AutoCAD 2018 free alternatives

I needed an alternate way to open and lightly edit a DWG created with AutoCAD 2018.

So I decided to try out some free alternatives. Highest recommended by the all-knowing Internet came
Draftsight (
Unfortunately my experience was less than compelling. After installing the software, it crashed right away every time I tried to run it, without any errors. I tried a couple of fixes suggested online to no avail.


Next I tried NanoCAD ( but it was not able to open the DWG file.

Moving on, I downloaded and installed LibreCAD ( which also failed to open the DWG!

I started to think that maybe the AutoCAD clones are not compatible with the last release.

What to do?

Autodesk has a free DWG viewer – DWG TrueView 2018 ( – with an interface similar to AutoCAD’s but not too many options. However, one thing it can do is save DWGs to older versions of AutoCAD (DWG Convert on the ribbon). I opened my 2018 DWG and saved it to 2013 format, then was able to open it with LibreCAD. The line and hatch styles did not look exactly the same, but at least I was able to explode blocks references!

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