Educational Plot Stamp Removal Issues

Jan 25, 2015


When you plot an AutoCAD drawing that was created in—or that contains drawing data that was created in—an Educational (Student and Faculty) version of AutoCAD or an AutoCAD-based program, the following plot stamp or watermark appears in the final output:

For Educational Use Only



This can also occur when your drawing uses blocks or other components of drawings that have been created or modified in an Educational version, including layers, blocks, layouts, etc.


Prior to AutoCAD 2014 Service Pack 1, Autodesk sold educational versions of software on the premise that the software would be used for educational purposes only. The addition of this watermark was designed to discourage the commercial use of an educational version. Removal of the educational plot stamp from AutoCAD-based drawings was not supported.

The plot stamp can be introduced to a non-educational drawing in several ways:
  • A drawing is opened in an Educational product release earlier than version 2015. When you open drawings using an Educational version, the software provides up to two warnings that the plot stamp will be applied.
  • A drawing that was created or edited using an Educational program is opened in a commercial version of the product. The target drawing can be affected by drawing components that are incorporated using layers, xrefs, blocks, and layouts. The commercial drawing inherits the plot stamp.


AutoCAD 2015 has the ability to remove the stamp altogether when it is saved. Once a file is saved in 2015, it can be sent to users on earlier versions and the stamp will no longer be a part of the file.

With AutoCAD 2014 Service Pack 1, DWG files from the 2014 version no longer show the educational plot stamp while plotting, and no longer display a warning message as they are opened. However, the stamp is still attached to the file even though it is not showing. The danger is that someone with 2014 SP1 could open a file and work on it without realizing it has the educational stamp on it. If they then send that to someone without SP1, or on an earlier version, that user will see the warning and the stamp. At this time, using 2014 with SP1 will still propagate the stamp to other drawings, as in the past. 

DWG Trueview can also be used to remove the stamp. From within the program, select the DWG Convert tool. Select the files that need the stamp stripped, and convert them to the current format. This will create a ZIP file with the new versions of the DWG's. DWG Trueview can be downloaded here.

If you are using an earlier product version, it's good practice to avoid the Educational plot stamp problem altogether.

  • Stop accepting education stamped drawings. Tell outside companies that are providing drawings from Educational product versions prior to 2015 that you cannot accept the drawing.
  • Review  the applicable Autodesk software license agreement accompanying each licensed product and identify cases in which educational or student versions of Autodesk products may be being used in a manner inconsistent with the terms of the governing license agreements. This will help you avoid the inclusion of educational plot stamps in files being used for professional, commercial or for-profit purposes. 


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