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Search Routine for Referenced Documents

When opening a referenced document, SolidWorks performs a search to locate the document. For example, this search may occur when you open a drawing and the referenced assembly cannot be found or when you resolve a lightweight component in an assembly.

When a referenced document is found, the software updates the path to the referenced document in the parent document. When you save the parent document, the updated path is saved as well.

The Rules column below describes the search routine that the software uses to locate a missing referenced document.

The Examples column shows the paths that the software checks using the following scenario:

  • The assembly was last saved as C:\zz\a1.sldasm. You move the assembly to D:\ss\tt\a1.sldasm.
  • The first part in the assembly was last saved as C:\qq\p1.sldprt. You do not move this part.
  • The second part in the assembly was last saved as C:\zz\yy\xx\p2.sldprt. This part is missing either through deletion, renaming, or some other file management mistake.
  • There are two paths in the Folders list of the File Locations Options dialog box: D:\aa\bb\ and E:\cc\dd\.
  • You click File > Open to open a1.sldasm in its new location.
  Rules Examples
1.

Uses any open document with the same name.

If p2.sldprt is in another open document, SolidWorks uses this version of p2.sldprt.
2.

Searches the first path that you specify in the Folders list in the File Locations Options dialog box.

You must select the Search file locations for external references check box in the External References Options dialog box or else SolidWorks ignores the paths that you specify.
D:\aa\bb\p2.sldprt
3.

Searches the path in Step 2 plus the last folder in the path where the referenced document was last saved.

D:\aa\bb\xx\p2.sldprt
4.

Searches the path in Step 2 plus the last two folders in the path where the referenced document was last saved.

D:\aa\bb\yy\xx\p2.sldprt
5.

Repeats Step 4 until the full original path has been appended to the path in Step 2.

This concept of adding one folder at a time from the full path will be called "recursive searching" in the following steps.
D:\aa\bb\zz\yy\xx\p2.sldprt
6.

Recursively searches the first path in the Folders list, then recursively searches the path where the referenced document was last saved.

D:\aa\xx\p2.sldprt

D:\aa\yy\xx\p2.sldprt

D:\aa\zz\yy\xx\p2.sldprt

D:\xx\p2.sldprt

D:\yy\xx\p2.sldprt

D:\zz\yy\xx\p2.sldprt

7.

Repeats Steps 2 through 6 for the other folders in the Folders list.

E:\cc\dd\p2.sldprt

E:\cc\dd\xx\p2.sldprt

E:\cc\dd\yy\xx\p2.sldprt

E:\cc\dd\zz\yy\xx\p2.sldprt

E:\cc\xx\p2.sldprt

E:\cc\yy\xx\p2.sldprt

E:\cc\zz\yy\xx\p2.sldprt

E:\xx\p2.sldprt

E:\yy\xx\p2.sldprt

E:\zz\yy\xx\p2.sldprt

8.

Searches the path of the active document, then recursively searches the path where the referenced document was last saved.

D:\ss\tt\p2.sldprt

D:\ss\tt\xx\p2.sldprt

D:\ss\tt\yy\xx\p2.sldprt

D:\ss\tt\zz\yy\xx\p2.sldprt

D:\ss\xx\p2.sldprt

D:\ss\yy\xx\p2.sldprt

D:\ss\zz\yy\xx\p2.sldprt

D:\xx\p2.sldprt

D:\yy\xx\p2.sldprt

D:\zz\yy\xx\p2.sldprt

9.

Searches the path where you last opened a document, then recursively searches the path where the referenced document was last saved.

In most cases, the path of the active document and the path where you last opened a document are the same.

The two paths are different if you click File > Open to open one document, then drag and drop an assembly from Windows Explorer into that document. The path of the active document is the path from Windows Explorer and the path where you last opened a document is the path from File > Open.

same as Step 8

10.

Searches the path where the software last found a referenced document.

C:\qq\p2.sldprt

This is the location of p1.sldprt.

11.

Searches the full path where the document was last saved without a drive designation.

This is useful if you save a part with a UNC path such as \\machine\folder\p2.sldprt.

12.

Searches the full path where the document was last saved with its original drive designation.

C:\zz\yy\xx\p2.sldprt
13.

Allows you to browse for the document yourself.

n/a


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