Generate Item Dialog Box

You can create items from one or more vault files.

To display the Generate Item dialog box:

  • In Item Explorer, right-click an item folder and select New > New Item From File, or select an item folder and click New Item From File (toolbar). From the Select Files to Generate Items for dialog box, select one or more files and click Open.
  • In SOLIDWORKS PDM File Explorer, right-click one or more files and select Generate Item.

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 Generates items for a specific file configuration.
Generate for files only Generates items 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 from which to generate items.

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 used for item generation.

Expected operation result:
info Additional status information.
warning Warning conditions exist. Your administrator can configure which warnings block operations.
error Operation is blocked.

This column is blank if there are no warnings.

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, an item is generated for each configuration in the selected file. Click Generate for configurations to show or hide configurations.


BOM quantity.


Creates an item for the file or configuration. Clear the check box if you do not want to create an item for the file. Select Existing to link to an existing item.

This column supports bulk selection.


Links to an existing item instead of creating a new one. Type the item ID in the Item ID column.

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.

Item ID
New or existing item ID:
  • When Create is selected, Item ID contains the automatically generated item ID. To specify a different ID, click the ID and enter a value. The item ID must be unique.
    The item ID is read from a file data card variable or generated from a serial number depending on how your administrator has configured items. For example, item ID might be mapped to the Part Number data card variable. If a file has no part number, the item serial number generates the item ID.
    If you do not use the ID generated by the serial number, the ID is available the next time a new ID is required.
  • When Existing is selected, Item ID contains the item ID of the existing item. To link to a different item, click the ID and enter a new ID. As you enter, matching item IDs are displayed. Continue entering or select from the list.

The latest version of the file. All file links point to the latest version of the file, not the local (cached) version.

These options are available only when using Generate Item from SOLIDWORKS PDM File Explorer:

Open Generated Items

Displays the generated items in Item Explorer. You can also right-click any file with an associated item and select Browse to Item.

Destination Folder

Item folder in which new items are placed, the item root folder by default. Click Browse (...) to select a different folder or to create a new folder.

Shortcut Menu Options

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

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 Create, Existing, and Auto Update columns.

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

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 Create, Existing, or 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 Create, Existing, or 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.