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When opening a drawing in AutoCAD Civil 3D, a warning is displayed about the file being from a student or educational version. When plotting drawings that show this message, an educational plot stamp or watermark is produced on the printout.

Drawings created using software licensed through the Education Community for some versions of AutoCAD Civil 3D display warning when opened and a plot stamp or watermark when are plotted or printed. This applies to software licensed by students, educators, and Autodesk-sponsored design competition mentors and competitors. It does not include software licensed by educational institutions.

AutoCAD and AutoCAD-based products 2019 and later:

Opening a drawing from a student version in a commercial version shows:

Student Version – Plot Stamp Detected
This drawing was saved with a Student Version of the product and marked with a plot stamp.

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Opening a drawing from a commercial version in a student version shows:

Open Drawing – Not an Autodesk Student Version
This drawing was not created with an Autodesk Student Version of the product.

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A plot or printout of the file will be marked with this text:


Although the watermarks will be printed if the watermarked drawing is opened by a product with a commercial license, it will not be spread when attached or referenced to the commercial drawing.

AutoCAD and AutoCAD-based products 2014 or older:

Opening a drawing from an educational version in a commercial version shows two messages:
Educational Version – Plot Stamp Detected
This drawing will display the message, “PRODUCED BY AN AUTODESK EDUCATIONAL PRODUCTS.” Do you want to continue?

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Educational Version – File Confirmation
An educational plot stamp will be added to your plotted drawing. Are you sure you want to continue?

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A plot or printout of the file will be marked with this text:

  • For Educational Use Only

A commercial drawing can inherit an educational plot stamp from pre-2015 educational drawings in two ways:

  •  A commercial drawing is opened and saved in an educational product version earlier than 2015. When opening 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 license is opened or inserted/copied into a drawing that was created in a commercial version of the product. The target drawing can be affected by educational drawing components that are incorporated using layers, xrefs, blocks, and layouts.


Free educational versions of software are available on the premise that the software will be used only for educational purposes. The watermark is designed to discourage commercial use of an educational version.
Removing the educational plot stamp or watermark from AutoCAD-based drawings is not permitted.


Avoiding the problem:
If using an earlier AutoCAD product version, it is best to avoid the educational plot stamp problem altogether:

  • Stop accepting education watermark-stamped drawings. Tell outside companies that are providing drawings from educational product versions that they cannot be accepted.
  • Review the applicable Autodesk software license agreement for each licensed product and identify cases in which educational versions of Autodesk products are being used in a manner inconsistent with the terms of the governing license agreements. This prevents inclusion of educational plot stamps in files used for professional, commercial, and for-profit purposes.