Setting up your Composer file for sharing

I’ve heard this, or a similar, question many times over the years. “I sent a coworker my Composer file but when they open it in the Player, they don’t see the same thing I do. Why is that?”  What I want to talk about are a few easy to overlook settings in Composer that help you control what the user experiences when they open your Composer document.

For example, here is my file opened on my computer in SOLIDWORKS Composer. It has the model exactly the way I want it to open for any user.  So, I save and close the file.

, Setting up your Composer file for sharing

Here is the same file opening in the Composer Player. Notice anything different? The view orientation is different and it looks like some components are missing.  Simply put, it’s not the same image as above.

So, what’s going on here?

This is because Composer has two distinct modes, View Mode and Animation Mode. We have a choice which mode is activated when a Composer file is opened. If we open the document in SOLIDWORKS Composer, the exact same thing happens.  It’s not the view orientation I want and some components are missing.

This behavior lets us know it’s not a “Composer vs. the Player” issue, but it has to do with the file itself. Notice the icon in the upper left corner of the graphics window? The file is opening in Animation Mode. Remember that Animation Mode has it’s on properties for view orientation, components visibility, etc. and are controlled by the Keys in the Animation Timeline.

, Setting up your Composer file for sharing

What we need to do is set the file to open in View mode. Thankfully, it’s very easy to do. All we do is go to File, Properties, Document Properties, Project and select View Mode. That’s it, one check box but it’s very easy to overlook.

, Setting up your Composer file for sharing

The important thing to understand is this change is only for this active Composer document. If you would like all your Composer documents to open in View Mode, make this change to the Default Document Properties as well. Understand that any change to the Default Document Properties will only apply to new files translated into SOLIDWORKS Composer.

Let’s open the file again and you can see it now opens in View Mode. So, what does this mean? We’re getting closer.

The final change is setting the View the file opens to. That’s easily accomplished by dragging the desired view to the “front of the line” of all the views; the upper left most position in the View Pane. By the way, did you know that all Views are reordered this way?  If there’s a specific sequence to your Views, drag and drop them into that order.

When it’s all said and done, it came down to two simple changes. Setting the document to open in View Mode and choose the View you’d like it to open with.  These tips will put you in control of how your Compose files now open.

Kris Dubuque
Field Technical Services Manager
Computer Aided Technology, Inc.



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