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Opening Files

This information is specific to one or more CAD systems. See the SolidWorks eDrawings functionality matrix for availability information.

Use the Open tool to open an existing file in the SolidWorks eDrawings Viewer.

  • If you open either a read-only file or a file that is already open in your CAD application or another eDrawings Viewer, a message box advises you of this. You can open the file as read-only, but if you try to save changes to it, a message box appears. Click OK to close the message box, and a Save As dialog box appears. You can then save the file with another name.

  • eDrawings detects when the graphics data for a component may not be in sync with a later version that was modified and saved in a SolidWorks assembly. When you open a potentially outdated component, a watermark displays a warning and suggests that you rebuild the part in the SolidWorks software. To control the display of the watermark, click View > Show Warning Watermark.

  • The eDrawings Viewer does not display all information in detached drawing documents. To display all information in a detached drawing, publish an eDrawings drawing document from SolidWorks, or re-save the drawing document as a regular (undetached) drawing.

The Open dialog box displays previews of eDrawings, SolidWorks, and published files if the files have been saved in 2008 or later applications. The previews display any changes to custom properties specified in Windows Explorer.

To open a file:

  1. Click Open or File, Open.

  2. Set the Files of type to one of the following:

  • eDrawings Files (*.eprt, *.easm, *.edrw)

  • SolidWorks Files (*.sldprt, *.sldasm, *.slddrw)

In the eDrawings Viewer, you can open any SolidWorks document from SolidWorks 97Plus and higher.

  • DXF/DWG Files (*.dxf, *.dwg). eDrawings supports the following:

    •  DXF and DWG files version 2.5 through 2010.

    • AutoCAD fonts (SHX), if AutoCAD® is installed. Otherwise the text is rendered in a default Simplex font.

    • Images and OLE objects in DWG files.

  • 3DXML Files (*.3dxml)

  • CALS Files (*.cal, *ct1)

  • XML Paper Specification (XPS) Files (*.edrwx, *.eprtx, *.easmx)

You generate XPS files in SolidWorks with Save As and work with them in eDrawings the same as eDrawings files.

XPS Viewer is included in the Vista operating system and is distributed with .NET Framework 3.0, which is installed with SolidWorks on Windows XP and Server 2003 operating systems.

If eDrawings is installed on a computer, double-clicking an XPS file opens it in eDrawings rather than in the XPS Viewer.

You can distribute XPS files to users with either the XPS Viewer or the eDrawings Viewer.

  • Pro/ENGINEER Files (*.prt, *.prt.*, *.xpr, *.asm, *.asm.*, *.xas)

Pro/ENGINEER drawings cannot be imported.

If a model uses Pro/ENGINEER family table instances, then the XPR and XAS accelerator instance files must be included for correct results. Although these instance accelerator files are optional for Pro/ENGINEER, they are required in eDrawings. When the family table instance modifies the top level of an assembly, open the XAS file corresponding to that instance, rather than the ASM file.

Colors in part files are recognized, but colors applied at the assembly level are not.

Certain Pro/ENGINEER items, such as annotations, sketches, and layers, are not imported.

  • STL Files (*.stl)

  • SolidWorks Template Files (*.prtdot, *.asmdot, *.drwdot)

  • All Files (*.*). Only the above supported files open in the eDrawings Viewer.

eDrawings also supports display of SolidWorks Simulation and SolidWorks SimulationXpress data, when available, in eDrawings part or assembly files. For more information, see Viewing Simulation Data.

  1. To open the file as read-only, select Open as read-only.

  2. Select a file, then click Open.

If you import a DXF/DWG file that has XREFs, eDrawings tries to automatically resolve the XREF. If the XREF cannot be resolved, the Resolve XRef dialog box appears. Click Skip file to import the DXF/DWG file without the XREF file, or navigate to the XREF file, select it, then click Open to open it. See DXF/DWG File XREFs for more information.

See Review-Enabled Files for information about creating and using review-enabled files.

Open Parts from Assemblies

You can open parts and sub-assemblies in separate windows from within assemblies.

To open a part from an assembly:

Right-click a part in the graphics area or the FeatureManager design tree and select New Part Document.

To open a sub-assembly from an assembly:

Right-click a sub-assembly in the FeatureManager design tree and select New Assembly Document.

Custom Properties

You can edit custom properties in SolidWorks files from Windows Explorer; that is, without opening the files in the SolidWorks application. The files must have been created in SolidWorks 2008 or later.

To edit custom properties in Windows Explorer:

  1. Right-click a file in Windows Explorer and select Properties.

  2. Edit properties on the Custom or Summary tabs.

  3. Click Apply and OK.

For example, you can update properties that are linked to notes in drawings. Changes in the notes then appear in the drawings and in the previews when the drawings are opened in eDrawings.


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