How to Rename a SolidWorks File

When managing SolidWorks files, you’re probably tempted to organize, move, and rename each file using typical Windows conventions. Actions like “Right click, Rename,” “Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V” and “Drag and Drop” are indelibly hardwired into my brain. This is fine when it comes to some files, like the text file you made yesterday when you needed to jot down the number to the new pizza place around the corner. However, when it comes to other files–like SolidWorks files that may be linked to by other files–this is not okay.

For example, consider your typical SolidWorks drawing file. Your drawing views might reference either a part or an assembly–how is this reference made and maintained? SolidWorks stores the file location of the referenced part/assembly within the drawing file. It immediately looks to that specific location to retrieve up-to-date information about that part/assembly. If, for instance, you renamed a file named ‘Pulley.sldprt’ stored in C:/SolidWorks Parts/Prototypes to ‘old pulley.sldprt’ using the Windows means of doing so (like right-clicking on the file in a Windows Explorer window and clicking “Rename” under “Delete”), the SolidWorks drawing file would have no idea where to look. You’ll get messages like the one displayed below if you do this:

browse or suppress



For this very reason, SolidWorks provides an in-Shortcut menu bar for convenient access within these Windows Explorer windows.or image


As you can see in the above picture, the process to safely and responsibly rename a SolidWorks file is as follows: Right click, SolidWorks, Rename. Upon clicking Rename, the following SolidWorks Explorer window should appear:


rename doc


You can rename the file by editing the “To:” field. Having “Update where used” checked is important, because it instructs SolidWorks to update the file reference held by files that are looking to this part for information. You can also include virtual components in your search for references.

Hope this helps solve any associative issues you may be having. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me in Prism Engineering’s SolidWork Tech Support department

~ Sean O’Neill

Applications Engineer



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