SOLIDWORKS Composer File Open Options for importing geometry

Article by Justin Flett updated November 9, 2016


When creating a new SOLIDWORKS Composer file you may notice a few different options for opening your 3D CAD files.  The three options on the right-hand side of the Open dialog are “Open”, “Merge into the current document” and “Merge into a new document”.  In this article we will review each of the SOLIDWORKS Composer File Open Options and the important differences between them.

File Open Option: ‘Open’

Using this option will throw all components directly in the root folder as the image below illustrates.  This is of course an acceptable method however if you plan on adding more and more components or actors to this project, it may become difficult to distinguish which components belong to which groups and so forth.  If you’d like a more structured system, we generally suggest using merge into a new document as your projects will become more structured as we will outline below


Composer Open

File Open Option: ‘Merge into a new document’

The ‘merge into a new document’ option is very similar to the ‘open’ option, but with some slight differences.  Instead of throwing the actors directly into the root assembly tree it will generate a new sub-root within the full project root.  This may help keep your files more organized in the assembly tree for larger projects.  It is similar to using sub-assemblies within a SOLIDWORKS assembly.


Composer Merge into New

File Open Option: ‘Merge into current document’

The option to ‘merge into the current document’ does exactly as it states, it adds new components into your current project.  If merge into a new document was used for the original project creation, a new sub-root will be created for each new component or assembly added to the project (again, potentially improving the organization of your project).


Composer Merge into Current

If however ‘Open’ was used to create the project originally, no sub-root folder will be created for newly inserted components and the actors will be thrown into the top level root with all other actors as seen in the figure below:


Composer Merge into new when original file was created by ‘open’

Although there can be arguments for both methods of creating projects and adding new components, I generally prefer to use ‘Merge into a new document’ over using ‘Open’ to help improve my assembly tree organization.

Learn more about SOLIDWORKS Composer

To learn more about Composer we invite you to attend a SOLIDWORKS Composer Essentials training course either in a Canadian city near you or live online.

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Justin Flett