Link Files to Item Dialog Box

You can add one or more file links to an item.

To display the Link Files to Item dialog box:

  • Select an item and click Link Files to Item (toolbar), or right-click an item and select Link Files to Item. Then, select files and click OK.
  • Drag one or more files from SOLIDWORKS PDM File Explorer onto an item in Item Explorer.

Toolbar Buttons

Some commands accessed from toolbar buttons are also available on the shortcut menu.

Next Warning / Previous Warning Only shown when warnings are present in the Warnings column.

In the file list, changes the focus to the next file with a warning or the previous file with a warning.

Clicking a warning icon expands the hierarchy if it is collapsed and the warning is on a referenced file.

Levels Displays file references for the entire file hierarchy (Show All Levels) or just the top level of the file hierarchy (Top Level Only).

The setting defaults to the most recent setting you used.

You can also expand or collapse the hierarchy using the and controls in the File name column.

Select Files Opens the Select Files dialog box, where you can specify a wildcard pattern to select files.
Open File List Open All opens a list of files in Microsoft Excel.
Open Visible opens a list of visible files in Microsoft Excel.
Save File List Export All exports the list of all files as a comma-separated .txt file.
Export Visible exports the list of visible files as a comma-separated .txt file.
Generate for configurations Lets you link an item to a specific file configuration.
Generate for files only Lets you link an item to a file independent of configurations.
Referenced Version Uses the attached version of the references.
Latest Version Uses the latest version of the references.

File List

The list contains the candidate files to link to.

To change the columns that are displayed, right-click any column heading and select columns to display them or clear columns to hide them.

You can sort the default and custom columns in tables in ascending, descending, or default order by clicking column headers. Column sorting is useful within large datasets. If you sort a column in ascending or descending order, the column is highlighted in green and an arrowhead appears. When you sort a column in a table, SOLIDWORKS PDM removes the file structure hierarchy. Sorting turns off Show Tree Lines and Show Reference Selection Control.

File name

Name of the file to link to.

Expected operation result:
info Additional status information.
warning Warning conditions exist. Your administrator can configure which warnings block operations.
error Operation is blocked.
To quickly locate files with warnings or errors, use the Next Warning and Previous Warning toolbar buttons or Ctrl + the up-arrow or down-arrow on the numeric keypad.
Configuration name

File configuration name. By default, a link is created to each configuration of the file. Click Generate for configurations to show or hide configurations.


BOM quantity.

Add link

Creates a link to the file. Clear to prevent creating a link.

This column supports bulk selection.

Auto Update

Automatically creates a new item version when a new version of the file is created. Clear Auto Update to disable auto updates.

This column supports bulk selection.


Latest version of the file to which you are linking. All links are to the latest version of the file, not the local (cached) version.

Shortcut Menu Options

Right-click in the file list to access these menu options:

Generate new ID Enables Auto Update for the selected file, automatically creating a new item version when a new version of the file is created.
Columns Lets you add or remove columns.
Show Reference Selection Controls For files with references (such as assemblies with parts), turns on an additional check box for the Add link and Auto update columns.

This check box lets you select or clear all check boxes at one.

If all check boxes are not in the same state, the added check box displays .

Select All Selects all files, so that you can check or clear the Add Link and Auto Update columns.
Select Files Displays a dialog box where you can specify wildcards to select a group of files. You can then use a single keystroke to check or clear the files in the Add Link and Auto Update columns.
Show Tree Lines Adds tree lines to the File name column.
Change Thumbnail Preview Size Changes the size of thumbnail previews as Small, Medium, or Large. By default, Medium is selected.
When you select the size in one table, SOLIDWORKS PDM sets the same size in applicable tables and on tabs. The thumbnail previews for non-SOLIDWORKS files may not be clear when you select Medium or Large.