December 28, 2023

SOLIDWORKS PDM is a document management product based on the client/server architecture. Do note that SOLIDWORKS PDM has two types, PDM Standard and PDM Professional.

In this blog, we will be looking at the options page of SOLIDWORKS PDM Tool, where you can customize your SOLIDWORKS PDM add-in interface and settings.

If you are a SOLIDWORKS PDM user with PDM Client installed, you will be familiar with the SOLIDWORKS PDM Add-in which gives access to the vault in SOLIDWORKS. An extra task pane tab on the right of your screen will also be added by default.

This extra tree pane tab can be changed or set via the Options of the SOLIDWORKS PDM tool in the main menu.

However, this Options window is located deep within the menus and is not well know among the average SOLIDWORKS PDM user.


Refer below screenshot for accessing the SOLIDWORKS PDM Add-in Options:



  Option for the PDM vault tree pane location:


-Choose where to have the PDM tree pane located or hide it completely.

-The server tab page also contains settings to hide/show messages, cards and updating your PDM vault tree display.

-For SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional users, here is where you can also define Serial number set to be used for your new Part/Assembly/Drawing files under Vault settings.


PDM Display icons & Background colours:


-If you are always confused about the icons and background colours beside the file names, the entire list of icons, their meaning behind its status and any background colours are displayed here.


The term ‘local file’ seen refers to the current or ‘get’ version of the cache file you are holding on your computer and may not be the latest version of the file on the server vault. E.g. someone checked out the file and edited it.

Once the file is checked in, you can use “get latest version” to update your local file version. Proceed with a check-out, save and check-in to update the assembly’s version number to ensure the latest referenced version of the file is updated inside any assembly it is referenced.


Display information of the PDM tree pane:



-Columns of your client PDM tree pane can be customized here, e.g. Adding a Revision column or having the Revision alphabet shown beside the file name



Using the following display setting, add the information and variables you want in your SOLIDWORKS PDM tree from the drop-down menu:

  • Display as a node in the tree > Displays the selected variable within the file tree.
  • Display in preview > Adds the selected variable in the list area at the bottom
  • Display in a column of its own > Displays the selected variable as an additional column in the SOLIDWORKS PDM tree.
  • Caption > Type the column header name to be displayed.
  • Display as part of the file name column > Displays the information/variable within brackets as part of the file name.
  • Brackets > Choose a bracket style to display an information/variable in the File/Variable column, e.g. {X}, [X].



If you have any queries or would like to discuss implementing SOLIDWORKS PDM in your company, feel free to drop us an email at