Saving Civil 3D drawings back to earlier version

Jason Porter

Architecture and Engineering, All, Save, SAVEAS, Civil 3D, Construction, Civil, Previous Versions, Version 0 Comment

This is one of recycled posts from my old blog site (which no longer exists).  It was originally posted August 10, 2012.  I'm bringing it back because I've noticed that we're beginning to get phone calls concerning this again.  Though the images are older, the content and process is still the same for newer versions of the software.   

Over the past few weeks we’ve had several calls from people who have desired to take their current Civil 3D drawing and save it back to an earlier version. The call usually comes after the user attempts to open their drawing in the earlier software. The result is usually that the Civil 3D objects appear as empty boxes in their older software.
For this discussion I will demonstrate how to take a Civil 3D 2012 drawing and save it back to a Civil 3D 2010 drawing. It’s not as simple as using the SAVEAS command.
1. In your drawing (current version of Civil 3D) – navigate to the Output tab and select the “Export to LandXML” button:

2. In the “Export to LandXML” dialog box make sure everything is checked on:

3. Click “OK” and save the LandXML file somewhere (preferably in the project folder). This will be solely a data file and will contain all your Civil 3D data. DO NOT LOSE THIS FILE.

4. Then use the Application Menu (the big-red “C” in the top, left corner) to export the drawing out to AutoCAD 2010:


This will be a dumbed-down drawing and contain all your linework. It will make a copy of your Civil 3D drawing and convert all the linework to basic AutoCAD 2D lines.
Now launch your older version of Civil 3D (in this case Civil 3D 2010)

5. In a blank, new drawing (preferably with your template). . .navigate to the Insert tab and select the “Insert” button:

6, Insert your drawing in at 0,0,0. This will insert your linework.

7. Now use the “LandXML” button and insert all your data:

Accept the defaults and click “OK”