Saved in earlier versions but still shows latest version to open in 'properties'

I’ve got a drafting & design program (Softplan 2020+) that I’m having a bit of trouble in uploading model files.

The issue is that the SketchUp files have to be in 2018 or earlier versions.

Today…in 2019, I drew the model together and saved it and found myself in the “loop” of not being able to upload the model into a Softplan symbol folder. SP tech reviewed the SU file and reminded me of this protocol to accept models/symbols.

In SoftPlan…the program crashes with each attempt to turn the file into a symbol.

I did this evening Open my 2019 model via SU 2017…went as far as to explode the whole thing and then group it all back together just to save it as a SketchUp Version 2017.

The only tell tale from SU that has me wondering…no matter what version that I save in…a “properties” review in Windows Explorer show the file…“Opens With SketchUp 2019…” and no other indication that the .skp is a specific version.

It’s peculiar…however, I’m stuck with my models and symbols that I can’t get into the particular drawing.

Any thoughts or advice will be gratefully appreciated.

Conyers, Ga

The “Open with” setting for file types is set by the SketchUp installer. It changes as each SU version installer is run. So for example if you were to rerun the SU2017 installer and choose repair, it is likely that the “Open with” setting will change to the v2017 executable’s pathname.

SketchUp’s SKP file format(s) have never adhered to the MS Windows standard of versioning, so the MS Windows Explorer file properties dialog cannot “see” their versioning string.

Add: The result is that unlike file formats that MS Windows can understand the versioning, SKP files can only “Open with” one version (which changes as users install newer application versions.)
MS Windows does have the ability, if it can read data file versioning, to open the correct application version for the data file. It also requires that the installer save certain document registry version values in the Windows registry database in the proper way. But, as said, SketchUp has never been setup to do this.

Thank you Dan! That does answer my question with regards to the “Open With” notation in WindsEx.

Softplan tech allowed the model that I sent for a review for the problem of moving into a SoftPlan drawing was made in a SketchUp 2019 and allowed that the problem with my doing so was to save the model in an earlier version. The WindsEx tag had me chasing my tail.

Again…Thank You for giving me the answer to that issue so I can move along for another attempt this morning.

Best regards
Dan Turner
Conyers, Georgia

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That’s true, because the .skp file format is system-independent. The file is identical on Windows or macOS, with no system-specific content.

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… but, it would be nice if MS would allow a mechanism to “teach” Windows how to read specific datafile versioning per file extension. (There is already a database entry in the registry for every file extension for each application installed.)

Yeah, a SketchUp file has a plain-text header that identifies it as SketchUp and indicates the version. In theory it would be simple to read this info and use it to open with an appropriate version of SketchUp. In practice, who knows what the legalities and practicalities might be…

Not a theory. We cover this in this Issue Tracker thread, Greg gives the most concise Ruby statement …

Legally, MS Windows has supported datafile versioning since the 3.0 timeframe. Know nothing of OSX however.


It seems thought that the SketchUp DevTeam just went for the simplest workflow, in that the great majority would be only using one version of SketchUp at a time. Most users would uninstall the unused versions once the newest was stable.

It gets a bit complicated and just a little more info would square that away. However…the more use the more savvy. Practice and more use makes perfect.

As of the moment, it’s more of a SoftPlan issue. Re-building the model to amend an existing SoftPlan drawing to meet the 2018 or before version requirement wasn’t that big a chore by simply opening up SU 2017 to build and save in the SU 2017 version.

However…the issue is the model is crashing SoftPlan when trying to move it through the stages to become a softplan symbol. The 2017 version of the rebuilt drawing is still stopping short the program and dumping Softplan.

So…now it’s either a Softplan error or a Dan T. error. More likely the former than the latter. However, we’re eliminating the obvious issues…thanks to you guys!