Snapshots in drawings

Tekla Structures
Tekla Structures

Snapshots in drawings

With snapshots you can take a quick look at any drawings without opening the drawing. Use this tool when you just want to check but not edit a drawing, or take a look at several drawings while trying to find the one you are looking for, for example, a certain drawing revision. Using snapshot overlay, you can view the contents of drawings directly in model view without opening the actual drawing. You can also show drawing snapshots against the latest version of a drawing or against another drawing in the drawing mode. You can take snapshots of all types of drawings, and all drawing types can be overlaid with drawing snapshots.

Create and view drawing snapshots

A snapshot is by default created when you open and save a drawing. The snapshot represents the situation when the drawing was last saved, so any newer changes to the model are not reflected in the snapshot.

  1. Select a drawing and open it from the Document manager.
  2. Save the drawing by going to the File menu and clicking Save drawing.

    The snapshot is saved in the ..\<model>\drawings\Snapshots folder.

  3. Select the same drawing from the Document manager.
  4. Click the Snapshots button at the bottom of the Document manager to display the snapshot.

Below is an example of a snapshot.

If you have selected a drawing that does not have a snapshot and click Snapshots, an instructional view is displayed asking you to open the drawing and save it to create the snapshot.

To create a snapshot of a drawing automatically when the drawing is created, set XS_DRAWING_CREATE_SNAPSHOT_ON_DRAWING_CREATION to TRUE in the Drawing properties category in the Advanced options dialog box.

Snapshot overlay

You can view a snapshot of a drawing while you are editing a drawing. In the snapshot overlay, you can see the latest changes, and can align the drawing content, for example. You can see the changes in a drawing since the latest update, and switch between the snapshot and the actual drawing.

Finding the correct drawing by going through the snapshots is much faster than opening the actual drawings one by one.


  • Texts are one sided when viewed from the model, and DX graphics do not support text in snapshots.
  • Overlay in the model was not designed to work for the 3D drawing views .
  • Views that are outside the printing area are displayed in the model overlay.
  • Reading large GA drawing snapshots may take a long time.
  • Loading the snapshot takes longer for the first snapshot than for the rest.

Before you can see a snapshot overlay of a drawing, you need to create a snapshot by opening a drawing, and saving the drawing.

Below you can see the settings in the snapshot view:

Snapshot overlay in model

  1. Open Document manager and select a drawing.
  2. Click Snapshots.
  3. At the top of the displayed snapshot dialog box, under Overlay in model, select the Overlay check box. You can also select a color for the snapshot.
A cast unit is overlaid with the corresponding cast unit drawing.

Snapshot overlay in drawings

  1. Click Drawing > Document manager, and open a drawing that has changed after the latest snapshot.
  2. Still in Document manager, select the same drawing and click Snapshots.
  3. Select one of the options under Overlay in drawing:

    Overlay: Show the snapshot on the actual drawing so that both are visible.

    Show snapshot only: Show the snapshot only without the actual drawing.

    None: Quickly switch to the actual drawing.

  4. Select a color for the snapshot.

In the example below, the size of the cast unit has changed since the snapshot was taken.


If a plan view GA drawing is open, and you want to align content using another GA drawing, you can open a snapshot of the second drawing on the first one, and snap to the snapshot, when placing or moving objects in an open drawing. You can snap to drawing snapshot overlays with the Snap to geometry lines / points snap switch .

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