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Save As - Workflow Opinons and Input

Question asked by Don Van Zile Employee on Nov 2, 2012
Latest reply on Nov 2, 2012 by Don Van Zile



I would like to get some opinions/input on potential new ‘Save As’ functionality that I think would offer a lot of benefits.  However, we don’t want to add confusion and/or frustration as well.


So, here is a screenshot of the current ‘Save as’ dialog in which you can obviously change the name and/or directory for the component or subassembly.


Save As - Current.png


Now doing this if you have an assembly or drawing open using this file(s) would actually ‘swap’ out those components with the newly ‘saved as’ version and opens it up in its own window to be ready.  This is convent at times; if you know and that was your intention.


However, ‘Save as’ in SolidWorks is different than almost every other application in that typically when you do a ‘Save as’ in a Word doc for example you can start making edits/changes without affecting the original document. SolidWorks behaves different in this regard due to other parts (pointers) to other files; simply put, many SolidWorks files reference other files when opened. Now this different behavior is where sometimes its dangerous is because often (even experienced users) fall victim to using the ‘Save as’ and start changing/editing the new file forgetting they are actually editing other assemblies/drawings currently opened.


There is also the checkbox option that basically saves the copy (name doesn’t have to be changed in this scenario) to disk; it creates a backup really. Now the this copy/backup file isn’t opened up in a new window but users rather have to locate that file in the saved directory and open it (If they haven’t given it a new name they would have to close that file(s) in memory as well). That being said, it can be painful not choosing the right option and/or just plain forgetting…


Ok, bare with me here


So here’s is a new screenshot of a "potential" new workflow/options to help users actually choose what they would like to happen specifically and we would like any opinions and feedback.


Save As.png

  1. Save as (Current save as behavior)
  2. Save as copy (current copy or backup if you will)
  3. Save as copy and open (New option that lets the user specifically declare that they want a newly named document and to immediately open it; this model(s) would be entirely separate from whatever is open in memory.


Please keep in mind that verbiage is always supbject to change and feel free to offer any opinions on this while keeping old and new users in mind.


Lastly, would be a checkbox to let users save all the ‘Referenced Components’ related to that part or subassembly by giving it a prefix/suffix just as we currently do.  Also, the ‘Advanced’ tab would bring up the current ‘References’ dialog.



Now all that being said, I would like to get some honest feedback (good or bad; constructively please) on a few things…


Does this make sense or is it confusing? (Please explain in detail if yes or no)


Would you use the new option (3) if added? (Please explain in detail if yes or no)


Would you like to be able to save all referenced components without necessarily having to go to the ‘Advanced/References’ dialog? (Please explain in detail if yes or no)


Anything else you would like to comment on? (Please explain in detail if yes or no)


Lastly, we’ve discussed actually ‘removing’ the original/current option to ‘Save as copy’ (the backup if you will) from the ‘Save as’ dialog entirely while introducing what users a really used to from other applications. Do you feel strongly to keep it or are you fine with removing it in favor of the new behavior? (Please explain in detail if yes or no)


Thanks for be patient reading and digesting this as this simple functionality we realize is a common, daily workflow that we want to know if and how to improve!


Don Van Zile

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