SOLIDWORKS, PDM

PDM Column Views: How to Create and Share with Your Team

By Keith Thompson on October 25, 2019

Have you ever wondered, “how do I change the information displayed about the files in the SOLIDWORKS PDM Vault view?” Maybe you’d like to see the information that’s available on the data card, but it’s not shown in the file view or a different set of information on the Bill of Materials than what’s shown. SOLIDWORKS PDM displays the information that you see about the files in the vault using COLUMNS.

Columns in SOLIDWORKS PDM

Columns provide a way to control how file data is displayed in the Windows File Explorer, search results and Bill of Materials (BOMs) views. The default columns in the PDM file view cannot be changed, but they can be rearranged and you can add new columns of information to the set.

These are the different types of columns that you can customize:

  • File list: Creates additional data card variable value columns to the file listing in Windows Explorer.
  • Search result: Creates search result column listings in the search tool.
  • Bill of Materials (BOMs): The column lists that are displayed on the BOMs tab in File Explorer
PDM
(Click to enlarge)
Value and Benefits of Customizing Columns in PDM

Columns are used to customize the display of files in a PDM Vault. These can be customized for each user, or they can be created and shared by multiple users for a common view of information in the PDM Vault.

Customizing columns in PDM enables system users to::

  • Display specific information that they need to see in the File Explorer
  • Create BOMs views that can be exported to Excel for various functions
  • Create specific search cards for different group of users
  • Maintain consistent column views for multiple users

How to Setup and Customize Column Views

File List Column Set

  1. Log into the Administration tool as a user with permission to update columns.
  2. Right-click columns and select new column set.
  3. In the customizable columns dialog box, type the column set name.
  4. From type, select file list.
  5. Under columns, click new column.
  6. Under selected column:
File list column set(Click to enlarge)
    1. From variable, select the data card variable or system variable (enclosed in < >) whose value should be displayed. (The variable name you select appears in the Name field).
    2. If you want a different name to appear to users, modify name.
    3. Specify the alignment of the column value and the default width of the column.
    4. Select how configurations should be searched for the variable: Look for variable in all configurations or look for variable in given list of configurations

    7. Repeat steps 5 and 6 to add more columns.
    8. Use the preview field to see how the columns will be displayed in Windows Explorer.
    9. Under users or groups, select the users or groups that will see the column set.
    10. Click OK.

Search Result Column Set

  1. Log into the administration tool as a user with permission to update columns.
  2. Right-click columns and select new column set.
  3. In the customizable columns dialog box, type the column set name.
  4. From type, select search result.
  5. Under columns, click new column.
  6. Under selected column:
    1. From variable, select the data card or system variable whose value should be displayed in the column. (The variable name you select appears in the Name field).
    2. If you want a different name to appear to users, modify name.
    3. Specify the alignment of the column value and the default width of the column.
  1. Repeat steps 5 and 6 to add more columns.
  2. Click OK.

Bill of Materials Column Set

  1. Log into the administration tool as a user with permission to update columns.
  2. Right-click Bills of Materials and click new Bill of Materials.
  3. In the Bill of Materials dialog box, type the Bill of Materials name.
  4. Select the template Type.
  5. Under columns, click new column.
  6. Under Selected column:
Bills Column(Click to enlarge)
    1. Select the data card or system variable whose value should be displayed in the column. (The default variable name you selected appears in the Name field).
    2. If you want a different name to appear to users, modify name.
    3. Specify the alignment of the column value and the default width of the column.
    4. For data card variables (not system variables), select how configurations should be searched to locate the variable, or define a link attribute by selecting look for variable in reference specific values.

7. Repeat steps 5 and 6 to add more columns.
8. Use the preview field to see how the columns will be displayed in File Explorer or Item Explorer.
9. Under users and groups, select the users and groups to have access to the BOM template and assign rights.
10. Click OK.

Who Can Setup Columns and Where is This Permission Controlled?

Columns PDMAny user granted Administrative Permission is permitted to create, modify or remove Column sets. This permission is set in the PDM Administration Tool by an Admin User and can be assigned to an individual or group.

As you can see, the process of customizing your columns in SOLIDWORKS PDM should be quick and easy if you follow the steps we provided above.

(Click to enlarge)                                

If you would like to take a deeper dive into this subject, we encourage you to check out our on-demand webinar, PDM Column Views, How to Create & Share With My Team.

View Webinar