What is a DXF file and how to open it?

What is DXF file?

open dxf fileDXF is a short form of Drawing Interchange Format or Drawing Exchange Format, which is  Commonly called an AutoCAD DXF file format, which is a CAD data file format. It was developed by Autodesk to allow data interoperability between AutoCAD and the other programs. DXF file format was first introduced in 1982.

The key purpose of this file format is to create the correct representation of AutoCAD native DWG files on the other applications. For many more years, the importing procedure of DXF files had been very hard due to the unavailability of terms of the format. currently, the format terms and conditions are available as a PDF but this file format is rarely used in AutoCAD applications.


DXF file format

DXF is a file extension for a graphic picture format usually used with AutoCAD (Computer Assisted Drafting) software. The short form of DXF is Drawing eXchange Format. As its initial release in 1982, there have been many changes to the DXF file format specifications. For that particular reason, AutoDesk maintains a current record of DXF file format terms and conditions. Based on the software generating the DXF file, it can either be in an ASCII or in a binary format.


How to open DXF files with CorelDRAW?

  1. Launch CorelDRAW
  2. Choose File > Open
  3. Find the DXF file you wish to open
  4. Select the File(s)
  5. Edit & Save Your File!


Open DXF files on Windows

  • Compatible with:
  • Windows 10
  • Windows 8
  • Windows 7

how to open dxf file


Open DXF files on Mac

  • Compatible with:
  • macOS 10.14
  • macOS 10.13
  • macOS 10.12


7 Facts You Need to Know about DXF files

1. They’re as old as AutoCAD itself

The DXF file type developed in 1982, was invented by Autodesk in the same year the company released the primary version of its most well-known design software: AutoCAD. With the program, users will be able to produce DWG (Drawing) files, which collated the instructions to leave drawings into a combined binary file but Autodesk accepted that not everyone can run AutoCAD.


2. DXFs are totally open-source

This means that anyone with the necessary software development skills can create programs that can read and write DXF files. It’s one example of how Autodesk has recognized that open collaboration with the CAD industry as a whole can aid progress in design more quickly and efficiently than by working alone.


3. They revolutionized design collaboration

The clue is in the name. X, for exchange, hints at one of the key benefits to saving as DXF: they are supported by almost every CAD program in the world. Without DXF, it would be difficult for different companies along the design process—many of whom use distinct pieces of software—to work together effectively. Different programs are more suited to different industries—with a budget and personal preferences holding a large sway within companies as well.

convert dxf file


4. They’re not perfect

If you’re any sort of a regular Scan2CAD reader, you’d be forgiven for thinking that we believe DXF files to be one big bundle of egg timer wonder. And to an extent, you’d be right. We love their versatility and the manner in which they enable cross-discipline collaboration.


5. The scale is no object

Raster files become blurred when they are expanded, whereas vector files keep their quality Unlike other file types, such as JPEGs or GIFs, DXF files are fully scalable. They are able to offer total precision, with a floating-point of up to an impressive 16 decimal places. What this means, in reality, is that however far you zoom into the image, it will retain its quality. The file contains all the vital information of a drawing; they can be edited in much more detail than an image file in JPEG or PDF format.


6. DXF offers unique longevity

Whatever the future is holding for DWG files, the standard use of DXF for the data exchange that helps to cement this file type as a file format that is evergreen. As companies transfer to different software packages over time, it makes sense to back up all files in their most widely supported version. That is, currently and undoubtedly, the Drawing Exchange Format.

Compatibility is so integral to usefulness that, within design at least, it has almost become synonymous. What is the point in creating something that cannot be shared, developed, improved and displayed?


7. DXF files can be often found for free

Because they’re so compatible with different software packages, and the format is so easy to replicate, there is lots of competition to produce DXF files that are appropriate for CAD users. This has a massive impact on their availability. There are plenty of websites offering downloadable DXF images, which can often be sent directly to CNC for cutting, or used as a basis for more CAD/CAM work. Using pre-drawn files saves time, provides inspiration, and can help you focus on improving specific CAD skills once you’ve acquired the basics. 


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