Save As Copy in SolidWorks

Many times a SolidWorks user wants to experiment with a part they are working on, but want to do it ‘safely’ as to not adversely change what they have already done. If there isn’t a data management system in place that safely stores previous versions, another alternative technique is to use the FILE | SAVE AS | SAVE AS COPY option in SolidWorks.

This creates a new, disassociated file that can be opened and modified with no connection to existing Drawings or Assemblies that contain the ‘original’ part.

-To Save a Part as a COPY, simply access the FILE | SAVE AS menu in SolidWorks.

Save as dialog box

If you do not see the pull down menus, hover your cursor over the SolidWorks Logo and they will fly out.

Hover over SolidWorks logoPull down menu flies out

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

Thumb Tack

If the Part you are saving is used in a Drawing or Assembly, you will see this message box.

Don't ask me again

This indicates that if you CONTINUE with the SAVE AS process, the Drawings and Assemblies referencing this file will UPDATE and point to the NEW FILE.

We will be clicking SAVE AS COPY. By doing this, the EXISTING file references will NOT CHANGE.

The saved copy will not be referenced by the existing Drawings or Assemblies.  

We do NOT recommend that the user checks “Don’t ask me again”. This action can be difficult to undo if the user is not fully aware of the fact that this part is already being referenced. It 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.

System Options - Message Warnings

– Complete the SAVE AS COPY operation by checking the SAVE AS COPY box. You can now rename the file and save it anywhere.

Save As

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

– The final step is to OPEN the file you just saved.

File - Open

SolidWorks currently does not Open the saved copy automatically.

Many users forget to do this step and continue to work on the original part file!

Saved Copy

You may now edit the Saved Copy without effecting the Original Part or any Drawing or Assembly referencing the Original Part.


Darin Grosser is a SolidWorks Elite Application Engineer, Certified SolidWorks Expert and a senior member of the technical staff at DASI Solutions, a SolidWorks Value Added Reseller with locations throughout Michigan and Indiana. He is a regular contributor to the DASI Solutions Blog.

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