Automatically clearing Copy Tree data variables in SOLIDWORKS PDM

Article by Andrew Lidstone, CSWE updated May 23, 2016


An existing file set can be duplicated, perhaps to be re-used as a starting point for a new project, within the SOLIDWORKS PDM Vault using the Copy Tree command.

However an issue that may come up is that the source files that the Copy Tree is performed on most likely contain certain project specific information, and revision values that are already written to their data card variables.

For example let’s use Copy Tree to create a copy of a ‘Base’ assembly shown in the figure below:

Copy Tree

Copy Tree command selected

The referenced assembly files are selected automatically by the Copy Tree tool as shown below:

Copy Tree Dialog

Copy Tree Dialog

When the copy is complete you can see in the figure below that the copied assembly data card includes the original variable values such as assy number, revision, description etc.

Copied file metadata

Copied file metadata

After the files have been copied, it can be a time consuming, and potentially error filled process to manually clear all of these data card variables.

Automatically clearing Copy Tree data variables

Thankfully, we can specify which data card variables should automatically have their variables cleared when the Copy Tree command is performed.

This is set by going to the PDM Administration console, right-clicking on the Users node and selecting “Settings”.

In the Settings dialog:

  1. Pick Copy Tree from the list
  2. Click on the Add… button to add a file type, you can simply leave the default value of *.* to have the same settings affect all file type, or if different data card variables are being populated for different file types, you can create a unique list of variables to update for each file extension.
  3. Click the Add Variable button and then specify the variable that should be changed by the Copy Tree.  Leave the Value field blank to simply have that variable be cleared.
  4. Pick OK to finish

Next time you use Copy Tree the variable[s] will follow the instructions you entered in the SOLIDWORKS PDM Admin settings.

Copy Tree Copy Tree data variables

Copy Tree Settings

Learn more about SOLIDWORKS PDM

Attend our SOLIDWORKS PDM Administration training course to learn more about administering SOLIDWORKS PDM either online, in-class, or on-site at your office.

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Andrew Lidstone, CSWE

Andrew Lidstone is a SOLIDWORKS Elite Application Engineer specializing in Data Management systems. He has been working in the SOLIDWORKS reseller channel since 2010 helping clients get the most from their CAD tools.