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Occasionally, we maybe asked to send our AutoCAD drawing to someone else. When this happens, it's important to remember that everyone doesn't necessarily use the most current version of AutoCAD. Some firms, in fact, don't use AutoCAD at all. they may use a completely different CAD program. Let's look at how we can save our drawings for clients who may not be using the same software as we are. On my screen, I have a drawing of a commercial site plan. Let's say that I'm a civil engineer, and I need to send this drawing to an architect such that they can do the landscaping design around this parking lot. Let's also say that the architect is not using a current version of AutoCAD.
Maybe they're using AutoCAD 2000. Let me show you how we can save this drawing to an older release such that the architect can use it. To do that, I'll open the Application menu. Then I'll select Save As. Then down at the bottom, I'm going to open up the Files of type menu. Here's where I can select an older release. Notice we can save this all the way back to release 14. As a side note, we're using AutoCAD 2011. Notice we can't save to the 2011 version. That's because technically, there is no 2011 version.
Historically, AutoCAD changes their file format about every three years. It last changed in 2010, so even though we're using AutoCAD 2011, each time we save, we're saving as the 2010 release. Take a look at the bottom of the menu. Notice, we can also save our drawings as a DXF file. DXF stands for Drawing Exchange Format. You would select this format if your client is using a CAD program other than AutoCAD because just about every CAD package, you can open a DXF file.
Now my client is using AutoCAD 2000, so I'll select this. I'd like to save this file to my desktop. I'm also going to add a suffix to the file name. I'll put -2000. Now I'm ready to click Save. Now, before I click this, it's important to note that there are several features that exist now that didn't exist in older releases. So certain things like annotative objects aren't going to work for my client like they work for me. AutoCAD will convert these objects into something else like plain text, so that my client will be able to see it.
I'm going to click Save. The file on my desktop is now ready to be emailed to the architect. He should be able to open this without any problems. No matter what CAD package your client maybe using, whether it would be an older version of AutoCAD or a program from another company, you can still provide them a file they can use by simply saving as an alternate format.
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