I regularly receive files from a service authority in DWF format, which shows the location of their assets in there area. I note that there is no option to have the data in an alternate format as it is automatically generated.

I can't seem to convert this file into an alternate format for import into QGIS (for example DXF). I note that it can be opened in Autodesk Design Review but this cannot convert the data (other than printing to a PDF).

How do others incorporate this data format into their work?

  • According to Wikipedia the AutoDesk DWF format (Design Web Format) is an open spec, essentially an XML inside a Zip container - rename to .zip, open and have a look inside, there should be an XML file (may not have the right extension). There are viewers and libraries available for download that may be able to convert to a usable format but may not contain georeference information like a standard PDF of a map. Aug 15 '14 at 3:24
  • Hi Michael, I tried this but unfortunately I don't think it is a straightforward zip and xml. I tried this but didn't identify anything legible.
    – boberdorf
    Aug 15 '14 at 5:18
  • Try the AutoDesk site, there are viewers and converters there usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/pc/…. I think the converter is cloud-based. Aug 15 '14 at 5:31

I have spent a lot of fruitless time on these endeavours in the past. I recommend you consider buying some software or making do with the free trial period on something like BricsCAD or FME (but it takes a lot time to learn as well). See an earlier thread on this;

Importing DWG into QGIS project?


I believe that there are a few programs available to convert DWF to DWG/DWG formats. I trialed one and it did a reasonable job. However the problem I encountered was that the Coordinate Reference System is not included in the DWF, and hence it required scaling and translation.

In view of this I believe the following options are best:

  1. Obtain the data in an alternate format.
  2. Utilise a third party program and convert to DXF. If the datum is available, Coordinate Reference System transform it.
  3. Print the file to a raster file and geoference it. Then digitise the data.

I don't believe that Trueview or Bricscad can convert DWF directly, and that Autodesk products can view the files.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.