Save Time Using SOLIDWORKS Property Tab Builder

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Custom Properties are a vital piece of information when it comes to file management in SOLIDWORKS.

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:

  • Clicking the Create Now… button on the Custom Property Tab of the Task Pane in SOLIDWORKS.
  • Or, by launching the tool from the Windows Start menu under SOLIDWORKS Tools .
Create Custom Properties
The Property Tab Builder application window will open with a blank template containing three columns:
  • The column on the left displays a list of Attribute Types that can be used.
  • The column in the middle is the Template View that will be displayed in the Custom Property Tab within SOLIDWORKS.
  • The column on the right displays the configurable Control Settings for each attribute.

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.

SOLIDWORKS Configuration Specific

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.

SOLIDWORKS Property Tab Builder

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.

SOLIDWORKS Configuration Summary
Example Custom Property Templates have been included below for download as reference:

DOWNLOAD HERE   (Example files include a Part, Assembly, and Drawing.)

How will you spend all the design time you save by using this valuable SOLIDWORKS tool?

  • You can create multiple different templates for each file type depending on your Custom Property needs. If multiple templates exist for one file type, users can select which template to use for that specific file.
  • Update your standard SOLIDWORKS part, assembly, and drawing templates to reference a specific Custom Property template by simple opening the standard SOLIDWORKS file template, selecting the desired Custom Property template, and then saving the SOLIDWORKS file. The next new SOLIDWORKS file will automatically display the correct Custom Property template, saving even more design time!
  • If you are an admin using an Administrative Image to deploy to multiple client machines, you can use the Settings Administrator Tool to automatically set the Custom Property Files location for all users at once.

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