information in a drawing file can be represented in DXF format.

FolderMill is available as a free version and as a 14-days trial version upon request. If you are not sure if our software will work for you or if you have a special request, please contact us. You can also download the free version and give it a try:

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