“Save As” vs. “Save As COPY”

June 9th, 2011

I know this may be “Basic Knowledge” to a lot of you, but I still see people struggling with this and screwing up their assemblies and drawings all the time because they don’t understand it.

The only IMPORTANT thing to know about this in SolidWorks is that if you have an OPEN assembly or an OPEN drawing and you do a SAVE AS on one of the files that the assembly or drawing is referencing, it will make the assembly or drawing look at the NEW file instead of the old file !!

SAVE AS COPY will maintain the existing references, and just make a new file on the hard drive for that part.

Once you understand THAT, you will be MUCH happier in SolidWorks.

Randy Simmons

Application Engineer, CSWP 3DVision Technologies

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2 Responses to ““Save As” vs. “Save As COPY””

  1. shane says:


    I think you are talking to me here! Just to clarify, my existing annoyance is that I open an assembly, then I edit the Assembly, let’s call it Assembly A. (Which References parts and these parts let’s call them X. After editing Assembly A, and then I do save as or save as copy, I then and save this Assembly A in it’s own folder. The colorations of the Parts (X) have also been modified.

    If I open Assembly A now, I see my design correctly illustrated.

    I then Take Assembly A and make modifications and then Save As “Assembly B” in it’s own folder. What has actually happened is that I have now modified again Parts X.

    If I reopen Assembly A, since my parts have changed, I now have to rework the collorations to bring Assembly A back to it’s original, since Assembly B has modiified the part colorizations.

    This is an endless frustration, and Save as and Save as copy seems to only save an assebly, but doesn’t seem to make a copy of the parts. I would love some clarification on this and best practices here.

    I have 100’s of designs to do, and If I find I made a mistake, I have to go back and redesign since I’m obviously doing it wrong.


  2. R.Suresh kumar says:

    Hi Shane,
    To retain the original and to create new one, you should go for pack and go option.


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