The SOLIDWORKS PDM File Viewer displays document previews in a separate standalone window.

The SOLIDWORKS PDM File Viewer includes the same preview features as the Preview tab in File Explorer, using the appropriate viewer for the selected file type. For example, for SOLIDWORKS files, it uses the eDrawings® viewer, while for Microsoft® Office files, it uses the bundled Outside In® Viewer.

Since the Preview tab is only displayed for files in a SOLIDWORKS PDM vault, use the SOLIDWORKS PDM File Viewer to preview files not in a vault.

You can also use the SOLIDWORKS PDM File Viewer to view vault files.

Using the Edit command, you can mark up the files in their native applications.

For Standard vaults, the Preview is limited only to SOLIDWORKS files, DWG/DXF files, and eDrawings files.
The preview in the SOLIDWORKS PDM File Viewer warns if a file such as a drawing needs to be rebuilt because of changes to a part or assembly. If you open the same file in the standalone eDrawings viewer, there is no warning. The standalone eDrawings viewer opens the file as it was last saved. Always save all files that reference a part or assembly if the part or assembly changes.