What Is an ARD File?

Most ARD files are drawings, but some are 'dummy files' used by IBM software

What to Know

  • Some ARD files are drawings used by ArtiosCAD.
  • Others could be drawings used by Alphacam Router.
  • You can convert an ARD file with its respective software.

This article explains various file formats that use the ARD file extension, including how to open each kind.

What Is an ARD File?

A file with the ARD file extension might 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. We don't have any information on this format, 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 file is in neither of those formats, it might 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.

ARD files in Windows 10 that open with ArtiosCAD Viewer

ARD is also short for some technology terms that have nothing to do with a file format, like Apple Remote Desktop, Application Remote Database, and Average Random Delay.

How to Open an ARD File

ArtiosCAD workspace files open with Esko's ArtiosCAD program, or for free with ArtiosCAD Viewer. It's possible other Esko or similar CAD programs can open it, too, but probably only with the proper plugin installed (there's a list of plugins on Esko's website).

Alphacam Router drawings open with software of the same name, and possibly some other apps from that same company. Their products are listed 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. IBM's website has this to say about it:

When running ARSLOAD in daemon mode, a dummy file with the file type extension of .ARD is required to initiate a load process.

If you find that an application on your PC tries to open the file but it's the wrong application or you'd rather have another installed program open it, 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 ArtiosCAD (not the free Viewer tool) and Alphacam Router 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 file with, if it's possible to convert it to a different format, the program will most likely have an option to do so somewhere within a File, Export, or Convert menu.

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

Still Can't Open It?

Even though this file extension shares a couple of the same letters as ARWGRD, and ARJ, none of them can be opened in the same way with the same software. If your file doesn't open with the suggestions above, double-check that you're reading the extension correctly.

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