Help! Why Do My Files Open ‘Read-Only’?

Four Simple Steps To A Solution

When working in SOLIDWORKS and Enterprise PDM, files can occasionally open in read-only mode, despite the fact that the file vault view indicates the file is checked out to the user. Because the user is expecting the file to be writable, they often won’t notice that the status of the file is read-only until they try to save or check in the file. At that point, any changes they’ve made to the file are usually lost. Losing work is always frustrating and we get several inquiries a month about this issue. If you are experiencing this, please consider the solutions discussed below.

Change Your System Options

The first thing to check is a system option in SolidWorks. In SOLIDWORKS, select Tools, Options, and then System Options. Once there, select External References and make sure “Open referenced documents with read-only access” is unchecked.

Use the EPDM Add-in to Check Out Files

When you check out and open a part, assembly, or drawing the referenced files are loaded into your computer’s memory as read-only. After a file has been checked out, any referenced files that subsequently need to be checked out should be done so using the SOLIDWORKS EPDM add-in rather than the file vault view. Checking out files in the Windows Explorer file vault view after the files were already loaded as read-only will not reload the files inside SolidWorks. However, by using the add-in to check out referenced files you ensure the file is reloaded into memory as writable. This is usually the most common cause of the issue. If you don’t have the add-in installed, please talk to your EPDM admin or call MCAD for some quick instructions on how to modify your installation.

Ensure the Workgroup PDM Add-in is Not Active

Having both the EPDM and Workgroup add-ins active at the same time can cause conflicts with check in and check out operations. Be sure that only the relevant add-in is active.

Ensure the Files aren’t Checked Out on another Workstation

Of the four discussed, this solution is the most uncommon. However, if the above three don’t solve the problem, consider this solution as well. Please verify that the files are actually checked out on the workstation where they are being modified. Occasionally, a user will need to check out files somewhere other than their main workstation. In this case, Windows Explorer indicates the file is checked out to the user, but a writeable copy of the file may not be in the local cache of the workstation they are currently using. Displaying the “Checked Out In” column in the Windows Explorer file vault view will show the computer on which the file is checked out.

If these solutions still do not resolve the issue please give us a call.

Post By: Andrew Bornstein