Customize the Preview Pane in Solidworks Enterprise PDM

Preview Feature

The preview feature at its core allows a user to select a file and view its contents without launching the native application and opening the file. This can be a benefit when searching for a specific item or when just looking to work faster. Perhaps a lesser known feature in Solidworks Enterprise PDM is the ability to customize this preview pane to use “other” applications beyond those supported by the default previewers.



Here is an example of how to customize Solidworks Enterprise PDM to use a specific application in the preview pane based on one or more file types provided. The steps required for this example may be different for each user based on their software installations and settings.

To get to the Preview Custom Settings, launch your EPDM Administration Tool, select a vault and expand it to see the design objects. Choose a user, all users or a specific Group to apply this customization to by expanding the lists as needed under the Group or User Categories. Right click your selection and choose settings and then select the viewers option at the bottom left of the window.


AVI Example

1. Install QuickTime (as needed)

2. Download and install codec(s) and reboot your pc as needed (You will likely need codec h264 for this example which is available for free on many sites)

3. Navigate to your viewers settings for the user(s) or group(s) in the EPDM Administration Tool.

4. Right click the <Add> button to create a new line item for your AVI file type.

5. Enter AVI in the top extensions field on the settings window and enter or browse to enter the path for the QuickTime application. Use the “>” button or type to add the %1% option at the end of the applications path.

6. Return to your Solidworks Enterprise PDM Vault view, add an AVI file to the vault and check it in.

Selecting the AVI file now should launch QuickTime and play the file in the preview pane.

Solidworks Enterprise PDM provides default previewers that will cover most if not all of your vaulted files. It’s great to know that options are available as well for special circumstances.

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