Save Time Using SOLIDWORKS Property Tab Builder
Information such as who approved a file, which customer is the file associated to, and what finish standard should be applied are just a few examples of how Custom Properties can be used to help manage files. However, creating these Custom Properties and entering their values can be a time consuming and cumbersome process open to misspellings and incorrect values or many other errors.
Well, did you know there is more convenient automated method to create and enter these values quickly right inside SOLIDWORKS Task Pane?
The Property Tab Builder is an existing easy-to-use tool where you can create a standard list of user-defined Custom Properties that are then saved as a template and applied to parts, assemblies, drawings, and weldments. Templates can then be filled in quickly and consistently right in the SOLIDWORKS Task Pane, eliminating the extra steps of navigating into the Properties dialog to manually create and enter property information.
There are two methods to access the Property Tab Builder:
The Property Tab Builder application window will open with a blank template containing three columns:
It takes only a few SIMPLE steps to create templates for each file type:
1. From the Type dropdown list, select which SOLIDWORKS file type the template will be used to create Custom Properties. This is how SOLIDWORKS maps the Custom Property Template to each specific SOLIDWORKS file type.
2. In the Message box, add any special instructions for the user or critical details pertaining to the template.
3. Drag and drop the required topics from the left column into the center column (property types can be grouped to improve organization by topic).
4. Enter a descriptive Caption to help define the Custom Property to the user.
5. Set attributes associated to the Custom Property, such as property name and a default value.
6. Select whether the property will display on the Custom or Configuration tab.
7. Save the completed template with a specific name in the desired location where you manage other custom template files. I suggest creating a folder outside SOLIDWORKS installation location to manage all custom templates. For example, C:\SOLIDWORKS Custom\. If you create a custom folder, be sure to copy the properties.txt file from the default location C:\ProgramData\SOLIDWORKS\SOLIDWORKS \lang\ to the new custom folder. The properties.txt file is a list of properties displayed in the dropdown list when manually creating Custom Properties.
8. Update the SOLIDWORKS File Location for Custom Property Files to the template location. In SOLIDWORKS, select: Tools > Options > System Options > File Locations > Custom Property Files.
9. Create a new or open an existing SOLIDWORKS file and start saving time by entering Custom Property values in the Task Pane like a pro. Click Apply to automatically create the properties.
The result after clicking Apply is the Custom Properties defined in the template were automatically created in the specified properties tab (select: File > Properties). Updating the value on the template will update the value in the properties as well as vice versa.
Example Custom Property Templates have been included below for download as reference:
How will you spend all the design time you save by using this valuable SOLIDWORKS tool?
About the author
Rick is a Customer Service Expert based in the Phoenix, Arizona. He has been using SOLIDWORKS to solve complex design challenges since 2007. Rick’s experience includes sheet metal design and fabrication, CNC laser operation, developing components and engineered systems for the transportation industry, as well as CAD administration for SOLIDWORKS and PDM. He enjoys providing solutions to satisfy customers and assist their users in becoming proficient SOLIDWORKS users.