Slinger's Thoughts

January 17, 2008

DWG True View and SharePoint don’t play nice.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — slingeronline @ 1:19 pm

If anyone has been following along with my issues lately, then they know I had been having an issue with being able to access AutoCAD drawings from a SharePoint document library.  I was on the right track with that ActiveX control called DWGVIEWRCtrl.  Turns out that it is part of DWG True View, another piece of Autodesk software. It seems that when it sees a drawing in IE it tries to load the file in IE instead of correctly prompting you with the typical “Open, Save, Cancel” dialog.  And of course, this is completely useless, as a dwg file isn’t a web page, but a friggin AutoCAD drawing.  After hunting through the discussion groups I have found that other users were having identical issues, and the typical response that those users got back was “It’s SharePoint’s fault.”  Nice of them to look into the problem and find a solution for their users.  If it wasn’t for me, they wouldn’t have an answer. (I replied to every request in those groups and posted my findings.)  I have a recommendation for any company who’s users run into an issue.  Don’t blame someone else, find a solution to the problem.  Every time these CAD discussion groups admins said “It’s not us, it’s SharePoint,” they were dead wrong, and I hope that this is a lesson learned.  I hope I helped someone out running into this issue also.  Next up, is to find a DWG viewer utility that doesn’t jack with IE, so that our clients who don’t have AutoCAD don’t run into the same problem that our users were encountering.  I have two requirements for it; 1. It must be free, and 2. It must not interfere with IE or Mozilla, or Opera, or any other web browser.  When I have the answer, I will post it here with a link to the site to download it.

I told you I would, so here it is.  It is a little clunky with the way that it handles xref’s that are on the internet, but if you could set an internet relative path in AutoCAD then this will have no issues. As it is, you need to tell it the link to all of your internet based xref’s, but it works,and rendered our model beautifully. Go to and download the SolidWorks dwg viewer and use that to replace Autodesk DWG TrueView and you should be in business.  If I ever find a solution to use web based relative paths in AutoCAD, I will let you all know.



  1. Hello, I think I know an application that does work with your browser to open Autocad document with xrefs.
    We have it in combination with our document management system (Livelink from Opentext) and redlining, but we can’t find anyone in the Netherlands to support it.
    It is called ‘autovue’ or ‘jvue’.
    Another disadvantage is that it is NOT free.
    As the name says it is based on java.

    Comment by Floris — January 23, 2008 @ 6:08 am

  2. Thanks for the advice on opening dwg’s within Sharepoint. The edrawings viewer works great and proves that our problem was not in Sharepoint or IE. Have you reported the problem to Autodesk and, if so, do they plan to fix the problem so that regular AutoCAD users can open a drawing in AutoCAD by clicking on a hyperlink in a browser window?

    Comment by Vic — February 14, 2008 @ 8:33 am

  3. I have reported the problem to Autodesk, and so far their official response is “So?” It doesn’t inspire confidence in a company when their product doesn’t work and instead of trying to find a solution, they simply blame someone else. Finding that Activex control and where it originated from was the biggest challenge. If Autodesk would like to fix the issue with DWG TrueView I would be more than happy to endorse them again. I’m wondering if users who use MicroStation have similar issues….

    Comment by slinger — February 14, 2008 @ 9:02 am

  4. Thanks for this info. I wud like to know where we need to install the viewer suggeste by you. On Moss server or each client machines ?

    Comment by Bali — July 7, 2008 @ 1:59 am

  5. Ideally, on each client machine since that is where the problem lies. What I have done for our users is to provide a link to the downloadable installer on our SharePoint site for them, so that they don’t have to go hunting a viewer down.

    Comment by slinger — July 7, 2008 @ 6:17 am

  6. I have the same problems with sharepoint and CAD dwg files forgive my ignorance but how can I get sharepiont to launch E-drawings when dwg file is uploaded and then name clicked on?

    Comment by SimonW — July 21, 2008 @ 11:06 pm

  7. I have had some success in this area.
    if you want to open dwg files in moss then u need to edit docicon.xml and add the line that tells moss what app to open up the file with.
    Also Bamboo solutions have some good webparts for mapping dwg attributes to moss site columns

    Comment by Dave — August 21, 2008 @ 10:49 am

  8. Although the published responses have been a little helpful. I am looking for a DWG viewer that only needs to be installed on the Sharepoint server that allows users without Autocad or a DWG viewer installed on thier pc to be able to open DWG files.

    Comment by Lester — August 27, 2008 @ 1:26 am

  9. Lester,
    Well, I have no idea how to even begin to code it, but I believe something could probably be done using the document conversion feature of MOSS with Publishing features enabled. I have looked into this briefly, but it didn’t really fit our current needs. You may want to do some research along this avenue though.

    Comment by slinger — September 2, 2008 @ 2:08 pm

  10. Actually, We have the same problem except that we use AutoCAD 2008 as the destination for the DWG file – users should be able to select template drawings from our extranet using IE, load it into AutoCAD and then start editing the drawings… is there really no workaround for this issue somewhere.. .mozilla and opera works do the job and opens the Open, Save, Cancel” dialog…

    any clues appreciated!

    Comment by perranch — January 16, 2009 @ 6:05 pm

  11. perranch, for something like what you are looking for, there are a myriad of plug-ins. The problem that I have is for those users who do not have AutoCAD installed and need a DWG viewer. DWG True View is by nature the default DWG viewer, but it doesn’t seem to work very nicely with Internet Explorer. Any other browser and it behaves exactly like you would expect. If you don’t have DWG True View installed, (and I don’t know why a user with AutoCAD installed would need DWG TrueView) then you should have significantly less issues. Might I recommend that you look into CADnection or CAD-to-SharePoint to resolve your template issues.

    Comment by slinger — January 21, 2009 @ 1:29 pm

  12. Our company is seriously looking at implementing Sharepoint as a replacement document management system. However when it comes to management of dwgs I am having concerns. I have investigated CADnection and it seems to resolve the xref problems but what I would like to confirm is whether or not there are other limitations when it comes to managing dwgs within Sharepoint.

    Comment by DG — July 9, 2009 @ 3:50 am

  13. Hello,
    sorry to breakin in your discussion. We have the same issues. Autcad and sharepoint. We are testing in sept 2009 with Protiva. This company delivers a plug-in for autcad, this will help us to open autocad files with sharepoint, viewing without autocad and redlining. Even verioning is possible.

    Comment by Marc — July 14, 2009 @ 5:43 am

  14. Hi Marc,
    Are you saying that without the plug-in you are unable to open dwgs and that versioning is not possible? Problem with the vendors for Sharepoint (in our country anyway)is they are cad illiterate and my cynicism about sales guys does not help matters – too many questions.

    Comment by DG — July 16, 2009 @ 5:42 am

  15. Hi Slinger,

    Lot of time spent to integrate the DWGviewer in iexplorer and it dont get relative url’s or “http://” file. Only works with local files.

    I will try your solution with eDrawings. Do you know if i can embed it in an object of a jsp? Can i view a remote DWG file in an html?

    Lot of thanks.

    Comment by Pepon Andorra — February 24, 2012 @ 9:43 am

  16. Ok, its fine and working, all i need is here

    Thank you a lot!!!

    Comment by Pepon Andorra — February 24, 2012 @ 10:30 am

  17. I am responsible for all software usage at our Production and Warehousing locations including Sharepoint. We started on SharePoint 2003, are now on 2007 and will convert to 2010 by early 2013 or sooner.

    I have been going back and forth with AutoDesk since 2008 about DWG – SharePoint support, and their management (and I quote) ‘We have no plans to ever support SharePoint with AutoCad or our viewer!’. This statement I have reconfirmed with them every year since.

    We use eDrawing and it works well enough, but have had Xref issues, so I will be looking into autovue, jvue and CADnection. Thanks to everyone for this information.

    Comment by Steve LaMotte — March 2, 2012 @ 9:25 am

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