8 Replies Latest reply on Jul 30, 2018 11:17 AM by Collin Smyth

    2 questions for you

    Collin Smyth

      Hello All,


      I have two questions for you all today regarding SW.


      #1. Earlier today I was working on a mirrored part that had the references linked to the original. With other parts I have been able to break this link, but with this part I was unable to. I went to the part references from the tree and did 'break all references' but it was still linked. Does anyone have another method or know why this one didn't work?


      #2. Here at work I am using SW 2015 but when I go back to college in the fall I will be using SW 2017 or 2018 (I would assume). I know that 2018 can open files from 2016 but I wanted to make sure that it would be possible to take a few files from work with me to college. This is most likely a stupid question but I figured I should ask anyway.



        • Re: 2 questions for you
          Glenn Schroeder

          I can't help with you on #1, for #2 but you can always open and work with a file last saved with an earlier version, but you can't go the other way.  So while you should be able to take your SW2015 files to school and open and edit them, after doing so you won't be able to open them again with SW2015.  Also know that your school version is likely the educational version, which isn't supposed to be used for commercial purposes, and will leave educational version icons or watermarks on all files created with it.  I'm not sure, not ever having used it, but it will likely add the icon or watermark to files that had been created with the commercial version.  Those can't be removed (except by the folks at Solidworks, and I believe they only do so under specific circumstances).


          And it is by no stretch of the imagination a stupid question.

          • Re: 2 questions for you
            Sumit Rana

            Hi Collin,

            Answer 1:

            • For mirrored part or any part with external reference you can break all external references by simply right clicking the part and select "List  external references" then you can break the references just keep in mind that once you break the references you wont be able to recover them later.
            • Another method is you can right click on the component and select "make virtual" option. This option will break the links to the original part and the part will be in you assembly not saved outside unless you want it to be saved externally (for best practice change the name of virtually created part and save it externally by right clicking part and select save externally)

            Answer 1:

            • Yes you are correct the higher version can open previous version files.



            Try to post questions with suitable titles, this will help you and others to see what's inside the thread.



            • Re: 2 questions for you
              Collin Smyth

              Thank you all for your help. I will take your advise in the future the next time I run into the issue.

              • Re: 2 questions for you
                Dennis Dohogne

                Collin, all the answers above are correct, but I just wanted to add a few additional pieces of information.

                1. Commercial and student versions of the software can open each other's files so long as they are the same major release.  The educational watermark will be permanently attached to any file that has at some point been saved in the educational version.

                2. Service Pack version does not affect the ability to open a file, i.e., SWX2017 SP0.0 can open any file up to SWX2017 SP5.0.

                3. SWX is NOT backwards compatible.  Your SWX2017 or 2018 files cannot be opened directly in a previous version (2015).

                4. In 2012 SWX introduced a lame ability to "see" a future version file.  If you have SWX2017 SP5.0 you can "open" a file from SWX2018, but there is little you can do with it so I don't get what they were trying to do with it.  Here is what I found in the online Help:

                Future Version Components in Earlier Releases

                You can open SOLIDWORKS parts and assemblies using Service Pack 5 of the previous release.

                From SOLIDWORKS 2012 on, you can open a future version file in Service Pack 5. For example, in SOLIDWORKS 2012 Service Pack 5, you can open SOLIDWORKS 2013 files. Version interoperability is only supported between consecutive releases. For example, you cannot open a SOLIDWORKS 2014 file in SOLIDWORKS 2012 Service Pack 5.

                Future version files appear in read-only mode when opened in the previous release and have reduced functionality. The FeatureManager design tree contains limited data.


                Any actions that require FeatureManager design tree data cannot be performed with a future version file open in the previous release Service Pack 5. However, once you upgrade to the next version of SOLIDWORKS, all the FeatureManager design tree data is available. 

                With a SOLIDWORKS part or assembly open in Service Pack 5 of the previous release you can: 

                • View configurations.
                • Use the Measure tool.
                • View Mass Properties and Custom Properties.
                • View Materials.

                You cannot edit future version SOLIDWORKS parts or assemblies in Service Pack 5 of the previous release. However, you can use future version parts and assemblies in drawings and assemblies of Service Pack 5 of the previous release.


                5. You CAN still utilize (make some use of) the newer files in the older software by saving out your files as a dumb solid.  Since SWX is based on the Parasolid kernel it is best to save out your SWX2018 files as a Parasolid (*.x_t or *.x_b).  (Avoid using STEP or IGES formats, SAT would be better than those two, but Parasolid is optimal.)  Then any earlier version of SWX (2015) can open the Parasolid files.  You will not have the features to manipulate, just a dumb solid lump.  But you can add new features to this dumb solid easily enough.  It is certainly better than nothing!


                I hope this gives you more insight into what you can and cannot do with those options facing you.

                - - -Dennis