Is repetitive Custom Property insertion taking too long? Try the Property Tab Builder

Article by Vicky Guignard updated April 18, 2017


I am always surprised when I discover that a long time SOLIDWORKS user does not know about the SOLIDWORKS Property Tab Builder.

During training courses at Javelin, we always emphasize the importance of building strong standards across your teams. It helps to organize information input and facilitates tasks across the user base. One thing I see often in many industries are designers being too busy to create standards and share them with their teams. An example of that is custom property insertion, such as Description, Weight, Materials etc.

There is an easy way to create a list of user defined standard properties as a template that a SOLIDWORKS user will be presented with right in the SOLIDWORKS interface, the user can then input the values when a model is created, which eliminates the extra steps of select File > Properties, and then manually typing in property names and values.

Javelin has developed a specialized training course geared specifically towards the FASTEST WAY to input Custom Properties to all components of an assembly and how to utilize the Custom Properties tab to speed up your data insertion by at least 60%. Below are the steps to take to start your very first properties tab if you haven’t used it before.

To create the property tab, you will need to first create a new file inside of SOLIDWORKS. Then, go to the task pane on the right hand side.  The second to last tab is the location to create the property tab.

Create New Custom Properties

Create New Custom Properties

A new application window called the Property Tab Builder will pop up. The Builder is a stand-alone utility used for creating a customized interface for entering custom properties into SOLIDWORKS files.

  • The left column is a list of types of properties can be used.
  • The middle column is what will be shown in SOLIDWORKS when the property tab is ready.
  • The right column is the options/settings for each parameter.

When the entire middle column is highlighted (red outlined box), users can choose what type of template it is on the right hand side.  There are different template for different file types, (part, assembly, drawing, and weldment.)

SOLIDWORKS Property Tab Builder

SOLIDWORKS Property Tab Builder

By default, when you open the Property Tab Builder, a groupbox is automatically included in the middle column.  All the property types under groupbox have to go inside a groupbox.  Additional groupbox can be created by double-clicking or drag-drop onto the mat (middle column).  When a groupbox is highlighted, it can be either expanded or collapsed. When any of the boxes are selected, in this example, the textbox.

The caption on the right hand side is just the name which appears above the text input field. You can change this name for the actual property name which is stored in the model.  This is similar to manual input in the properties page in SOLIDWORKS.  A pre-defined value can be used. This will automatically setup the property with the value when a model is created.

Property Tab Builder overview

Property Tab Builder overview

When you are finished and all the properties are setup, the location where the file is saved needs to be known by SOLIDWORKS in order to use it. This is done the same way you would for your custom templates. But instead you’ll select the “custom property files” in System Options > File locations. Read our Property Tab Builder Templates article to learn more.

System Options

System Options

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Vicky Guignard

Vicky has been working in the CAD industry since 2010 and has a background in machine design and steel structure design. Vicky works closely with the Javelin sales team, helping to solve complex customer challenges utilizing the SOLIDWORKS product line. She is also an instructor for Javelin and delivers private, and public training in Western Canada, as well as online through Javelin's JOLT training. Vicky has been an Application Engineer with Javelin since 2014.