10 Best Free DWG Viewers for Opening Technical Drawings

If you need to view the file using AutoCAD but you cannot download AutoCAD free at the moment, it is high time to look for free software to open DWG files.

This CAD software really costs a fortune ($235/month), therefore if you need a tool for viewing drawings only once or you are using another program for work, consider free options and those that offer a trial period.

Top 10 DWG File Viewers for Designers

  1. Adobe Illustrator - Allows editing vectors
  2. LibreCAD - Open-source program for viewing DWG files
  3. Bentley View - Lets you tweak files in 2 clicks
  4. CAD Reader - Non-destructive editing
  5. CorelDRAW - Pro-level tool
  6. OnShape Free - iOS and Android
  7. IrfanView - Plugins for enriching functionality
  8. DWGSee - Can convert CAD files
  9. DWG TrueView - Handy CAD sharing options
  10. DWG FastView - Highly functional DWG viewer

DWG, which is an abbreviation for DraWinG, is the proprietary AutoCAD file format that contains both metadata and geometrical data.

Depending on your aims, you can choose either a multifunctional program with vector graphics options, CAD features and functions of 3D modeling software or DWG viewer with basic functions.

1. Adobe Illustrator – Our Choice

Allows editing vectors
  • Open DWGs with ease
  • Allows editing vectors
  • Detailed tutorials
  • Free trial with full functionality
  • Relatively pricey subscription

Verdict: Adobe Illustrator is a great program for opening DWG files that offers a free seven-day trial, which is enough for handling your short-term projects. The full version costs $20.99/month and this price covers access to all important tools offered by Adobe software.

To open the DWG, follow this path File tab > Open or the Ctrl+O and then find and click the required file. By doing so you can tweak graphics or add important vector elements without trouble.

Check these Adobe Illustrator tutorials to learn how to improve your drawings more effectively.

adobe illustrator free dwg viewer interface

2. LibreCAD

Open-source program for viewing DWG files
  • UI similar to the interface of AutoCAD
  • Can work with both 3D and 2D files
  • Supports multiple formats
  • Does not weigh much
  • Can only open DWGs
  • Needs time to get into functionality

Verdict: LibreCAD is an open source CAD software that allows viewing DWG docs for free. This is an open-source tool, meaning that it is available online and can be used at no cost. Besides, it only weighs 30MB and won’t occupy much space on your PC.

The functionality of LibreCAD allows opening 2D drawings and 3D models of CAD type. The program does not only process DWG docs but can also print DXF and CXF files as well as export SVG, ICO, BMP, and PDF formats.

librecad free dwg viewer interface

3. Bentley View

Lets you tweak files in a jiffy
  • Compatible with over 50 CAD files
  • Feature for verifying distances and areas
  • Extensive functionality
  • Straightforward operation
  • Restricted capacity
  • No advanced features

Verdict: Bentley View is a free AutoCAD alternative for opening and processing DWG files. The strength of this software is that, in addition to DWG, it supports 50 other CAD file formats. Moreover, using it, you can easily open entire BIM projects.

I like that you can select each independent object in the design and check its measurements and material properties.

Highly functional view modes for fulfilling your needs are what make Bentley View the best free DWG viewer. For example, X-ray view mode makes the object transparent enabling users to see its inner content.

bentley view free dwg viewer interface

4. CAD Reader

Non-destructive editing
  • Uses layers
  • Coordinate and scale option
  • Sends files directly to a printer
  • Trouble-free import and export
  • Long loading time
  • Lagging
cad reader free dwg viewer logo
CAD Reader

Verdict: Developed by Glodon Company, CAD Reader is a free DWG file viewer that attracts users with its fast operation, small weight, and highly functional viewers of CAD files.

A pro-level layering system and non-destructive editing are the major benefits of this program. Moreover, by using it with 3D printing software, you can turn this simple tool into a universal solution.

Also, it stands apart from the competitive programs because of its handy export and import options. By saving drawings and comments in a single file, you can send them to other devices worry-free.

Users who only require basic CAD processing features will be satisfied with a free version of CAD Reader. However, those who are looking for more advanced functionality should pay $5/month to enjoy premium options.

cad reader free dwg viewer interface

5. CorelDRAW

Pro-level tool
  • Can process various CAD files
  • Ability to collaborate
  • Optional automation and customization
  • Multiple customization and automated options
  • Many design tools
  • The full version costs much
  • Free trial with limited functionality

Verdict: Comparing CorelDRAW vs Adobe Illustrator and other tools listed here, the first one offers a more advanced toolkit as it is delivered with a separate CorelCAD version, created specifically for developing technical designs and drawings.

During the trial period you can open DWG files for free, but to enjoy the functionality of the full version you should pay $769.

Seamless collaboration is another great plus of this program. With this option, designers can work on the same DWG files without trouble. Aligning with any working environment, this CAD software offers amazing customization and automation options for the most pleasant user experience.

coreldraw free dwg viewer interface

6. OnShape Free

Provides iOS and Android versions
  • Сloud-based solution
  • Processes DWGs fast and easily
  • Pro-level collaboration features
  • Compatible with mobile platforms
  • Editing options are only available for subscribers
  • Bad option for individuals
onshape free dwg viewer logo
OnShape Free

Verdict: OnShape Free is a free DWG file viewer, which is a web-based solution that provides a range of cloud computing options. It is compatible with various platforms including iOS, Android, Linux, OSX, and Windows.

If you only need to view a DWG file, a free tool is enough. However, professionals had better purchase a complete version, which costs 1500 per year/per user.

OnShape Free stands apart from the competitors with its pro-level collaboration options, which are similar to those offered by professional online collaboration software. The program provides every team member with access to one CAD workspace and files.

Moreover, it is possible to tweak master designs without the need to handle multiple copies and versions.

onshape free dwg viewer interface

7. IrfanView

Plugins for enriching functionality
  • Supports 50 other CAD formats
  • Editing features
  • Absolutely free
  • A list of plugins is available
  • Only compatible with Windows
  • Lacks specialized CAD options

Verdict: Generally, IrfanView is used as a photo viewer, but it is also capable of displaying various CAD files like DWG. To be able to do it, download a free plug-in from the official website and install it.

The program supports more than 130 million formats, therefore it can become a universal choice for users who deal with other file types. Fortunately, IrfanView is also fitted with editing features that allow you to rotate and flip pictures, add watermarks, adjust filters, increase brightness, and change color depth without the need for some extra photo editing software for PC.

irfanview free dwg viewer interface

8. DWGSee

Can convert CAD files
  • Allows converting DWG files
  • Ability to add marks to drawings
  • Verifying measurements and areas is not a problem
  • Speedy performance
  • Only compatible with the Windows platform
  • A complete version is costly
dwgsee free dwg viewer logo

Verdict: ADWSee is a free DWG reader, the main advantages of which are small weight and speedy operation. It not only allows viewing different types of CAD docs but also has multiple features of the professional architectural design software. Except for DWG, the tool can process other technical formats like DXF and DWF,

An in-built AutoDWG converter is a real highlight of this program. However, users often choose it because it allows measuring lengths, angles, radii, and areas with just one click.

If you are not interested in advanced functionality and only want to view a DWG file, a free version is what you need. If you require more functions, pay $255 for a license.

dwgsee free dwg viewer interface

9. DWG TrueView

Handy CAD sharing options
  • Straightforward UI
  • In-built converter
  • Design Review add-on
  • Can operate on both 32- and 64-bits OS
  • Free only for Design Review users
  • Too few editing features
dwg trueview free dwg viewer logo
DWG TrueView

Verdict: Many users consider DWG TrueView as the best free DWG viewer as it allows not only viewing but editing and converting DWG docs. However, with a free version, it is only possible to open DWGs to access their content.

If you have Design Review addition installed, you will be able to tweak docs, add annotations, measure areas, and angles on drawings, etc.

Besides, it boasts a straightforward interface similar to CAD software for kids. Not only that, TrueView provides handy tips on how to work with this or that tool to improve users’ experience. Moreover, it also supports DXF, DWF, and DWF formats.

dwg trueview free dwg viewer interface

10. DWG FastView

Highly functional DWG viewer
  • Stable operation
  • Can handle large files
  • Separate mobile version
  • Cloud storage of 5GB
  • Is rather for professionals
  • Not for all platforms
dwg fastview free dwg viewer logo

Verdict: DWG FastView, developed by Gstarcad, is a great tool for opening DWG files and other CAD documents. Besides, it can be used as a DXF viewer for accessing 2D drawings and 3D models. Its functionality also includes options for freezing, locking, and unlocking separate layers.

Zoom and pan options will come in handy for examining every detail of the drawing.

Conveniently, the program lets you handle several objects at once moving them into the UI using drag-and-drop features. 5GB of cloud storage eliminates the need to download additional cloud storage for photos and docs.

dwg fastview free dwg viewer interface