In many industries, it is necessary to draw out the blueprints before production. The design is extremely important because the preemptive product design means more market opportunities. For the designers, their design drawings partly represent their personal intellectual property right, and should be protected. But, the phenomenon of drawing steal or falsification frequently occurs in working process, therefore, it is a very significant thing for AutoCAD users to lock the drawings (or DWG files) in AutoCAD. Then, How to lock the AutoCAD DWG files? Now let’s have a look. The purpose of locking the AutoCAD DWG files in two, one is to prevent someone from viewing the drawing contents, the other is that the information in the drawings can be viewed but not be modified or copied. In response to the two requirements, here I will provide several different AutoCAD drawing security solutions for designers.
Ways to protect DWG files from being viewed or stolen
Way1: AutoCAD’s built-in password protection. Run AutoCAD, from the Tool menu, click the Options button, and then click the Open and Save tab and click the Security Options button to open the password box. Type your password and click OK. When you try to open the DWG file again in AutoCAD, you will be asked to type the correct password. Note that this operation will password protect all later DWG files you saved. If you only want to encrypt a certain drawing, click Save as option from File menu, then in the Save Drawing As dialog box, click the Security Options from the Tool menu, finally click the Password tab to enter your password and click OK.
Ways to protect DWG files from being modified
Way1: Exporting AutoCAD drawing as the read-only PDF file. The main steps are as follows:
- Open the DWG file in AutoCAD. Click MODEL button to switch to the paper space.
- Open the Page Setup dialogue box by clicking the Output tab and then the Page Setup Manager button.
- In the Page Setup dialogue box, select “Adobe PDF” under the printer/plotter (If you don’t find the PDF printer, just obtain a virtual PDF printer through Google search and install in on your computer). Set up your paper size (A4 size is relatively common). Select Window on What to plot and check the Center to plot. Finally click OK to return to the paper space layout.
- Click the Plot button at the top-left of the screen, then name the file and specify an output folder to save the virtually printed PDF file. That’s it.
Way2: Exporting AutoCAD drawing as DWF file which is a non-editable security file. Others can view, mark, and print the DWF drawing through the free Autodesk® or Express Viewer, but can not edit it. Followings are the steps:
- Open the drawing in AutoCAD.
- Click DWF from Export menu.
- Change the file name, destination folder or the layer information by clicking Options.
- Click Save to export the DWF file.