How to Convert DWG Into PDF

by Alicia Crowder

A DWG extension is found at the end of an AutoCad file name. A PDF is extension is for an Adobe file. (DWG stands for "drawing"; PDF stands for "portable document format"). In recent years, it has become very easy to convert a DWG into a PDF.


Convert your DWG file easily by opening it in AutoCAD. AutoCAD has an option that is basically the same as the print option in other software programs. However, in AutoCAD, it is called "plot." This is because AutoCAD is typically printed to a plotter. On a plotter, a much larger page is printed than what a typical printer can print. This large size is for use in construction fields and for engineers to closely examine the details of a drawing.


Click the "File" button at the top left of the screen. A drop-down screen appears with many options. Near the lower middle of this drop-down screen, you will find the "Plot" option. Click on it.


Watch a new screen open up that is titled "Plot--Presentation Layout." This is very similar to the screen that will come up when you are doing a regular print job with different software. Look under the "Printer/Plotter" title. There should be a field titled "Name." There will also be one titled "Plotter" beneath that.


Choose which plotter to use by clicking on the arrow by the plotter field. A drop-down list should appear. If you have Adobe already installed on your computer, it should come up under the plotter options. Click on the Adobe option. The drop-down should disappear and the screen should show that the document will be plotting to Adobe.


Adjust your settings if you have any preferences that are not already showing up by default. Now click the plot button at the bottom right side of the "Printer/Plotter" screen. Follow any commands through, hitting "OK" as necessary. This should open the document on the screen in Adobe format. It also might bring up an option before it does this asking you where you want to save the document. Choose the location in your computer that will be most easy for you to find. You may want to save it in the same location where you have the DWG version so that they will be side-by-side in the already organized folder.

Your document will now be converted from a DWG to a PDF. You will have two of the same drawing. The original DWG will not go away: You will simply have a second copy of that drawing in the PDF format. This is what you should use when sending the drawing out for viewing or as an attachment in email.

About the Author

Alicia Crowder is a full-time freelance writer. Her portfolio includes work for Free Press Houston, Nevermore magazine, Public News and online content. She has published one non-fiction book and written book reviews for multiple sites. Crowder also has experience as a technical writer of construction project specifications and computer software user manuals.

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