Is there any way to convert a 10.5 mxd to 10.4 without having 10.5 on the system?

I know ArcCatalog 10.4 - Data Sources allows me to see the datasets in the 10.5 mxd but then I don't have access to the layout/symbology etc.

All the processes I can find require 10.5 to be installed to use arcpy or save-as in arcmap.

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    "Is there any way to convert a 10.5 mxd to 10.4 without having 10.5 on the system?". No there isn't. You need to use 10.5 (or later) to do that. – umbe1987 Sep 5 '19 at 7:17

In the ArcGIS Desktop Help on Saving to previous versions of ArcGIS it says:

In most cases, after you open and save an existing map document (.mxd file), the map can no longer be opened with earlier versions of ArcGIS because it will now reflect the new functionality. Similarly, new documents cannot be opened in earlier versions of the software; however, you can use the Save A Copy command to make a copy of a map document so you can open and work with it in previous versions of ArcGIS. Note that documents from ArcGIS 10.1, 10.2, and related releases, such as 10.2.1, are directly compatible with each other; ArcGIS 9.0 and 9.1 documents are also compatible with each other.

Conquently, I think you need to open your 10.5 MXD at 10.5 or later and save it to a 10.4 MXD. I am not aware of any earlier ArcGIS version or non-ArcGIS way to do it.

There is an existing ArcGIS Idea titled Backward/Forward Compatibility which you may wish to vote for, if you have not already.

  • Thanks - the last time I looked at it was about 4 years ago (the idea in the link was from 2015...) so I was hoping that ESRI had a solution by know. I voted up the idea. – GeorgeC Sep 5 '19 at 8:38

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