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SOLIDWORKS PDM 2017 can automatically Convert Microsoft Office files as PDF

Article by Andrew Lidstone, CSWE created/updated December 14, 2016

SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional 2017 has introduced a new Task that can save Microsoft Office documents as PDF. The Task is able to convert Word, Excel and PowerPoint files to PDF.

The system running the Task must have Microsoft Office 2010 or newer installed for the Task to work.  While SOLIDWORKS PDM 2017 is the first major release to include this functionality with its official launch, it is also available in SOLIDWORKS PDM 2016 SP4 and SP5.

SOLIDWORKS PDM Convert Office to PDF

SOLIDWORKS PDM Convert Office to PDF

Office to PDF Task Implementation

To get started with the SOLIDWORKS PDM Convert Office to PDF task you will need to follow these steps to import the SWPDFTaskAddIn, and the Task itself.

Step 1. Right-click on the vault name in the SOLIDWORKS PDM Administration program and select “Import…” from the shortcut menu:

Import Task

Import Task

Step 2.  Browse to the SOLIDWORKS PDM installation folder (probably located at C:\Program Files\SOLIDWORKS 2017\SOLIDWORKS PDM\) and go into the folder “Default Data”.

Office To PDF file

Office To PDF file

In that folder, select the Office_To_PDF_gb.cex file and click open.

Task Setup

Task Setup

This will import the SWPDFTaskAddIn and the Office to PDF task.

Step 3.  On the system or systems that will serve as the Task Host for the DraftSight To PDF conversion task, right-click on the SOLIDWORKS PDM icon in the Windows Taskbar and select the “Task Host Configuration”.  Check the box to Permit the Task to run on that computer.

Task Host Configuration

Task Host Configuration

Office to PDF Task Options

The Office to PDF task is fairly similar to the existing SOLIDWORKS Convert Task in PDM.  All the same control options are available for the Office to PDF Task as are in the default Convert Task.

Just like the SOLIDWORKS Convert Task in 2017, the Office to PDF Task also supports using Variables from Data Cards to build the output filename.

One additional configuration screen is the “Office Options” screen, which has 3 tabs, one for each document type as shown below

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Andrew Lidstone, CSWE

Andrew is a SOLIDWORKS Elite Applications Engineer and is based in our Dartmouth, Nova Scotia office.

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