shrug-l: opening outsiders' MXDs

Andrasek, Shereen (DP&Z) andrase at
Tue Sep 8 11:10:17 EDT 2009

Well, it turns out my problem was with the version.  The ArcGIS version
I use is 9.1 and the version that was posted in Janis Paulsen's map was

The originator of the mxd, Chris Moore, sent me the mxd in the  9.1
version.  Voila, I was able to see the map.  As Tripp says, I should be
able to open someone else's mxd albeit the links to various layers would
have a red ! in the TOC.  I really don't think there was a permission
issue: the layers used were shp files, no geodatabases or sde layers.
The creators of the MXDs that I wasn't able to see were made by
technicians with only basic GIS skills; no advanced fancy work,
versioning, permissions, etc.  No special tools involved.  No special
embedded images.  So, when all is said and done, it seems that the techs
were using a new version of GIS then me.  Today, I'm taking the time to
upgrade my local version to 9.3.  


I'd like to thank everyone who took the time to respond to my issue: it
seemed to be somewhat of an easy problem.  I hope someday to come up
with a doosie that will really tickle everyone's fancy.


Thanks again to all,


~~ Shereen 


From: Tripp Corbin [mailto:tcorbin at] 
Sent: Friday, September 04, 2009 11:39 PM
To: Andrasek, Shereen (DP&Z); shrug-l at
Subject: RE: shrug-l: opening outsiders' MXDs


The only time I have experienced problems opening someone elses MXD is
when it has an imbedded image file that I do not have such as a logo.
Other wise It will always open. Of course it normally shows red ! in the
TOC but that is expected. It might also be caused by the use of an
extension such as Maplex you may not have. 


Tripp Corbin, MCP, CFM, GISP

Vice President, GIS/Mapping

ESRI Authorized Instructor

Keck & Wood, Inc.

(678) 417-4013

(678) 417-8785 fax


Keck & Wood, Inc offers instructor led and virtual training for ESRI's
ArcGIS & ArcView software.
Please visit
<>  for more information including a schedule of upcoming classes.



From: shrug-l-bounces at on behalf of Andrasek,
Shereen (DP&Z)
Sent: Fri 9/4/2009 11:11 AM
To: shrug-l at
Subject: shrug-l: opening outsiders' MXDs

Hello Fellow GISers,

I have never been able to open any colleague's mxd.  I had accepted this
as the status quo until Janis Paulsen sent out a solution to her problem
with an attached mxd.  I was curious why she sent an mxd instead of a
pdf or jpg.  When I tried to open her mxd, I got the message saying "The
map document was saved using a newer version of ArcGIS".   Ok, that's
simple enough - different versions equals a compatibility issue.
However, she was able to open the mxd I sent her.  Assumption: Lower
versions can be opened with higher versions... maybe.  Hmmm, whenever I
try to open a colleague's mxd, I get the message: "Could not open the
specified document".  Why?  Janis thought that this may be a question
for SHRUG-L and I thought, why not.  Let's see what the collaborative
powers of the great minds of SHRUG GISers can come up with.


Thanks to all,


~~ Shereen 
Shereen Andrasek, Principal Planner
Miami-Dade County Department of Planning & Zoning
111 NW First Street, Suite 1220, Miami, FL 33128
(305) 375-2845 x8770
"Delivering Excellence Every Day" 


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