How to use the Design Binder to attach related documents to your Parts and Assemblies

Article by Mehdi Rezaei, CSWE updated August 4, 2016


Did you know that you can attach related documents to your SOLIDWORKS model all in one file?

Yes, that is true. Microsoft Word or PDF files can be attached to Design Binder folder which appears in the FeatureManager design tree. This folder allows you to include documents with related notes to both part and assembly files. The following image shows where the Design Binder can be found and the default embedded file included in the binder:

Design Binder Folder

Design Binder Folder in FM Tree

What if the SOLIDWORKS design binder folder is missing?

If the SOLIDWORKS Design Binder is not shown in the FeatureManager design tree, you can display it from Tools > Options > System Options > FeatureManager > Design Binder. The Design Binder is set to appear in the FeatureManager Tree by default, however, if is hidden, select “Show” on drop-down to ensure the folder is visible at all times.

Show Design Binder

Show Design Binder

The Design Journal

The SOLIDWORKS Design Journal has headings for File Name, Description and Material. These fields are linked to document properties and updated whenever the journal is opened. Alternatively, these fields can be populated manually in the MS Word file as shown in the figure below:

Design Journal Added info

Design Journal Headings

Add Attachments

The documents under the Design Binder folder can be opened from within SOLIDWORKS by right-clicking on the document and selecting “Open” from the shortcut menu. Other documents such as PDF files can also be attached to the file by right-clicking on the Design Binder and selecting “Add Attachment” from the shortcut menu.

Add Attachment

Add Attachment to Design Binder

Link to Original Document

On the left-hand corner of the attachment window by selecting “Link”, the design binder document will be linked to the original document. Therefore, any future changes in the original document will be captured in the design binder document.

Add Attachment dialog

Add Attachment dialog

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Mehdi Rezaei, CSWE

Mehdi is a Certified SOLIDWORKS Expert (CSWE) and works near Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada