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Warning dialog box prior to saving

Warning dialog box prior to saving

We operate in an environment where different projects utilize different versions of AutoCAD Civil 3D ranging from 2012 to 2015. When clicking on a .dwg file in Windows Explorer, the selected drawing is opened in the last-used version of AutoCAD by default. If someone is not paying attention and saves the drawing, and the drawing was created in an earlier file format, the C3D objects are rendered useless in the earlier version, and work has to be done to remedy the situation. A simple dialog box that warns the user when trying to save a drawing that was created in an early version of C3D and confirming if the user wants to proceed would remove a lot of heartache.


If I'm not mistaken, when you open a drawing from explorer and it was created using an earlier version, you get your warning at that time.  You can then choose to close and open in the appropriate version.

If you right-click from within explorer, you can choose the application version that suits you.

You are correct. However, that has not stopped both AutoCAD newbies and veterans alike (that I've worked with) who were not paying attention to the command line where that information is displayed from accidentally saving the drawing before checking. It reports the file format information on the first line. If you don't maximize your command line/text window, you'll miss it. Maybe the answer is to make file format the last piece of information reported (after loaded xrefs, shapefiles, ARX applications, etc.) when first opening a drawing. That way, you can't miss it.

Simple, easy, and immediate solution: when it's important that the correct program and version is used, always open that application first rather than double-clicking a file and hoping it guesses right.  Its worked fine here.


We use @dgorsman's method and I fully endorse it.

However I do feel that Autodesk should do more here, since there is so much on the line. If your file naming/save location procedures are not up to snuff, how will you even know what is the correct version to open the file in?


I'd like to see a box pop up when you first open the file, not when you save it. It should give you the warning, tell you the file version, and give you a chance to cancel opening the file. I have in mind a variation on this:

Cancel opening file.png 


(This would not show up if the file version matches the program version.)

@dgorsman While I agree in theory, everyone with access to drawings on a
project isn't necessarily experienced in the nuances of AutoCAD or C3D
to know to do that. We don't rely on a staff of experienced drafters to
perform all CAD work; sometimes it performed by fresh grads or interns.
If someone forgets to explicitly state the version for that project,
there is the possibility of disaster.

When you open a drawing with version that will change the file format, you will get this dialog:




Make sure that the "AecFileOpenMessage" is to to ON to get this dialog box. This was designed to warn users when they open the file that they are about to update it. As soon as the file is open, it has been upgraded in memory. We could warn again at save, but by then all you could do is abort the save close the file. All the work in the session would be lost.




Peter Funk

Autodesk, Inc.

I do get the version notification, but it is the first of many messages
at load. If your message box is not expanded to see them all, you can
miss the version notification as it is usually the topmost message.
Losing session data is a great reason not to notify prior to saving,
hadn't considered that. I suppose I just wish that the version
notification was more prominent, as opposed to getting lumped (and in
our case, lost) among many other messages. Or maybe I just need to

B.Morton, I don't know what all messages you get when opening, but this dialog box comes on the screen and nothing else happens until you click OK.  If I don't want to update, I just close after the drawing loads.


@peterfunkautodesk - 


Perhaps it would be prudent to implement this as a TaskDialog in lieu of a dialog with nothing but an OK button as you show above for 2017.


As-is today, the dialog is just a warning/notification without any means by which to abort the open, which might otherwise save user a minute or two when opening a large C3D drawing. 


Also, I see that 2017 removes the 'do not show me this again' checkbox shown in earlier KB topic on AECFILEOPENMESSAGE.  linky




As a personal example:


Back in 2013 I did something similar over at AUGI, specifically providing user a Warning, and allowing them to choose what action to take when the 'X' is clicked whilst in BEDIT.  linky





Here's a quick .NET plug-in, pseudo-named Warn Before Exit, which provides three basic options when QUIT is invoked:

  1. Exit the session (QUIT)
  2. Contextually Close the Drawing (CLOSE), or Close the Block Editor (BCLOSE)
  3. Don't do either (Veto the QUIT Command altogether)

Screenshot of when QUIT is invoked within standard session:

Click image for larger version. 

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Screenshot of when QUIT is invoked within block editor:

Click image for larger version. 

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I just changed the variable AECFILEOPENMESSAGE in 2013 to 'Yes', and the
dialog box appears when opening a 2012 file with a C3D surface. Not sure
if 'No' is the out-the-box setting, or maybe I checked the do not remind
check box. But this is what I was looking for. However, I don't think
the warning is triggered when there are no C3D objects. It is a simpler
fix, but a fix nonetheless. I think all of this goes away in later
versions, but until we get there, here I am. Thanks for your responses.


I just tested from 2011 up to 2013 and the message is triggered with no objects in the drawing.

When I export the 2011 drawing to CAD, and then open in 2013 the message is not triggered.


I love what @BlackBox_ is saying about the dialog box.

Here's what I came up with.

First, here's the AECFILEOPENMESSAGE in 2013:        And here's the message you get if you open a non-Autodesk dwg:

Open previous version.png

Cancel opening file.png











So I mashed them both together in MS paint, and here's what I came up with:

Cancel opening previous version.png



troma, I love the mashed together version, but maybe one modification.  When you select cancel, also quit the application so you can open the correct version.


I'm gonna post that picture again because it seems to have problems.


Cancel opening previous version.png


Not sure about quitting the application. It's not that hard to do by yourself, and maybe you'd want to keep the program and open a different drawing. You can run two versions of C3D at the same time on your computer.


Note, the AECFILEOPENMESSAGE can also be reset by going into Options > System > General Options > Hidden Message Settings


@troma wrote:

I love what @BlackBox_ is saying about the dialog box.

That is kind of you to say, @troma; thank you.  :beer:


I had to find it, but I still have that old .NET project; I've already started a new Visual Studio project for this, and it shouldn't take much modification to implement your apt mashup. :morebeer:



Now, I do have a couple of submittals to get out first (I only develop as a fun hobby, work as a Civil Designer & CAD\IT Admin by day)  -  so long as @peterfunkautodesk, others don't mind my taking a stab at this  -  as soon as I have those submittals off my plate, I'll get back to this, and post the result... May need to link to a real thread, so that I can post attachments (i.e., a working Autoloader .bundle + source code, etc.)







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