Current Policy of Autodesk is to push a newer version of our favorite Computer Aided Design program AutoCAD every year. They include some new features and remove bugs that were previously present.
This sounds great and it is, however, if you are not a subscription member, you will have to buy a new software every year. This definitely is not a good financial idea in most of the cases. Even if you have the newer versions available it may be possible to pass one or two yearly updates and wait for some bigger changes. A lot of people don’t have time to spend on updating all their Workstations with a newer version every twelve months.
In many instances users are using an older version of the software, here comes the problem. In most cases, files Created with newer AutoCAD version are not compatible with the older ones. This is the moment when we see the current Error: “The drawing file cannot be opened because it was created with more recent version of AutoCAD” when opening a file in AutoCAD. Now we will look closely at the solutions.
DWG True View
The first solution is, in my opinion, the most powerful and useful. We will convert .dwg versions with freeware provided by Autodesk – DWG TrueView.
First, we have to download the program from https://www.autodesk.com here is a direct link for downloading: Click!
At the moment of writing this article the download button is located at the bottom of the page, we have an option to download 3 different.dwg viewers, the one we need is DWG TrueView.
We will download a .exe file, after launching it will download a new archive file that would contain all the data needed for installation. Now we have to simply install the program.
After installation we can run the TrueView, when we first start it, it will ask us if we want to reassociate dwg files with it. I personally don’t want that, but it is a personal choice.
The interface is pretty familiar to convert the .dwg files we will go through these simple steps:
- Open a drawing, then at the upper left corner, we can click on DWG Convert
- .A window will pop up. Here we Add drawings that will be converted by clicking on Add file… Button (Highlighted with the red rectangle). After selecting the files we can simply select one of the preset conversation setups located on the Right side or Create our own by clicking on Conversion Setups…I like to create my own that works best for me, so now we will take a look at the creation process.
- After Clicking on Conversion Setups… A window will pop up, there we hit New…
A new window will pop up, there we fill up the name and choose Based setup.
- In Modify Conversion Setup window we can configure different things like:
- Conversion Package Type: Choosing between Overwrite files or Saving a New Copy
- File Format: The Drawing File Format (Version)
- Actions: Here I like to check, Creating .bak files, Convert Digitally Signed Files, Check and Fix Errors and Purge the drawings.
- After Selecting our options we can go ahead and hit OK and then on DWG Convert Window hit Convert.
This is the whole deal, Easy and Freeway to batch Convert multiple .dwg files from one version to another.
Using AutoCAD 360 Web
If you are a Mac user, or you don’t want /can’t/ install new software to your PC you can use the AutoCAD 360 Online platform.
The process is pretty easy too, you have to log into your AutoCAD 360 Web, then uploaded the file you want to convert, open it and then select Download.
Now Choose DWG and then the Necessary version.
DWG FastView for Web
This is a free Online DWG Viewer that has some great features. One of which is to convert DWG file to Older Version Online for Free. You can learn a bit more in our post about Free Online AutoCAD Viewers.
The Interface is quite comprehensive, to convert a drawing to an older version we will go through the following steps:
- Go to the FastView website: https://en.dwgfastview.com/ and click on Open Drawing.
- A new internet tab will pop with a prompt Select a Local File. Click on it and select the drawing you want to convert from your computer.
Note: In order to use the Drawing Viewer you would need to install Flash Player if you don’t already have it.
- Your drawing will load onto the browser window, at the upper left corner click on Save As button.
- A “Save As” window will pop up, there you type in the File name and choose from the drop-down menu, the desired AutoCAD version to convert to.
- Hit Save and you are ready!
This is a great method for quick conversion of a drawing file to an older version. It is for everyone that doesn’t want to go through the hassle of installing additional software or losing time on registrations.
Ask a Friend
Of course, you can always ask a friend or the person who send those files to you to save them on a lower version. However, I would steer away from this. It will take much more time and will make us look like total moaners.
So stay tuned for more useful content and don’t forget to subscribe and follow us on social media.