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FAQ: Compatibility v3

Is Sketchpad version 4 compatible with Sketchpad version 3?

Sketchpad version 4 is largely, but not completely, compatible with files created by Sketchpad version 3. Files created with Sketchpad version 4 are not compatible with Sketchpad version 3. In other words, you can reuse old work in the new Sketchpad, but you cannot use new work in the old version of Sketchpad. Files created with earlier versions of Sketchpad (version 1, 1990; or version 2, 1992) cannot be opened directly by version 4 but can be opened by version 4 if they are first opened and resaved in version 3.

When you open a version 3 sketch document in version 4, version 4 opens the document as a copy so you do not unintentionally save over a version 3 file with a version 4 file. Upon opening, version 4 preserves all of the mathematics of your version 3 sketch but may not preserve all of the layout. (For example, version 4 uses a new and more powerful mathematical text layout engine, which unfortunately is not completely compatible with version 3's limited text facilities. Thus, version 3 sketches that make extensive use of text may require text reformatting after they are opened in version 4.)

Version 3 script files are not compatible with, and cannot be opened by, version 4 (which has replaced "scripts" with a more general facility for "custom tools"). However, via a two-step process, version 3 users migrating to version 4 can recreate existing version 3 scripts as version 4 custom tools. Sketchpad Help, the software's online help system, contains an entire section for version 3 users who are interested in preserving their old work, including instructions on how to convert version 3 scripts into version 4 sketches.

Choose What's New from the Help menu after starting Sketchpad to access the following Help sections:

  • What's New | If You've Used Version 3 | Reusing Your Version 3 Work: This is part of a more general section of Sketchpad Help.

  • What's New | If You've Used Version 3: This lists important new features, significant changes since GSP3, and other useful information for upgrading users.