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how to make safe cad dwg for edit and print protection


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any one help me i want to protect my dwg for edit and print if someone print he will get some watermark or stamp on it as warning,no one can copy drawing objects or edit 

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You can find instructions for adding a watermark in AutoCAD 2017 online.  There is nothing you can do you prevent anyone from editing your drawing short of not providing an actual dwg file.

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Printing to pdf is the norm and a copyright watermark could be added as part of the dwg. 


It is now possible to read a pdf into a dwg as linework etc so watermark could be removed.


Another post suggested print an image not a pdf. Much harder to convert to lines etc.


If the contract says they get a dwg then you need also as part of that contract what is proprietary to your company and can not be pulled out of the dwg for use by them. eg Blocks.



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  • 2 weeks later...

I assume your contract says that they get CAD files, you are sending DWGs outside the company.


So for edit protection you can use standard operating system file write protection, with a password as required (so internet search "how to protect file in Windows" for example)


However I am not sure how to stop someone 'save as' a file that is read only and creating their own copy.


For a watermark, simplest is to include that as a part of any border or frame, or check the 'add watermark' option in the print dialogue - though easy to bypass that, it is more of a hassle than a fix. We just put the copyright information on the drawing, no watermarks, it is just there. Like Big Al says, if you want this to remain propriety information it needs to be done in the contract.


If you don't want to send the original CAD files then PDFs are the way to go, use SHX fonts which plot as lines and not text, and consider plotting to other format such as TIFFs which are raster images (not lines) - modern PDFs from CAD can be imported easily with minimal cleaning up needed (check scales are OK, snap everything to grid if necessary, job done). Else you could get a computer running something like version 2004 where PDF plots are all Raster images (not lines) - there might be a PDF plotter that will also do that you can install into more recent CAD versions.


Truth is though, if we want to make a copy most CAD users are capable of making something half decent from most things given enough time. All we can do is make it awkward and reduce the economical viability to do so.



It might be possible to do something with a L:ISP, password and compiled (FAS or something) that can draw parts of the drawing, to recreate the drawing you need to run the LISP, need a password and it will be created. This is a one time fix though, they can still 'save as' or copy and paste the details.



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As stated before, it can all be reproduced, best you can do is make it very difficult. If there are any dimensions or even standard objects like windows, doors, eave heights, etc. it's even easier.

Make everything a block and set to an odd scale in x and y then explode will help distort the drawing. Lots of other "tricks" as well.


Watermarks are not very effective in the short term, one of the easiest deterrents to remove from a drawing.


Already several threads on this.

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