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Save as previous version

Save as previous version

Please Allow Revit files (either projects or families) to save in previous versions of the program. (Or at least the Families??)

With so little new features I cannot believe Autodesk can justify upgrading the project database every year?

(If database is not the right term - please excuse my negligence)

I am sure it can easily go for 3-4 years before some of their "new features" requires upgrade to the database. Or find different workaround.

It has been asked and requested so many times on the forums and whitelists I am surprised is not first on the list.


my crazy idea:

make finally backward compatibility a thing:
it's unreal how we're in the 2020 versione, a couple year and our dear revit we'll be old enough to legally binge drinking in all (civilized?) country of the world...


and still...


if I want to use revit live I must use a two year old version model. 

and so much on.


find some solution guys, please.


I love revit (and dynamo) but this way of thinking is just old, uncomfortable, unefficient, etc. we need that, we need to overcome that.

the time's come.

Not applicable

Didn't bother searching first did you?  This has been asked about for years.  Isn't going to happen. 


If you have an older project using a version of Revit that is outdated, let Support know.  I'm currently installing 2015 on a workstation now as the architect works on some projects still stuck in that version.


why it shouldn't happen? it's because we are clinging to some past stuff?
or what?
yeah, I did search, what are you trying to imply?

for example I have projects in revit 2020 that can't go in revit live, because of this stuff; and I can't resolve this just downloading an older revit versione as you're suggesting simply projects aren't backward compatibility.


and until the provided solutions are just some workarounds, we always will be facing problems like this one, over and over again; and this effects my -our- producivity and the fact is that I pay for a service that I can't use for some reasons that do not rely on my choices.


and I'm not even getting started on the fact that a interoperable software isn't interoperable in a good manner.


but maybe you aren't going to let your voice be heard for what it may be just a fair stuff.

Not applicable

Creating another idea when there is already an idea for it doesn't help anything.  It is recommended to search first and then vote up that existing idea. 

Such as this one: but you find out there were already a couple more besides that one.


As for Revit Live...they didn't continue it for new versions.  There is already a few ideas asking for 2020 capability:

Not applicable

Dear Autodesk Development Team,

In my opinion for the further development of the Revit program it has an option to downgrade the Revit version, because this is very important if the New Revit Version still has Bugs, so we users can still work as usual. For example now after upgraded to Revit Version 2020, we have problems to export to Navisworks File (NWC), if we have inserted a Steel Connection between Column and Beam then after being exported to Navis, Column and Beam do not appear in NWC File (I have made a report in Case: 15654807). I have also tried to export using IFC, but the results remain the same, but the Column and Beam does not appear.

So, the Downgrade option is very important in further development, at least it can be downgraded 1 year version before.


Tags (4)
Not applicable

Your BIM and IT folk shouldn't just be upgrading everyone just because it is available.  It should be tested first to make sure that it is a stable release.  I usually wait until the first service pack.


But asking for a downgrade option is one of the most often requested ideas...yeah, there are a bunch of them already next to Revit for Mac.

Autodesk Support

Duplicate ideas (besides the archived idea linked to above):

This won't help the OP, but related ideas:


Thanks, Martin.

I'm on this forum every day, but somehow I missed Sahsa's excellent post.


If converting elements from a new version of Revit to an older version is the problem, then why not add features to keep track of these updated elements and prevent the users from using them?


The way this could work is that the UI would have labels for the years that a feature was implemented, so the users would be aware before using them. Then you could implement a setting under options that would let you chose the lowest version you are collaborating with. The software would then suppress (either by hiding or locking) the newer features that did not exist in that lower version.


Users would still be able to use the new features if collaborating with newer or matching versions, but with the features above you would avoid nasty conversion problems. This would also mean that new features would need to be modular in nature. Instead of changing how an object works, you would add a new version of the command. So in Sasha's example of straight wall to curved wall, we would use Wall 1.0 vs Wall 1.1, etc.


@ralvarez1976 Grad year? Birth year? Anyway, I can't imagine "new features would need to be modular in nature." would be easier to implement than a "simple" export (which is too complex for them to handle right now). Not that I wouldn't mind using an "updated interface" Revit with whichever file format was being used - being able to drag 2018 from one monitor to another without clicking "Restore Down" first? Awesome. Tabs? yup. Too bad, though. But such a "monster Revit" would probably be full of bugs and glitches...




It would be the year that the feature was released. This would actually make it easier for them because each version of the command could be tested and QA/ QC'd against known versions, and the interactions could be restricted and controlled, because newer features would not be given the chance to interact with older versions of certain commands that do not support their features.

All you would do is select the version in Options and the UI would filter out features that were released after that version. This would only happen from a new release moving forward of course. So if it was implemented, you would be able to collaborate on features from (let's say) Revit 2021 moving forward. So Revit 2023 would be able to work as Revit 2021, 2022 and 2023. This would be limited in scope going back 3 releases.


In reality new features are planned in 3 to 5 year cycles anyway. The Revit team puts in gradual changes into the file format in order to enable a new feature that may be released in 3 to 5 years. This way they can plan for the modular command versions on that same cycle, in order to enable saving as previous releases.

Not applicable

Sasha's answer to same archived FR was excellent, but still doesn't answer why it's so hard for Autodesk to create backward rvt-converter that would ignore all new features. It would start from families in the project and finish on views. And there is no need to convert project from rvt 2021 to 2010. 2-3 versions backward compatibility would make happy vast majority of users.


But it's too challenging for Autodesk to make new features in each version valuable enough to make users(=customers) think more about software upgrades than projects downgrades.


IDEA: Backward Compatible Revit 


Sahsa Crotty (Sr Project Manager for Revit) has an excellent explanation for why that's not going to happen here:


The excuse by Sasha Crotty could be copied to any application - only hardly any other piece is as hard boiled as Revit. Of course you cannot put newly introduced elements into old files - you will have to cripple them and make up something similar. Or just forget to put them into the downgraded copy. For that you could even recycle that 'Some elements could not be imported' message that is used in the dgn importer. Thanks for bringing this up again, ilyaJQ72L.


OK, let's take one example from the 2021 update.

Voids cut family geometry type and instance parameters

There's a new feature in 2021 families where you can check a box to determine if a Void actually cuts geometry or not. Previous to this version, you had to play tricks with changing the location of the Void.

Let's apply your "solutions" to this new feature:

1.) cripple them and make up something similar.

Please tell me how you're going to reverse-engineer a family and create adjustable void dimensions where none exist.

2.)  just forget to put them into the downgraded copy

So, "just" delete every family that contains Voids?


It's not an "excuse": It's reality




I get that files using new functionality that didn't exist in a previous version can't be saved back to the previous version, but there are many times a family doesn't use any new functionality, it just happens to have been done in a newer version with the same basic components that existed in a previous version. What about the possibility of doing an audit on a family to check for such incompatibilities, and if there aren't any, allow it to be saved back to a previous version? Sure there are lots of times something like that might say it can't be completed, but there are also a lot of times I think where it could work and save the user having to "reinvent the wheel", so to speak.

Not applicable

I am new to Revit, coming from the AutoCAD background and wanted to get with REvit to fond that my efforts are not worth much. Technical explanations apart.(I realise that there would be compromises to make when exchanging files between older versions as explained). 

However, I bought a standalone package from an industry leader, whose file format is widely accepted, who has, in the past, provided viewers and conversion tools, thereby justifying the premium price tag. Now, with standalone licences being abandoned this commitment goes out of the back window and I see my investment severely compromised. I will not buy Autodesk products again and will discourage all students and companies to commit training hours and cost into a system, where you are held ransom to  the whims of a market leader abusing its position. 

Please review your stance on backward compatibility, where there is a clear warning of the prospects of data getting lost.

If you ignore your past, you will not have a future.



@sasha.crotty The examples you gave for why saving to older versions wouldn't work, is exactly why almost NO software implements backward compatibility in the manner you're implying. I agree, it's faster to develop new features without worrying about backward compatbility, but if done properly, the overhead for supporting backward compatibility where practical/reasonable can be kept reasonbly small.


For example, in the examples you gave, how most software would address these problems is to warn the user that the following X features won't be saved in version xxxx. Revit could then give the user enough information to manually correct or delete the problem elements, or give them an automatic solution such as deleting curved walls, ignoring filters, etc.


I don't think anyone is asking for a perfect solution, but if someone is using Revit 2021 but only using features that are available in 2019, it seems hard to justify why that user can't save in a 2019 compatible format. Furthermore, while solving the technical challenges seems daunting/impossible/whatever, don't forget that the workflow issues created WITHOUT this feature are equally if not more challenging, and affect a much wider range of people than the size of the development team.


I'm only just at the end of my trial period with Revit, and I'm amazed you've managed to get away with not having support for this feature for this long. I only trailed Revit because I know most the desginers in my area use it and so it made sense to learn Revit as my intention was to collaberate on these models. Now I wonder what's the point now now I've discovered most of them aren't running the same version as I am. I've already invested signficant amounts of time into a model that they can't open. Even if they're licensed for Revit 2021 having two or three versions on the same computer can present its own technical hurdles. At this stage, I may as well have used a completely different competitor product. Compatibility would be the same.


I really hope the Revit team change their stance on this. I think at least the last couple of years should be supported for backward saving.

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