18 Replies Latest reply on Feb 7, 2017 4:46 PM by Tom Gagnon

    Create part/drawing/assembly file revision - use save as or save as copy?

    Chika Co

      When drawing is updated to the next revision, do I open the old revision and use Save as or Save as copy?  I checked out some answers from googling but don't get the full understanding between the two options.  Please help.  Thank you

        • Re: Create part/drawing/assembly file revision - use save as or save as copy?
          Paul Risley

          Really a loaded question.


          The process for revisions is handled differently everywhere I have ever worked.


          Save as re-names current document only, save as copy creates a copy of said document. Changes to the save as will stay with all parts. Changes to the save as copy are with each copy of parts.


          I prefer Pack and go and replace parts as needed. Our policy on revisions is pretty basic a new revision requires a new configuration and a new sheet to the drawings. (Part/ sub-assembly/ main assembly.)

          • Re: Create part/drawing/assembly file revision - use save as or save as copy?
            Ryan Dark


            Using manual revision schemes with Save As/Save As Copy is prone to failure.  The failure usually manifests in broken file references or files referencing wrong files.  It is fairly difficult to undo once you have started down this road.  If you have a Professional or Premium license then you have already purchased a better long term solution for document revisioning called PDM Standard.  Save As/Save As Copy can work in the short term but the long term solution is to install PDM in your company and let this process be automatic.

            • Re: Create part/drawing/assembly file revision - use save as or save as copy?
              Tom Gagnon

              For what you're doing, I believe you cannot go wrong with Save as Copy in most general terms.


              The un-intuitive hook of Save As is that it will then update the file to the new file where it is referenced is every open document. This can be useful at times, but usually is not to me when I'm making a Revised file.


              The only reason I would use Save As to create a revision is if I was making new rev files of all of the above, and then only working backwards as follows.

              (with nothing else open,) Open drawing. Save As Rev A drawing.

              Open Assembly shown in drawing. Save As Rev A assembly, updating assembly used in Rev A drawing.

              Open Part used in assembly. Save As Rev A part, updating parts used in Rev A assembly and Rev A drawing.

              Close all in reverse order, saving as you go.


              Our company circumvents this because we only revise drawings. To create a new rev, we first archive the assembly by Pack and Go into an archive subdirectory. Then we only use Save As on the drawing file to increase its rev suffix, and then close all and move the old drawing into archive. We do this so that our assembly filename stays revision-less and tracks revision by a custom property value, but the drawings that represent it do get revised per filename. If I recall, this was because trying to re-use a drawing of an identical but differently named assembly file caused every dimension and annotation to become dangling. It was like starting over. I think that we could have kept both revised if all users followed above steps exactly every time, but one slip leads to problems.

              • Re: Create part/drawing/assembly file revision - use save as or save as copy?
                Steven Mills

                This advise is for when your not using PDM to keep track of drawing/part/assembly revisions, but want a record of previous revisions. Solidworks files and all. A company I worked for really tried to do everything to keep track of revisions BUT get a PDM.


                When your done with a new revision, I would advise that you use Pack and Go to grab not just the drawing, but all the files related to that revision. And use P&G to make a new ZIP file with that particular revision. That way you get the 'moment in time' that can remain unchanged, even as you keep editing/revising latest drawing outside of the .ZIP files. Especially if you take the extra step to make sure the zipped files do not get altered, only copied.

                -And then add the year, month, day, hour, min to the zipped file name to keep them separate and sort themselves in whatever folder you put them in.



                1. With this technique you can't open the drawings right out of the zipped files/folders. You basically just open the drawing or part files only when you try. You need to un-zip a copy of the folder and all the files into another folder to look at previous revisions.

                2. Remember to close any other copies of the same drawing when looking at old revisions, or the old revisions will use your already opened parts/assemblies instead of the ones that actually go with that revision of the drawing.

                • Re: Create part/drawing/assembly file revision - use save as or save as copy?
                  Rick Becker

                  I would like to know how you guys handle knowing what specifically has changed during revisions to drawings.


                  After making changes to the part file I open the drawing file and the changes magically appear before my eyes. I need to record the changes in the revision block. What were those dimensions before they changed???


                  As a workflow, I always save every drawing as a PDF and can open file explorer and dive several level down to find the PDF and open it. PITA Now I either need to print the old drawing, write the before numbers down, put the PDF on my other monitor or flip back and forth to see before/after numbers. PITA


                  How do you know (and record) specifically what has changed?

                    • Re: Create part/drawing/assembly file revision - use save as or save as copy?
                      Tom Gagnon

                      Rick -


                      We also produce PDF's for non-updated record of content at a finalized rev level when ready for submittal to client, as well as low-resource reference for shop users whose PCs don't handle complex drawings well in native formats. We are starting to also create 3D PDF's for interactive view resources for same shop users, which helps when we missed a needed dimension, or they want to print a custom view for themselves.


                      We record what changed in a Comment in the assembly. That Comment is manually pasted into the drawing file, into a form located off the paper edge which is dropped in as a blank template block from design library and then exploded for editing. This is a legacy holdover in our organization, where 2D CAD drawings had the same artifact for revision tracking. It allows as many line items to be added as needed, for example if three separate modifications were made by two users to the assembly before revision was finalized and submitted. We can also comment freely and verbosely, as compared to the actual revision block description in the drawing which is simplified to show the client only what they need to know about it.


                      Note: Editing one doesn't change the other, and one user that doesn't implement the tracking (ok, I was in a rush that day, or w/e) creates a gap in the revision tracking. It's what we used to do, carried over into new software without additional complications. So, it still conforms to our written Procedures.


                      If you wanted it parametric linked to the comment's content of the assembly depicted, perhaps there's an annotation text property to tie it in, but we did not even explore that option.

                      • Re: Create part/drawing/assembly file revision - use save as or save as copy?
                        Chika Co

                        I save every single revision (drawing and assembly) in pdf.  I refer to the pdf to see old changes.  ECN will tell you want the change is about. I just have to compare the pdf drawing to see what changes were made.