SOLIDWORKS Documents in File Explorer

File Explorer to see thumbnail images and tooltips that contain custom property information for SOLIDWORKS documents.

Typical tooltips in File Explorer list file properties for Type, Size, and Last Saved By. Drawing documents include Number of sheets.

When you open a SOLIDWORKS document in version 2018 and later, tooltips indicate the Last Open Time. The time displays in minutes and seconds, and is available for models that are opened directly from disk saved in SOLIDWORKS 2018. For assemblies opened in Lightweight mode, tooltips display Last LW Open Time. These file properties are helpful for managing your time when you have large data sets that are time consuming to open.

Last Open Time does not update in reference files when they are saved while open in memory. This property does update when the reference files are saved while open in their own window.

If you save custom property information in the Summary Information dialog box, the following properties appear in tooltips:

  • Description
  • Revision
  • Status

Viewing Thumbnail Images in File Explorer

To see thumbnail images:

  1. In File Explorer, open a folder with SOLIDWORKS documents.
  2. Click Change your view to change the size of the thumbnails.
    A thumbnail image displays of each SOLIDWORKS document in the folder.

    If you set up File Explorer to show preview images, a preview of the SOLIDWORKS document also appears when the document is selected.

    You can view thumbnail icons of SOLIDWORKS parts and assemblies in File Explorer. The graphic displays in an isometric view, zoomed to fit, with a white background. To enable this functionality, click Tools > Options > System Options > General, and select Show thumbnail graphics in Windows Explorer. See Document Properties - Image Quality for more information. The thumbnail images do not update when:
    • A file is saved without it being opened in its own window.
    • If the top-level assembly is saved, and those new files are saved externally.

    You may need to restart SOLIDWORKS and File Explorer to see the thumbnail icons in these applications.

Viewing Tooltips in File Explorer

To view a tooltip for a SOLIDWORKS document in File Explorer:

  1. In File Explorer, open a folder with SOLIDWORKS documents.
  2. Move the pointer over a SOLIDWORKS document.
    The tooltip displays.

Adding Columns to File Explorer for SW Open Time and SW Last Save With

You can add a column in the Details view of File Explorer to display SW Open Time, and you can identify files saved in earlier versions of the SOLIDWORKS software by adding a column for SW Last Save with.

To add columns for SW Open Time and SW Last Save with in File Explorer:

  1. Open a folder with SOLIDWORKS documents.

    The contents of that folder appear in the Details view of File Explorer.

  2. In the Details view, right-click on the header. Typically, the header displays columns for Name, Type, and Size. Then in the context menu, select More.

    The Choose Details dialog box appears.

  3. Under Details, scroll to SW Last Save With and SW Open Time. You can select one or both options.
  4. Click OK.

Opening a SOLIDWORKS Document from File Explorer

To open a SOLIDWORKS document from File Explorer:

Do one of the following:
  • Double-click the document name.
  • Right-click the document name and click Open.
  • Drag any document supported by the SOLIDWORKS software into an empty part of the SOLIDWORKS graphics area.

Opening a File Using the Open With Tool

You can use the Open with tool to open a CAD or SOLIDWORKS file through File Explorer. When you select the version of the SOLIDWORKS software, the file opens in a new instance.

To open the file in the same instance of the SOLIDWORKS software, right-click the file, click Open with, and select SOLIDWORKS Launcher.

Opening a File by Double-clicking or Clicking Open

You can open CAD or SOLIDWORKS files through File Explorer by double-clicking the file or by clicking Open in the file shortcut menu. The files open in the same or a new instance of the SOLIDWORKS software based on the default program associated to the file extension.

To open files in an instance of the SOLIDWORKS software:

  1. In the Windows Control Panel, click Programs > Default Programs > Associate a file type or protocol with a program.
  2. Set the default program for all CAD file formats:
    • To open in the same instance, set SOLIDWORKS Launcher (swShellFileLauncher.exe) as the default program.
    • To open a new instance, set the specific version of the SOLIDWORKS software as the default program.