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About saving maps to previous versions of ArcGIS
You can save map documents so you can open and work with them in previous versions of ArcGIS. At ArcGIS 9.1, you can only save to ArcGIS 8.3. ArcGIS 9.1 map documents are directly compatible with ArcGIS 9.0, so there is no option to save them to version 9.0.
Geodatabases and saving map documents to previous versions
When you save a map document (.mxd) to a previous version of the software, you are saving only the .mxd file to the previous version. The source data referenced in the .mxd is unchanged.
You can also save layer files and ArcScene documents to previous versions of ArcGIS. ArcGIS 9.1 layer files, ArcScene documents, and ArcGlobe documents are directly compatible with ArcGIS 9.0. For more information on saving ArcScene and ArcGlobe documents, see the ArcGIS 3D Analyst help.
Learn more about saving layers
If your organization uses both ArcGIS 8.3 and ArcGIS 9, you need to confirm the ArcGIS release version with which your geodatabase is associated, as it can have an impact on whether or not ArcGIS will be able to access the data referenced in the map. Newer versions of ArcGIS can read older geodatabases, but older versions of ArcGIS cannot read newer geodatabases, except in the case of 9.0 and 9.1 since they're directly compatible.
For example, if your map has data in it from an ArcGIS 9 personal or enterprise geodatabase, you can save the .mxd so it can be opened in ArcGIS 8.3, but ArcGIS 8.3 won't be able to display the ArcGIS 9 data. (Likewise, raster data in ArcGIS 9 personal and enterprise geodatabases—including rasters, raster catalogs, and fields of type raster—also will not display in ArcGIS 8.3.) File-based data sources, such as shapefiles, coverages, and file-based rasters, don't present a problem in this regard.
In addition, if you upgrade an ArcGIS 8.3 geodatabase to ArcGIS 9, you can't convert it back for use in ArcGIS 8.3. For this reason, you may want to make a copy of the geodatabase before you upgrade. If you already have a newer geodatabase that you want to work with in an older version of ArcGIS, you can create a geodatabase in the older version, then copy and paste the data into it using the current ArcGIS release. However, some items in ArcGIS 9 geodatabases, including topology and annotation feature classes, can't be copied into an ArcGIS 8.3 geodatabase.
Some other things to remember when working with ArcGIS 8.3 and ArcGIS 9 geodatabases include:
Tips on saving to previous versions
- If you have updated geodatabase annotation feature classes from ArcGIS 8.3 to ArcGIS 9, you will be unable to open the geodatabase in ArcGIS 8.3 because you were required to upgrade the geodatabase first.
- ArcGIS 8.3 survey datasets must be updated before you can use them in ArcGIS 9, so you will be unable to open the datasets in ArcGIS 8.3.
- ArcGIS Network Analyst layers and network datasets are not supported in either ArcGIS 8.3 or 9.0 geodatabases or map documents.
- ArcGIS Schematics layers and schematic datasets are not supported in ArcGIS 8.3 geodatabases or map documents and ArcGIS 9.0 map documents.
- There are some limitations and guidelines with disconnected editing between ArcGIS 8.3 and 9 geodatabases.
ArcGIS 9 introduced functionality and properties that aren't available in previous versions of ArcGIS. When you save a map document, layer file, or ArcScene document to ArcGIS 8.3, the format of the file is changed to eliminate properties not available in ArcGIS 8.3. This can result in losing certain properties or settings you may have specified in ArcGIS 9. So, it is important to remember that some work may be lost if you save an ArcGIS 9 file in ArcGIS 8.3 format, then start working with the 8.3 copy of the file in ArcGIS 9.
For example, ArcGIS 9.0 was the first release with the ability to add a description property to feature and raster layers, enabling you to store comments about the layer in a Description box on the General tab of the Layer Properties dialog box. If you entered a description about a layer and saved the map document or layer file to ArcGIS 8.3 format, you won't see this description when you open the 8.3 copy of the .mxd or .lyr file in ArcGIS 8.3. You don't expect to see it because ArcGIS 8.3 doesn't support these description for layers. However, if you open that 8.3 file in ArcGIS 9, the description you originally entered won't be there either because the process of saving the file in ArcGIS 8.3 format eliminated that property. (Your original ArcGIS 9 file would still have the description, so the risk of loss occurs only when the 8.3 copy of that file is subsequently opened in ArcGIS 9.)
Therefore, some points you should consider when saving to previous versions of ArcGIS include:
- Symbols and properties new to ArcGIS 9 aren't available in ArcGIS 8.3. For example, 3D text elements aren't supported, and 3D symbols will be converted to 2D symbols.
- Paragraph text elements aren't supported in ArcGIS 8.3 and will be dropped.
- Symbol level drawing is a property of a data frame at ArcGIS 8.3, but is a property of the layers for which it is defined at ArcGIS 9. When saved to ArcGIS 8.3, the supported aspects of the layer's symbol level drawing are retained and added to the data frame's Advanced Drawing Options dialog box.
- Data frame masking properties aren't supported and no masking will occur. If ArcGIS 8.3 can read your masking layers, they'll appear in your map but will be drawn just like other layers.
- Data frames labeled with the ESRI Maplex Labeling Engine in ArcGIS 9 will be labeled with the ESRI Standard Labeling Engine.
- Some newer versions of SDC data aren't supported.
- Rasters symbolized with the ArcGIS 9 Colormap renderer are symbolized with Unique Values in ArcGIS 8.3.
- ArcGIS Map Server and Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc (OGC) Web Map Service (WMS) layers aren't supported.
- Coordinate systems new at ArcGIS 9 will be unknown to ArcGIS 8.3. These are: Fuller projection
Rectified Skewed Orthomorphic (RSO) projection
Cube map projection
Transverse Mercator Complex projection
Robinson projection (ArcInfo)—the same version of Robinson supported in ArcInfo Workstation
Local Cartesian projection
- Some page and printer setup options aren't retained.
- Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) code is retained but is not altered when a .mxd is saved to a previous version. Therefore, you may need to convert references to ArcGIS 8.3-compatible object libraries.
- Stereo views in ArcScene aren't supported.
- ArcGIS Tracking Analyst properties aren't supported.
- If you need to create a published map file (.pmf) that can be opened by a previous version of ArcReader, you can save the .mxd to a previous version and publish on a machine with an older version of ArcGIS. Another option is for the recipient of the .pmf to download and install ArcReader 9 for free to be able to read .pmf documents created in ArcGIS 9.
- If you have other ESRI or third-party extensions, you should check with the manufacturer to determine their compatibility from ArcGIS 9 back to ArcGIS 8.3.
How to save a map to a previous version of ArcGIS
- Click the File menu and click Save a copy.
- Navigate to the location where you want to save the map document.
- Type a filename.
- Click the Save as type dropdown arrow and click ArcMap 8.3 Documents.
If you choose ArcMap Documents (the option without a version number), the map will be saved in the current version of the software.
- Click Save. The 8.3 map document will be saved to disk, and your ArcGIS 9 document will remain open.
If there are any layers in your current document that ArcGIS 8.3 won't be able to draw, a dialog box will appear listing them. You can then decide whether to continue with saving the copy in ArcGIS 8.3 format. ArcGIS 8.3 doesn't support drawing data from geodatabases that have been upgraded to ArcGIS 9. Other data sources that aren't supported in ArcGIS 8.3 include ArcGIS Server map service layers and OGC WMS layers that were added to the map in ArcGIS 9. For more information, see 'Tips on saving to previous versions', above.
- The Save A Copy command is different from the Save As command. The Save As command allows you to save your document with a new name, file location, or format (such as a map template or map document). When you use the Save As command, the new Save As document is loaded as the current document in the application. With the Save A Copy command, you are saving a copy of the document to disk and the document is not reloaded in the application. In addition, the Save A Copy command can also be used to save a document so it can be opened in a previous version of ArcGIS.