About Saving Drawings

Save drawing files or selected objects just as you do with other applications. You can also control automatic saves and backup files.

When you work on a drawing, you should save it frequently. Saving protects you from losing work in the event of a power failure or other unexpected event.

The file extension for drawing files is .dwg, and unless you change the default file format in the Options dialog box, drawings are saved in the latest drawing file format. By default, the program creates a backup file of the previous version of your drawnig folder each time you save. Experienced users consider it a best practice to leave backups turned on.

Should you ever need to revert to the previous version, you can rename the .bak file that's in the same folder as your drawing to a file with a different name and a .dwg file extension.

Note: The character limit for a DWG file name (including its path) is 256 characters.

Automatic Saves

By default, the program automatically saves your drawing 10 minutes after the last time it was saved. You can increase or decrease the time between automatic saves, or you can turn off automatic saving from the Options dialog box, Open and Save tab. Saves are normally incremental saves, which are noticeably faster than full saves in larger drawings. Incremental saves result in temporarily larger file sizes until a full save is triggered by the ISAVEPERCENT system variable, which optimizes the drawing's file size.

Note: To force a full save, set the ISAVEPERCENT system variable to 0 and save the drawing. Saving to a different format always results in a full save.

Manage the Size of Drawing Files

In some circumstances, the size of drawing files can become larger than expected. The following list provides you with common possibilities.

The PURGE or -PURGE commands will fix most of these problems. Additional steps you can take include the following:

A good practice is to create several smaller drawings. Use the XREF command to merge them into a master drawing, and then do your work in the smaller drawings.

Work Internationally

If you share drawing files with offices or companies in other countries and regions, the drawing file names might contain characters that are not used in other languages.

If a drawing file is created in a different language version of the operating system, the following will occur:

In either case, you will be able to open the drawing file in AutoCAD 2007-based products and later releases.

Note: If you share drawing files with companies using earlier releases of the product, you can avoid file name issues for Asian languages and languages that use accented characters. In those circumstances, do not use high ASCII values, or values of 80 hexadecimal and above, when creating a file name.