I am running arcmap 10.2.2 but need to open an mxd saved using 10.3. I do not have access to 10.3. I have an arcpy tool which will do the conversion but it is not working from within 10.2.2.

Does anyone know if it is possible to do this from within 10.2.2. I get an error message saying I do not have write access to the file.

The script is as follows:

import arcpy, sys, os, string 

mxdList = string.split(arcpy.GetParameterAsText(0), ";") 
outloc = arcpy.GetParameterAsText(1)
version = arcpy.GetParameterAsText(2)

suffix = "_"+ version.replace(".", "")

for item in mxdList: 
    item = item.strip('\'') 
    mxd = arcpy.mapping.MapDocument(item) 
    base = os.path.basename(item) 
    base = os.path.splitext(base)[0] + suffix + os.path.splitext(base)[1] 
    mxd.saveACopy(outloc + os.sep + base, version)
    arcpy.AddMessage(os.path.basename(item) + " has been converted")

2 Answers 2


From reading the 10.3.1 Help on Saving to previous versions of ArcGIS:

Note that documents from ArcGIS 10.1, 10.2, 10.3 and related releases, such as 10.3.1, are directly compatible with each other

Consequently, I think you should use 10.2 to try and open the MXD saved at 10.3.

If it will not open, and the cause is not obvious from any error message returned then that would seem to be worth asking as a new question.

  • Thanks, I was using 10.2.2 but getting a message saying that the mxd had been saved with a later version so it seems as if they are not compatible. I had to use 10.3 and then save the mxd as 10.1 - 10.2. That worked. I am surprised though that 10.2.2 would not be compatible.
    – Marycee
    Commented Jan 7, 2016 at 19:35

This comment indicates MXD Doctor can open (at least some) future versions of map compositions and save as current version: https://gis.stackexchange.com/a/281789/108

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