OpenDWG Alliance Publishes DWG File Specification

From: Yakov Horenstein (
Date: Mon Apr 27 1998 - 20:03:16 EEST

         OpenDWG Alliance Publishes DWG File Specification via the Web
                            (PR Newswire; 04/27/98)

     Documentation of Popular Autodesk AutoCAD File Format Now Available

                              To General Public

    SEATTLE, April 27 /PRNewswire/ The OpenDWG Alliance Inc. announced today
it has published its complete documentation of the Autodesk AutoCAD Release 13
and Release 14 DWG file formats via the World Wide Web. Available for reading
at, the specification provides detailed technical
information regarding the composition of DWG, a file format that encapsulates
over 2 billion computer-aided design (CAD) drawings created by governments,
corporations and users worldwide. The OpenDWG Alliance has publicly released
the specification to further its goal of disseminating knowledge about DWG, a
de facto industry standard format that has remained publicly undocumented for
15 years. The specification serves as the technical foundation for the
OpenDWG(TM) Toolkit, which includes the software development libraries created
for reading and writing CAD data in DWG format that the OpenDWG Alliance made
publicly available on Feb. 11.

    "Statements have been made in the media that question the OpenDWG
Alliance's understanding of AutoCAD DWG files," said Ted Johnson, president of
the OpenDWG Alliance. "Today, the alliance openly publishes our understanding
of the DWG file format. Those who can point out specific errors in the
specification are encouraged to do so. We welcome any and all assistance in
furthering the use of DWG as an open format, and we challenge those who have a
better understanding of the DWG file format to assist us by making their
expertise available."

    An association of over 2,000 CAD users and vendors, the OpenDWG Alliance
anticipates that the public disclosure of the DWG file format will spur the
development of DWG access tools for a wide variety of computing platforms,
including those not presently supported by the OpenDWG Toolkit. The OpenDWG
Alliance has not placed any restriction on the use of the specification.

    "For those individuals or organizations that may not want to incorporate
the OpenDWG Toolkit into their software applications, the knowledge contained
in the specification provides a great no-strings-attached head start toward
developing their own low-level tools for working with the DWG format," said
Trainer, chairman of the OpenDWG Alliance. "By using either the OpenDWG
Toolkit or the specification, CAD users and vendors can make great strides in
improving their existing DWG tools or building new ones."

    New File Downloads for Using DWG
    The OpenDWG Alliance has also released new software libraries and
for enhancing and expanding the use of DWG. The most significant new
the OpenDWG Viewkit, provides developers with tools for graphically viewing
outputting DWG-based drawings. Formerly known as AUTODIRECT3, the OpenDWG
Viewkit provides a complete device-independent vectorizer for creating
graphical representations of DWG-based drawings. With the OpenDWG Viewkit,
users and vendors can create innovative viewing, drawing management, and
printing and plotting tools that permit CAD users to view or output DWG
drawings without AutoCAD. With the OpenDWG Viewkit and the OpenDWG Toolkit,
alliance members have a complete arsenal of sophisticated software development
tools for reading, writing and viewing DWG files. The OpenDWG Viewkit is
available under the same licensing terms as the OpenDWG Toolkit, which is
at no
cost for corporate or noncommercial use.

    The OpenDWG Alliance has also posted several freeware utilities for
managing DWG files to the OpenDWG Alliance Web site. Developed with the
OpenDWG Toolkit, these DWG utilities perform simple functions that ease the
file maintenance chores that DWG users often encounter. One of the tools, DWG
Sniffer, reads the DWG drawing from the command line and determines if the
drawing has been corrupted, providing a convenient and reliable means of
routinely verifying the integrity of drawing archives. Another tool, DWG
Converter, converts DXF files into their DWG equivalents, and vice versa, in
batch mode. Found at, all of the
DWG utilities are available at no charge and do not require OpenDWG Alliance
membership to download. Further, the licensing terms of the OpenDWG Toolkit
permits the public distribution of software incorporating the OpenDWG Toolkit
as long as the derivative software is noncommercial (i.e., freeware).

    "The OpenDWG Toolkit makes possible a whole new category of no-cost
software that can make the day-to-day work of AutoCAD users easier," said Bob
Palioca, CEO of Ketiv Technologies and a member of the OpenDWG Alliance. "I'd
encourage any developer out there to download the OpenDWG Toolkit and OpenDWG
Viewkit, write a tool that solves an annoying drawing management task, and
it available via the OpenDWG Web site for all CAD users to enjoy."

    OpenDWG Alliance Membership Information
    The OpenDWG Alliance continues to solicit membership in the alliance,
provide information regarding the alliance and its activities, and distribute
software based on OpenDWG technology via its Web site at Contact the OpenDWG Alliance at 1420 Fifth Ave.,
Floor, Seattle, WA 98101; 206-224-5655; or fax 206-224-2880.

    NOTE: OpenDWG is a trademark of OpenDWG Alliance in the United States
and/or other countries. All other trademarks, trade names or company names
referenced herein are used for identification only and are the property of
their respective owners.

SOURCE OpenDWG Alliance Inc.
    -0- 04/27/98
    /CONTACT: Asa Trainer of OpenDWG Alliance Inc., 206-224-5655, or; or press, Rob Curran of Waggener Edstrom, or 503-245-0905,
or, for OpenDWG Alliance/
    /Web site:

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