New in SolidWorks 2013: Previous Release Interoperability

One of the items on the SolidWorks World Top-Ten list is always the ability to open SolidWorks files in older versions of the software. Starting with SolidWorks 2013, you will have that ability. This can help you

  • Reduce production delays and ease the transition to the latest release
  • Collaborate and view designs with different SolidWorks versions
  • Work more easily with outside customers, consultants, and manufacturers

Once it is released in the near future, you will be able to open SolidWorks 2013 parts and assemblies using SolidWorks 2012 Service Pack 5. From SolidWorks 2012 on, you you will be able to open a future version file in Service Pack 5 of the previous release. For example, in SolidWorks 2013 Service Pack 5 you will be able to open SolidWorks 2014 files.

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. However, once you upgrade to the next version of SolidWorks, all the FeatureManager design tree data is available.

SolidWorks 2013 files have reduced functionality in SolidWorks 2012 Service Pack 5. SolidWorks 2013 files will not have most FeatureManager design tree data when opened in SolidWorks 2012 Service Pack 5. Any actions that require FeatureManager design tree data cannot be performed with a SolidWorks 2013 document open in SolidWorks 2012 Service Pack 5.

The following table summarizes what you can and cannot do in SolidWorks 2012 Service Pack 5. You can learn more about the new features in SolidWorks 2013 on our website.

Previous Release Interoperability

Matthew West

Matthew West

SolidWorks alumnus. I like plate reverb, Rat pedals, Thai curry, New Weird fiction, my kids, Vespas, Jazzmasters, my wife & Raiders of the Lost Ark. Not necessarily in that order.
  • Unfortunately, previous release interoperability in SW2013 is a complete flop! According to Wikipedia, interoperability means, “…work with… other products or systems, present or future, without any restricted access or implementation.” The only thing you get with 2013 is read-only access with a previous release. For anyone who needs to work with a client who has the previous version, this is completely unworkable.