DXF (Drawing Exchange Format File)
The DXF CAD file format
AutoCAD DXF files (known as Drawing Interchange Format or Drawing Exchange Format) were developed by Autodesk to enable data to be exchanged and used between AutoCAD and other similar programs. Introduced in 1982, the intention was the ability to reproduce data in the AutoCAD native DWG format and to make sharing files easier. Until specifications were published using PDF, this process was difficult. DXF and DWG files would be more prominent and useful if the specifications were published, and if DFX files could support the more advanced CAD elements. Decreased popularity of AutoCAD has also led to reduction of requirements needed for application independent formats.
Technical details of DXF files
DXF files allow users to open the files using basic text editing programs and applications. The files have formatting containing various sections, which is common to other related files. Such elements within the format include: header (property information), classes, tables, entities, blocks, and thumbnail images. The tagged data within the DFX file allows the identification of data interpretation methods. The tagged data format also means that each piece of data is preceded by an integer number called a group code, indicating the order of data and the meaning of data elements for given objects.