SOLIDWORKS 2016 What’s New – Renaming Components in the FeatureManager Design Tree – #SW2016

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The SOLIDWORKS 2016 FeatureManager Design Tree is your main access point for everything in your SOLIDWORKS part or assembly document. One limitation in a SOLIDWORKS assembly has been the ability to rename components on the fly. The workaround was to go to Tools-Options-External References and uncheck "Update component names when documents are replaced."

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But even with that option unchecked, all you were really doing was manually overriding the component name inside the SOLIDWORKS assembly. The actual part document file name renamed the same. This could very easily cause major issues down the line if you forgot about this manual change or someone else was working on your files later on. Well, in SOLIDWORKS 2016, this issue has been addressed. You can now rename components directly in the SOLIDWORKS 2016 FeatureManager design tree. How do you do that?

How to Rename Components in the SOLIDWORKS 2016 FeatureManager Design Tree

First, locate the component that you want to rename in an open assembly document. Then there are three ways to do the same thing:

  1. Slow double click (Click-pause-click) on the component name in the FeatureManager Design Tree.
  2. Right-click the component and select Rename Part. (Note: You can do the same thing to the top level assembly as well. The menu choice will be Rename Assembly instead of Rename Part.)
  3. Click on the component name in the FeatureManager Design Tree and then press the F2 key on your keyboard.

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All three of these ways allows you to edit the name of the component. The name of the component will highlight as it changes into a modifiable text field.

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Once you type in a new name and click Enter, a dialog box appears so that you confirm that you want to rename the document.

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The file name of the component changes in memory. All currently open documents that reference the renamed file are updated to reference the new file name. Note that this is a temporary name change. The name change won't be made permanent until you save the assembly. When you click Save to save the assembly, you can update references in unopened documents at the same time.

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Click Save All. Next the Rename Documents dialog box appears. In the Rename Documents dialog box, you have the option to update referenced documents that are not currently open by checking Update where used references.

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When you click OK, the name change is no longer temporary. The file names have all been changed permanently.

We hope this part of the What’s New series gives you a better understanding of the new features and functions of SOLIDWORKS 2016. Please check back to the CATI Blog as the CATI Support Team will continue to break down many of the new items in SOLIDWORKS 2016. All of these articles will be stored in the category of "SOLIDWORKS What's New." You can also learn more about SOLIDWORKS 2016 by clicking on the image below to register for one of CATI’s Design Summit’s.

Neil Bucalo, CSWP, CSWS-MD
Computer Aided Technology

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