How Pack and Go Finds Drawings

Have you ever been a room and some n00b clicks the “Include drawings” options from within Pack and Go?


“Wait! Wait!” Everyone in the room will shout…but the damage is done. There is nothing anyone can do but roll their eyes and scowl as everyone waits for Pack and Go to finally respond again.

Ever wonder why it takes so long?

First thing to realize is that a SOLIDWORKS part and assembly files do not know what files reference them. Like father’s day in <city name> no kids know who their daddy is. Since SOLIDWORKS cannot ask the files where their drawings are (or even if any drawings exists), SOLIDWORKS must look at every drawing trying to find one referencing one of the files in your Pack and Go list.

“Is one of these parts your child?” No? “Is one of these parts your child?” and the cycle continues and continues.

Certainly SOLIDWORKS cannot look at every single drawing file in the world, how does it decide where to look?

SOLIDWORKS will look in the following places:

  1. Through all directories specified in the Referenced Documents lists in Tools, Options under System Options File Locations
  2. In the same directory as the actual component itself
  3. In all the directories of any other component in the list you are copying

The order above really isn’t important. If more than one drawing references the part, they are all added to the list. If the drawing is not in one of these places, Pack and Go will not add the drawing to its list.

The longer the list of directories and the more drawings in those directories, the longer it can take Pack and Go to generate your list.

What can you do to speed things up? Limit the number of directories in your File Locations list or copy your files from your PDM system, where the drawings can be looked up in a database. Looking up information in a database is a lot faster than knocking on every door in the neighborhood asking: “Is this your kid?”

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