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CAD tip CAD tip # 8754:

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Q - question

Thumbnail settings can influence AutoCAD DWG file size.

A - answer AutoCAD version 2013 has changed the method of storing raster thumbnail images (previews) inside DWG files. These thumbnails are now internally stored in better quality (PNG format) and they have higher default resolution. Windows Explorer or EDM systems working with document thumbnails can now quickly display better pictures of the contents of your DWG drawings.

Size of the thumbnails saved with a drawing is controlled by the THUMBSIZE variable (stored in Registry, default=3). Higher values than the default "3" are applied only on 3D drawings. How does this setting influence the total size of DWG files?

Especially with simple smaller drawings, the increase of the total file size can be quite substantial - up to 2x of the size without any thumbnail (THUMBSAVE=0). The size is also influenced by other factors, e.g. by image compression or by incremental saving of changes into DWGs. The following sample is not influenced by these factors but still consider it an example only:

offN/A62 2760%
064 x 6463 555+2.1%
1128 x 12864 579+3.7%
2256 x 25665 603+5.3%
3512 x 51270 723+13.6%
41024 x 102483 011+33.3%
51440 x 144094 275+51.4%
61600 x 160099 395+59.6%
71920 x 1920108 611+74.4%
82560 x 2560132 163+112.2%
100% *  CAD 
9.8.2012    7388x  
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applies to: AutoCAD 2013 · AutoCAD LT 2013 · DWG ·

See also:
Tip 10397:How to disable switching drawings when hovering on the DWG tab thumbnail?
Tip 9807:Automatic elevation labels.
Tip 9739:Size of a saved DWG file grows unexpectedly.
Tip 9685:DWG thumbnail is not displayed with some files. Why?
Tip 9371:How to convert 3D DWF back to an editable CAD model?

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