SOLIDWORKS PDM - Top Time Saving Tips

  • Category:
    • SolidWorks PDM
    • Tech Tips for CAD
Want to speed up your product data management? Then look no further as we have some top time saving tips just for you...

Using PDM Explorer Interface:
  • Having the File Preview Tab active when browsing from file to file can mean that a copy of each previewed file is copied to your local vault view.  This can take time on a slow or busy LAN / WAN connection to your SOLIDWORKS PDM Archive Server.
    Why not have a leave the Preview tab inactive until required, and have the Data Card or Version tab active by default whilst browsing.

    SOLIDWORKS PDM Explorer Interface 
  • Within the File Preview tab, the preview of your model or drawing can be made more powerful by activating ‘Display’ ‘Options’ ‘Show Full UI in SOLIDWORKS Preview’ 
    SOLIDWORKS PDM Explorer Interface - File Preview tab
    The result is a collection of eDrawings icons within the preview , offering useful tool such as zoom-to fit, zoom-to-area, measure, exploded view, etc.SOLIDWORKS PDM Preview
  • When navigating folders in the PDM Windows Explorer interface, consider using the folder pane on the left to find the desired folder, instead of double-clicking on each folder in the file pane on the right. PDM will be more responsive as it only has to return the full results from the final folder you select, rather than from each folder you pass through on the way to your destination.

Organising data within PDM:

  • Storing large numbers of files in a single folder in your SOLIDWORKS PDM Vault can slow your system's response. In fact the same applies to any Windows® folder - Microsoft recommends a limit of 2000 files per folder. Consider organising your PDM vault folder structure so that folders contain fewer files, for optimum performance.
Anti-Virus Settings:
  • Anti-Virus scanning can slow down the performance of your local Vault View folder, and indeed the SOLIDWORKS PDM Archive Server. Consider excluding your Vault View folder and the Archive Server's Archive folder from Anti-Virus scanning (files may have already been virus-scanned prior to being managed via SOLIDWORKS. 
  • Users of SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional can save time when repeatedly performing similar searches, by using searches saved as 'Favorites'. SOLIDWORKS PDM Administrators can decide who is permitted to create and use 'Favorite' searches.SOLIDWORKS PDM Add to Favorites
  • Populating your search cards with appropriate wildcards can deliver a more precise search, so you get the results you need faster:

    SOLIDWORKS PDM wildcards
Examples using the 'Name' field in a search card:


Ever wish you could change history? With SOLIDWORKS PDM you can change a comment associated with a particular file version (if you were the person who created that file version). Open the history for the file in question, highlight the version where you want to edit the version comment, edit the comment, and Update.SOLIDWORKS PDM - History

  • Expand the SOLIDWORKS PDM task pane to maximise its potential within your SOLIDWORKS session: of the more frequently-used SOLIDWORKS PDM functions can be leveraged within the SOLIDWORKS PDM Task pane.


Get Latest Version, Get Version (from history), Check Out, Check In, Change State, Show/Edit Properties on Data card, Where Used, Select a File in Windows Explorer interface, Zoom to Selection, Open a file, Edit a (checked out) file, and the Search cards are all available here.

  • Use the Child Quick Info column to identify potential trouble spots in your assembly. In the example below we can see that our assembly is referencing older file versions than the ones we have available, and this situation occurs at the top level of the assembly. We also have 'Local File is Older than that latest in the Vault' somewhere in the 'Check Valve (Default)' sub-assembly...


...so we should investigate within this sub-assembly to find where this occurs.

Phil Miles - PDM Consultant


Phil Miles View profile

A Certified SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional, Phil is our PDM Consultant and DriveWorks expert. Phil brings to NT CADCAM over 30 years' experience in a global power management corporation, including design,CAD/PDM use and management. He also has experience of broader engineering systems management and project leadership.