How to Easily Rename Your SOLIDWORKS Files and Retain the References

By Jess Levasseur on

A frequent question on our Support Hotline is “What steps are to be taken when renaming a file in order to keep relations between models and drawings?” The short answer is to use your Product Data Management (PDM) system to do it. I’m kidding! PDM is the ideal tool for renaming files and managing references but this article is for those that don’t have PDM or need to manage files that are outside their vault. 

Renaming Files in SOLIDWORKS

When renaming files, parts and drawings in SOLIDWORKS, many users might think they need PDM. If you have it, great! If not, there’s another solution for you: SOLIDWORKS Explorer. This feature within your SOLIDWORKS software allows you to rename files and still maintain the links to the files that depend on them. Here’s how:
  • Close SOLIDWORKS: make sure the files you are going to play with are not open in SOLIDWORKS.
  • Launch SOLIDWORKS Explorer:
    • Go to your start menu> All Programs> SOLIDWORKS 2019> SOLIDWORKS Explorer or from within SOLIDWORKS go to Tools> SOLIDWORKSExplorer
    • Once SOLIDWORKS Explorer has opened use this as you would use Windows Explorer to locate your files.
    • Once you have located your part right-click on it and select rename.
    • A dialog box doing a search for all the items that are linked to that document will show up. From there you can rename and the links will remain intact!

SOLIDWORKS Explorer2019 

SOLIDWORKS Explorer can do a lot more than simply rename files. It can be used to move files, perform a Pack & Go and even modify custom properties all without launching SOLIDWORKS.


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