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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.


ONE of the most sought out for wishes/ideas that came from users yet not and may never be granted by Autodesk… it being not possible just can’t be right cuz nothing is.



I would agree, that a project file has too many changes to be rolled back without a lost. But Families should not have significant changes. The last such change was the Room pointer.

It happens that I find a Family which I need to load into Revit 2014, but the Family was accidentally saved under R2016 and no backups left. It would be a great relieve if I could save the file back to the previous version.


I agree and disagree on this.  There are too many things that might go haywire in a backsave, so it is not something i would want people to depend on.  But i would like the capability to be there so that we could at least "try" and see if 95% of the model would backsave correctly and leave only the last 5% to be repaired.


The one thing that would be awesome to be able to backsave would be drafting views.  We keep our Standard Details in Revit 2014 so that we can use in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 projects (engineers typically have to support all versions of Revit unlike architects that can upgrade the office all at once - we have to support multiple clients with multiple versions running).  It would be really nice if a detail were created on a 2016 project that was deemed "good" and noted to be moved to the standards to not have to re-create that drafting view in Revit 2014, but be able to save it down (it's only lines, dimensions, text, and detail components - no complex model stuff here....). 


Backsaving to lower version of revit files are not at all possible

Its there business stratagy. thats it i can say. 

Backsaving is only Possible in Autocad Vesrions.

Vote minus for me.


It takes way to much resources to of the development team to accomplish this. It would result in fewer need functionalities.


Sure Daniel.Gijsbers- arent we all enjoyng the "excellent" new features in 2017 like broken text editor and the very needed shortcut VR for view range? If pushing new useless features and leaving all existing bugs for us to enjoy more and more works for you I have no problem with that



I agree with @Daniel.Gijsbers


I don't want to see feature development being hold back by potential compability issues when downsaving.



Community Manager
Status changed to: Under Review

Thanks for your submission and votes on this idea!  We are evaluating where this request falls into our roadmap and will provide an update when we have made a decision.  


The Factory


This is without a doubt one of the most wished-for items, but also the least-likely to be implemented any time soon (per @Daniel.Gijsbers's comment) - THEY CAN'T EVEN GET UPGRADES WORKING PROPERLY! The development "resource" issue is why they only support upgrading models TWO VERSIONS at a time - and really prefer only one). @bosborne You should consider keeping a 2016 version of your typicals - re-load upgraded families as necessary. We used to just upgrade our templates and typicals any number of versions, but then started having issues with some DCs, Filled Regions, etc. and I'm even seeing an issue with Stairs in one of our client's templates. Now I'm rebuilding templates in 2016+ (the last rebuild was 2012), and maintaining typicals in 2013 & 2015 (w/ 2013 soon to be dropped as we only have one active project for the USCOE that's about halfway through).


@yavork don't even get me started on the half-implemented VR shortcut: (the VR shortcut would have been VERY useful in the early days when we were still figuring out the whole View Range thing, but now we will continue to use VR for View Reference as it's used more often).


I think this functionality would best be served by an Add-In that would export information from a Drafting View to a file (similar to AutoCAD's DXF) that would include lines, text, dimensions, Filled Regions, and insertion points (& properties) for DCs & ****. Then you could run the app in the previous version to re-create those drafting elements in a new view (using the DCs & **** that are already loaded in that file - simpler than trying to convert all the families also). See


I agree with Sunilpatil:


Backsaving to lower version of revit files are not at all possible

Its there business stratagy. thats it i can say. 

Backsaving is only Possible in Autocad Vesrions.


Think about it, it costs Autodesk more to code a software to be backwards compatible.

If I can't save my file backwards so other companies can read my file, it forces all other companies in older Revit versions to have to upgrade to keep up with me. Probably sells more copies.


I can't tell you how many stories I have heard where one stakeholder in a project decided to upgrade to new Revit and forced everyone else to do it...Seems to be working as a strategy.


Do you know anyone using Revit that's NOT on subscription? You could get away with that in the AutoCAD days, when really nothing was changing (and the file was just a bunch of lines, anyway), but I can't see that really happening with Revit. Too many things change with each version - features added, etc. You could skip a version, no problem (unless the client dictates), but two or three? We only had a couple projects in 2014 (and the first was after we'd started using 2015). Something similar might happen with 2016 (though we already have a handful). We're looking forward to using 2017's connections feature in projects.


I don't have an issue with not being able to save-down our projects. That makes sense. But our Detail Library? That's a real pain.


How about just not changing the file format every year!?


For the last 10 years the upgrade only choice has been worthwhile. 2017 has broken that trend.  By dropping NVIDIA Mental Ray, 2017 has created more rendering issues than it has solved.  Fixing problems would probably easy to fix or debug if saving back was an option.  The only viable option if rendering is part of a contract now to use earlier versions to model and go to a more recent version if another critical new feature is required.  


Recent incremental improvements are no longer worth the lack of a saveback function to access more powerful render engines.  I mean really, how different are the file database structures?  If AutoCAD can offer new features every year without changing the file format, why can't Revit?



after years of introduction of Revit and getting more powerful every year with every update, I think it is now a good time to solve one of the biggest problmes of its users. users with different versions of revit (for example 2015 and 2017) have problem in opening files created by newer versions and can not use them. Companies are now hesitating to upgrade to newer versions, as they are fearful that their clients cant open their files. I think it is now the time to solve this problem and create a procedure so the users can save their files on the desired version format, regardless of other party's version of use.

Community Visitor

im taking about REVIT its an amasing application but there is only one problame but its too defficult to live without it....: its that we can't save the project in sevral versions 'years' like if i work on revit 2016 and I open the project in another device whitch has revit 2015 or less i cant do any thing and i cant open it ...... its very importatnt to put this on considration . like autocad i can save my work with any year so i can't open it through any version

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It would be nice to be able to (at least) save back from 2017 to 2016. That would be very helpful, especially during this transitional period where we have projects going in either version. It has happened WAY too often that someone has worked on a 2016 file in 2017, and chaos has ensued. Just for this. Please.


Nope, not for me. I would massively prefer a tool which would scan a directory then open, upgrade and save every file in there.


I'm thinking it could automate an entire library update.


Not being able to save backwards cuts out so much autocad style inter-company software version bull**** that I have had to suffer over the years.


@scott_dakin2 There's already several apps available to batch-upgrade files, starting at $1.50 all the way up to $99 [yikes!] (just search for "upgrade" in the Revit apps). Considering that Autodesk (up to 2015) used to include a .bat file with their install and call it a "Utility", I'm pretty sure they're not going to invest any resources into making a REAL utility themselves...


I'm sure that having all the links be the same version cuts down on crashes and other weirdness, but there's always going to be SOME of that (especially since they still recommend that everyone within an office is at the same upgrade level, so you know there's potential issues even when it's the same "file version"). At least it seems (from talk at AU) that Autodesk is looking into lengthening the "file version" part of the release cycle...


Our biggest issue has always been reusability (as stated in my previous posts above), so whether it's just being able to save-down Drafting Views and/or some of the "simpler" families, or if it's attacked from the other angle of keeping the same file version for 2-3 years (with 2017.2, 2017.3, etc. releases), I'm sure that either way it would be a big help (even if the model itself cannot be downgraded). Because there's no way that I could see us going to one of our clients saying "Excuse me, there's this detail/family in another one of our projects that we'd like to copy into this one, could you please tell everybody to upgrade?" 🙂

Agree with 100%.
And laugh at the idea of Autodesk adjusting there database. They did not even bother on 2017. Hope someone got a raise. We upgraded to out 2017 version, and all of the templates and families that came with it, when opened are upgrading from 2016 to 2017. That was very annoying..

@HuenBIM Just wondering which library that was? The US Imperial was fine (upgraded to 2017), but I've seen service releases for other countries' libraries in the past - it seems that they might not get the attention they deserve. 😞

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