Design Review – Beyond the DWF

Design ReviewBy this time next week I will be among many of you, enjoying the Autodesk University 2007 in fabulous Las Vegas, NV. Being both the 25th anniversary of Autodesk, and the 15th anniversary of Autodesk University, it’s sure to be a spectacular event.  To that end I do look forward to meeting and chatting with those of you attending this years conference.  For those unable to attend this years conference; stay tuned to The CAD Geek Blog for my posts from AU 2007.  In addition to blogging I hope to upload as many photos as possible to flickr.  Shaan Hurley has created an AU flickr group which can be found at:  In addition to some spectacular photos, perhaps a friendly Canon vs. Nikon competition will ensue during AU as well.

Like many of my posts, the inspiration for today’s post comes from a question one of my users recently asked me.  Basically he had received digital scans of a plan set.  The scans were in the TIF format, and while Windows has it’s Picture and Fax Viewer, it can be a little clunky at times.  Especially when trying to zoom and pan around in an image.  A simple search will naturally return an endless list of TIFF image viewers, but what about what’s already installed?

Those who use DWF’s have likely used Design Review.  It’s electronic markup functionality is quite impressive.  We have a few project teams who have lived by it since the DWF Composer days (when you had to pay for it).  In February of this year Autodesk discontinued its DWF Viewer product, making Design Review FREE – and who doesn’t like FREE?

Design Review

No less, the relationship between DWF’s and Design Review are overly apparent.  A lesser known ability of the software is it’s image handling capabilities.  By changing your “Files of type” in the “File > Open” dialog, you can open; BMP, CAL, GIF, JPG, PCX, PCT, PNG, TIF, and a few others.  One open the images behave much like a DWF file would.  You can quickly and easily pan and zoom throughout the image.

Need to comment on a scanned plan sheet? No problem!  Design Review will allow you to use its digital markup tools to make any necessary comments.  When finished marking up your image, Design Review will allow you to save the image as a DWF.  Using the Save command, there is no way to save your markups back to your image file (JPG, TIF, etc).

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving.  Safe travels to everyone attending AU.  I shall look forward to meeting a number of you in Vegas!

Donnie Gladfelter
Donnie Gladfelter

Donnie is author of the book and Autodesk Official Press, AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT: No Experience Required, a columnist for AUGIWorld Magazine, Autodesk University speaker, and former member of the AUGI Board of Directors.


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