Using Different versions of ArcGIS

(Version 9.3 vs 9.2)

(Converting .mxd files between 9.3 and 9.2)


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Most computers on the WWU campus have ArcGIS 9.3.1 installed.

Student (evaluation) versions of ArcGIS are 9.3 (we are not able to get ArcGIS 9.2 any more).


In general, the interface, tools and functionality is very similar between ArcGIS 9.2 and 9.3.

What is not the same are the project (.mxd) files.


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ArcGIS 9.3 projects (.mxd files) cannot be opened with ArcGIS 9.2.

ArcGIS 9.2 projects can be opened with ArcGIS 9.3 but once you save them they become a 9.3 mxd.


If you will need to open a 9.3 project (.mxd file) on a computer that has 9.2 installed you will need to:

(On the computer with ArcGIS 9.3)

Complete your work in ArcMap
From the File menu, choose Save a Copy…
In the Save a Copy dialog box, choose:
          ArcMap 9.2 document (*.mxd) for Save as Type box


If you do not save the .mxd in the 9.2 format it will not open with anything other than 9.3


Note that you have to do this every time you work on a 9.3 computer (as their very last thing you do (there is not a way to open and work on a 9.2 .mxd in 9.3 and have it continue to be a 9.2 .mxd - you have to Save A Copy at the end, creating multiple copies of the same file...).


If you forget to Save a Copy (while you are still on the 9.3 computer) and bring in a 9.3 mxd you are out of luck in terms of working with that .mxd in the SAL labs… HOWEVER, there is one computer in Arntzen Hall 24 (#AH24-07) that has ArcGIS 9.3 installed. If this room and computer are available you might be able to open the 9.3 mxd there and Save a Copy for use on 9.2 computers...


Note that the option of saving a 9.2 .mxd is not available from either the Save or Save As commands (only from the Save A Copy command).


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Likewise, if you create Layer files with ArcGIS 9.3 you will need to choose:
                        9.2 Layer Files (*.lyr) in the Save as Type box


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Data files (shapefiles, GRIDs, geodatabases, etc.) should be able to be used in either ArcGIS 9.2 or 9.3 regardless of which software was used to create/edit the data.



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