Save As Copy in SolidWorks 2014

In August of 2012, I wrote a detailed article on the use of SAVE AS COPY in SOLIDWORKS.  As I’ve seen countless times in my years with SolidWorks… NOTHING can be easy enough! To that, SOLIDWORKS 2014 brought us some much needed enhancement to the “Save As Copy” process.

Save As Copy Process

The next little bit is a shameless reuse of the a fore mentioned 2012 blog article.  😉

To save a part as a COPY, simply access the FILE > SAVE AS menu in SOLIDWORKS.

Save As

**Note** If you do not see the pull down menus, hover your cursor over the SOLIDWORKS logo and they will fly out.
Hover Over Logo Hover Over Fly Out

Then you can PIN them to stay open by clicking the Thumb Tack.
Thumb Tack

**IMPORTANT**  If the part you are saving is used in a drawing or assembly, you will see this message box.

File Being Referenced

This indicates that if you CONTINUE with the SAVE AS process, the drawings and/or assemblies referencing this file will UPDATE and point to the NEW FILE.

By clicking SAVE AS COPY, the EXISTING file references will NOT CHANGE and the saved copy will not be referenced by the existing drawings or assemblies.

“Don’t show again” side note…

I do NOT recommend that the user checks “Don’t ask me again”.  This action is not difficult to undo, but if the user does not see this message, they may not be fully aware of the fact that this part is already being referenced.

Message warningsIt is better to be informed of this each and every time a Save As operation is initiated.

If this has been checked, the message window can be reactivated by going to:

TOOLS > OPTIONS > SYSTEM OPTIONS > Messages/Errors/Warnings.

Checking any ‘cancelled’ message box in this list will make them appear again when the appropriate operation warrants it.

Now is where SOLIDWORKS 2014 really kicks in. There is now a third option added to the SAVE AS dialog box.

In addition to SAVE AS, and SAVE AS COPY (now “Save As Copy and Continue”) is the new SAVE AS COPY AND OPEN!!!

“SAVE AS COPY AND OPEN” avoids that annoying yet seemingly unavoidable situation where you “Save as Copy” and then start making those concept changes you wanted to try… only to realize that you STILL HAVE THE ORIGINAL FILE OPEN!!! “Save As Copy and Open” saves a newly named instance of the file and then opens it IMMEDIATELY!

This made my Top 10 Favorite Enhancements for 2014.  🙂

Save As OptionsRegardless of which option you selected on the previous dialog box, you can still change your mind with radio buttons in the lower left corner.

– Complete the “SAVE AS COPY and OPEN” operation by checking the “SAVE AS COPY and OPEN” box.

You can now rename the file and save it anywhere.

**Failure to check “Save as copy” WILL REPOINT the references from drawings and assemblies using this part to the newly named part!!!

This will now automatically open the newly named and saved file in SOLIDWORKS.

You may now edit the Saved Copy without effecting the original part or any drawing or assembly referencing the original part.

Saved Copy and Original

Darin GrosserDarin J. Grosser
Engineer – CSWE – Elite AE
DASI Solutions, LLC

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One Response to Save As Copy in SolidWorks 2014

  1. Doug G says:

    I’d like to make a copy of a part, and then modify it, and add it to the assembly as a slightly different version.

    When I do that, the original part changes to look like the new version. There must be some kind of identifying tag in the file, other than the file name.

    How can I avoid that?

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