A couple of posts ago, I wrote about how excited I was to see the new plot to pdf feature in the AutoCAD 2007 based products. I am still excited about this because I know people have been screaming for this feature for a long time. Well the battle is not finished. I now want to write about how excited I am about the new dwf underlay feature. Not that I want to retract my previous blog, but I want to make sure everybody understands what the dwf underlay feature means to us as a profession.
Have you ever sent a consultant a drawing to use as a background (I know I have.) When you send somebody a .dwg file, what keeps that person from making changes to it without your knowledge. I have worked with engineers previously that were very reluctant to send me their HVAC drawing for the fear that I might make changes to it. (If they only could understand that if I actually did change it, it would only lead to future RFI's or Change Orders).
The new dwf underlay feature will allow us to send secure drawing files to consultants without them being able to change or edit the drawing. Previously, when I sent a DWF, they could view it, or plot it, but they could not actually use it in their drawings. The same goes for a pdf file. You can not insert a pdf file into your drawings. Now we can insert a dwf as an underlay, similar to an xref, and use it as a background. We can even use our AutoCAD snaps to snap to points on the dwf. The is wicked cool. (as Matt Murphy would say).
In my opinion this gives dwf's a whole new light. So the battle continues.