Linking Files in Enterprise PDM Using “Paste as Reference”

Enterprise PDM does a fantastic job maintaining part references for assembly files, but what about all of those other file types? Enterprise PDM is capable of storing a wide variety of documents, not just CAD data, and it is just important to control and reference those documents as if they were part of the assembly as well. Since the files may not be used in the actual assembly, we are allowed to create our own reference links to any file that we would like. This is called “Paste as Reference”.

The process itself is almost exactly the same as a standard Copy/Paste inside of Windows. In this example we will be taking a SolidWorks assembly that has an assembly document created for it, and link the assembly and its document together inside of Enterprise PDM. First, I start with my assembly document, “Assembly Instructions.docx”.

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Since this document is explaining the assembly of the Lego man, we want to reference the Lego man assembly to this document. In order to change the references of this document, we must make sure that it is checked out (Because we’re modifying it). Next, we will Copy the file that we are going to add as a reference. In this case it is “Lego_Man.sldasm”. We can select the “Lego_Man.sldasm” file and either RMB and select “Copy” or simple press Ctrl+C.

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Now that we have the referencing file copied, we can attach it as a new link to our document, much like assigning a part to be linked to an assembly. If we go back to “Assembly Instructions.docx”, we can choose to paste “Lego_Man.sldasm” as a reference. To do so, I will RMB on “Assembly Instructions.docx” and choose “Paste as Reference”.

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You will then be prompted for the pasting options. The two options are to paste the file as a reference, and to have the file included in the Bill of Materials that Enterprise PDM provides. Click OK.

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Now when we check “Assembly Instructions.docx” back into the vault, we can see that it now contains the “Lego_Man.sldasm” as a reference.

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If at any point we would like to remove or modify “Lego_Man.sldasm” as a reference in “Assembly Instructions.docx”, we can check out “Assembly Instructions.docx”, activate the “Contains” tab, and choose “Custom References”.

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In conclusion, the steps to add references to a file are as follows;

  1. Check out the top level file to have the references added in.
  2. Copy the file that you would like to reference.
  3. Right Mouse Click on the top level file and choose “Paste as Reference”.
  4. Check the top level file back into the vault.

Please feel free to comment if you have any questions!

  • The InFlow Technology Technical Team

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