How to Open, Edit, and Convert ARD Files

Screenshot of several ARD files in Windows 10 that open with ArtiosCAD Viewer

Tim Fisher 

A file with the ARD file extension may be an ArtiosCAD Workspace file that contains a drawing or a 3D design. They're used with the ArtiosCAD program from Esko.

However, your specific ARD file could instead be an Alphacam Router Drawing file. We don't have any information on this type of ARD file, but given the nature of the Alphacam Router software, it's most likely some sort of drawing file used to explain how a CNC router should cut something.

If the ARD file is in neither of these formats, it may be used with IBM's Content Manager OnDemand software. We're not sure if they're related at all, but ARD is also an abbreviation for asynchronous request dispatcher, which is a setting used by some IBM programs.

How to Open an ARD File

You can open an ARD file, at least one that's an ArtiosCAD Workspace file, with Esko's ArtiosCAD program, or for free with ArtiosCAD Viewer. It's possible other Esko or similar CAD programs can open this kind of ARD file, too, but probably only with the proper plugin installed (there's a list of plugins on Esko's website here).

Alphacam Router Drawing files open with a software of the same name, Alphacam Router, and possibly some other Alphacam software. There's a list of the different Alphacam products here.

We don't know exactly what this program uses ARD files for, but the Content Manager OnDemand software from IBM should be able to load one that it needs.

Tip: If you find that an application on your PC does try to open the ARD file but it's the wrong application or if you would rather have another installed program open ARD files, learn how to change the default program for a specific file extension in Windows.

How to Convert an ARD File

It's likely that both the ArtiosCAD program (not the free Viewer tool) and the Alphacam Router program can convert ARD files from within their respective applications. We haven't tried it ourselves to verify, but CAD programs typically provide support for exporting an open file to a different format so that it can be used in other similar programs.

The same is true for ARD files used with IBM software.

In either case, no matter what program you're using the ARD file with, if it's possible to convert the file to a new format, the program will most likely have an option to do so somewhere under a File, Export, or Convert menu.

Note: Although ARD files aren't a good example of this, most files (like PDF, DOCX, MP4, etc.) can be converted really easily with a free file converter.

Still Can't Open Your File?

Even though the ARD file extension shares a couple of the same letters as ARWGRDARJ, and ARY files, none of them can be opened in the same way with the same software. If your ARD file won't open with the suggestions above, you may double-check that you're reading the extension correctly.