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New version Maya file - Old version of Maya to open it?

This is a commonly asked question on most forums; "How can I get my old version of Maya to open my new version's file?" Here's how you do this: in your new version, save the file as a .ma file. Now open up your file explorer. Find the file, right click on it and hit edit. This should open Notepad or Wordpad. Edit the top couple of lines.

requires maya ”your new version”;
currentUnit -l centimeter -a degree -t film;
fileInfo “application” “maya”;
fileInfo “product” “your new version”;
fileInfo “version” “your new version”;


requires maya “old file version”;
currentUnit -l centimeter -a degree -t film;
fileInfo “application” “maya”;
fileInfo “version” “Your old file version”;

Now save the file and you should be able to open the file in your old version of Maya. This does have limitations. This doesn't help if your new version has special features or plug-ins that the old version does not have.

Reader comments: @ 5/21/2009 8:00 PM
This is an EXCELLENT tip! We didn't know about this here at (as we don't use Maya much) until a couple of weeks ago when a customer told us.

It only works on the .ma (ascii) file and not on a .mb (binary) file but this is still a good thing. If only 3ds max had such a feature!

Blogger Guy @ 5/22/2009 10:11 AM
This is a great tip, I had no idea you could do that.

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