Attach DWF Files as Underlays

You can attach a DWF file as an underlay to a drawing file.

Show Me: Attach a DWF File as an Underlay

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DWF underlay files are referenced and placed in drawing files the same as raster image files; they are not actually part of the drawing file. Like raster files, the DWF underlay is linked to the drawing file through a path name. Linked DWF paths can be changed or removed at any time. By attaching DWF underlays using linked DWF paths, you can use DWF files in your drawing without greatly increasing the drawing file size.

NoteAlthough DWF underlay files are reproductions of their source drawing, they are not as precise as drawing files. DWF underlays may show slight discrepancies in precision.

Drag and Insert DWF Underlay Files

You can also drag DWF underlays directly into the drawing. Once you drag the DWF file into the drawing, you are prompted to enter a sheet name from the DWF file at the command prompt. You then specify an insertion point, scale factor, and rotation.

Once you've attached a DWF underlay, you can reattach it multiple times, treating it as a block. Each underlay has its own clip boundary and its own settings for contrast, fade, and monochrome. However, you cannot bind the underlay to the drawing and you cannot edit or modify the underlay’s drawing content.

Layers in DWF Underlay Files

When a DWF file is attached as an underlay, any layer structure it may have is flattened into a single layer. The underlay is placed on the current drawing layer.

DWF Underlay Files in XRefs

If you work with drawings that have DWG references (xrefs), there is a chance that one of the DWG references may have a DWF underlay attached. In this situation, the DWF geometry will be visible in the parent drawing.

For example, Drawing A includes a DWF underlay showing some mechanical details. You need the content of Drawing A attached to your current drawing, Drawing B. If you attach Drawing A as an external reference to Drawing B, the DWF underlay that was already attached to Drawing A will also be present.

All of the property settings made to the underlay in the DWG reference, such as clipping boundaries, will appear as they do in the parent drawing.

Password Protected DWF Underlay Files

If a DWF file you want to attach as an underlay is password protected, you will be prompted to enter the password after you’ve selected the file. You will not be able to complete the attachment until you have correctly entered the password.

Once a DWF underlay is attached to a DWG, you will be prompted for the DWF file’s password when you open the DWG in the future. If the DWG file is also password protected, or has several other protected drawing references attached, you may be prompted for multiple passwords.

Should you choose to redirect the path of a DWF underlay to a DWF file that requires a password, you will be prompted for a password.

TipDWF passwords are case sensitive but DWG passwords are not. To make synchronization between DWG and DWF passwords easier, make sure the DWF password matches the DWG password and is entirely uppercase. For example, if the DWG password is MyProject, enter the DWF password as MYPROJECT.