An inaccurate discussion group response of a competitor in response to their customers requesting DWF needs some perspective and correction. The person claimed that because AutoCAD cannot publish native PDF, that the DWF vs. PDF comparisons are not correct. Well, you can publish native PDF and in fact Adobe Acrobat Pro provides a native AutoCAD ARX for AutoCAD 2002 and AutoCAD 2004. This is just as native as the competitors PDF offering. In the case of producing a sample PDF and sample DWF using the same settings and sample drawing show the same DWF claims that DWF is smaller and faster.
All default settings for the two:
- AutoCAD 2004 Sample Drawing 8thFloor Layout 8th Floor Power Plan
- 400 DPI
- E Size plot 42" X 30"
- No Layer Info
- No Text
Adobe Acrobat Pro PDF Creator installed on AutoCAD 2004
Creating the PDF in AutoCAD 2004 using the built in Adobe Acrobat Pro PDFMaker
The PDF being created and optimized by the Adobe PDFMaker
Using the PUBLISH command in AutoCAD to produce a DWF of the same layout
at the same settings.
The Final PDF in Acrobat 6 Pro (also would be the same in the free viewer just the editing and mark up features not in the free product)
The Final DWF in DWF Composer (also would be the same in the free viewer just the editing and mark up features not in the free product)
And now for the good stuff...the results.
The PDF Results:
File Size:1.71 MB (1,797,473 Bytes)
The DWF Results:
File Size: 252 KB (258,048 bytes)
So there you have it the PDF at the same settings is 11 times the size and plots with no discernable difference. The resulting DWF was smaller and is almost always in most cases. There are many other DWF advantages as well such as such as a faster free viewer, much higher precision available with DWF up to 64million DPI, designed specifically for CAD data not text documents, open and freely available API toolkit unlike the PDF format, a free Windows System driver, able to be measured in the designs units not based on the distance in paper, higher visual fidelity such as supports line merge, able to be embedded/viewed/manipulated in a web page, and more.
So it boils down to you have options. Use what you prefer or have to deliver, but you should always be aware of more specialized and open formats designed specifically for the data you are exchanging. There is no one size fits all format and certainly not a 10 year old format designed only for text documents.