How to Open DWG File in Illustrator

Designed by Autodesk cofounder Mike Riddle in 1977, the DWG file format was originally created for the AutoCAD drafting program. This program continues to be essential for architects, engineers, and product designers across a variety of industries. Fortunately, Adobe and Autodesk have a licensing agreement that allows for cross-platform compatibility, so designers and architects can open their AutoCAD project in Adobe Illustrator for further tweaks.  

Below, we've shared how to open DWG file in Illustrator, so you can edit 2D and 3D architectural drawings with the robust graphic design software. 

1. First, launch a new Illustrator project. To ensure that your DWG file loads properly, you need to open it in the program by pressing CTRL+O, or selecting "File" > "Open".   

2. Now, the "Open" dialog box will appear, allowing you to locate the DWG file on your hard drive. To make all of the DWG files visible, click on the "Files of Type" submenu and choose "AutoCAD Drawings (.DWG)" from the list. Instead of showing the typical Illustrator files, like AI and SVG, the software will now display all files with the .DWG extension.     

3. Just like any other file directory in Windows or OSX, you can navigate between folders by clicking the "Look In", "Up One Level", and other icons to find your desired DWG file. Click on the file and then press "Open" to load it into Illustrator. 

4. By holding the CTRL key and selecting more than one file from the list, you can open multiple DWG files at the same time. Once you've learned how to open DWG file in Illustrator, you can use the exact same steps to open file formats like DXF, FXG, TIFF, PXR, and many more.   

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