All Collections
Troubleshooting, Support Information
Support Information
File Open Message in AutoCAD: "Foreign DWG File. This DWG file was saved by an application that was not developed or licensed..."
File Open Message in AutoCAD: "Foreign DWG File. This DWG file was saved by an application that was not developed or licensed..."

Foreign file, warning, file migration, workaround, features, information

Levi Miguel avatar
Written by Levi Miguel
Updated over a week ago

One common scenario when migrating files between different products from different software developers, is the software warning that the file was not created with the product/one of the developer's products. As an example, an Autodesk® (products) user may receive the following message, when opening a file created with ARES Commander® or any non-Autodesk product:

"Does this mean that the file is not usable?"

No: There is no problem with the file. Although some users may be concerned, this is only an "informative" message that refers ONLY to the source/origin of the file, and does not imply that there is any issue with the file/file or data corruption: Click the option "Open file..." and you will access/open the file as "normal"/expected.

You can see the message as a disclaimer, in case the product does not support a specific functionality.

When migrating files between software packages from different software developers, users tend to expect full functionality (as long as the file format used is supported by both software packages (native and target)), and this is true in the vast majority of cases.

Although there are features that are product specific (and sometimes not available in other products even from the same developer), the migration of files tends to be straight forward, and even if the/a feature is not available in the target software package, the information in the drawing is honored/maintained, with no loss of data.

Why are AutoCAD and other Autodesk products showing such a message, then?

One could argue that they are showing such messages on purpose to avoid customers would consider alternatives like ARES Commander.

But the truth is that such message has been there in Autodesk products for a long time, and there are some valid arguments behind it. In addition to AutoCAD and ARES Commander there are thousands of solutions in the market that are capable to produce DWG files. While ARES Commander is offering a maximum compatibility by using natively the DWG format, some other solutions are not always offering the same compatibility. Some solutions can for example use another file format and only EXPORT in DWG.

Over the last years to quality of DWG files has however significantly improved and it is now questionable to keep such messages. This is why for example you will not find such warning messages in ARES products.

"Can I stop this message being shown?"

Yes, but only on the computer using AutoCAD or other Autodesk products. There is nothing to do in ARES. If you are using ARES CAD software such as ARES Commander it may imply that you share the following advice with your contacts.

To stop the dialog box displaying again in your Autodesk product, check the “Always open DWG files regardless of origin” option.

The message will also be not shown if the file is open using the File> Recover.

As you would expect, if the file is then saved in an Autodesk® product, the message will not be shown in the next time the file is open.

The message display is controlled by the System Variable DWGCHECK (range 0 to 7), that you can also use to edit directly the behavior in the target application.

On file creation, the message can also be prevented by:

-Saving the file as DWG R12 or R13 versions (Note that this option may increase considerably the file size, and or imply loss of functionality for features included in the product in a later version).

Did this answer your question?