How to publish SOLIDWORKS Composer content in a PDF document

Article by Vipanjot Kaur, CSWP updated November 6, 2018


SOLIDWORKS Composer content can be published in a PDF document in three different formats:

  • Universal 3D: This format displays as 3D data.
  • SMG: displays an SMG file in an embedded SOLIDWORKS Composer player.
  • Preview image: displays as a 2D image.

In this blog article I will talk about the steps of how to embed composer player file (3D content) inside an Adobe PDF (Reader).

STEP 1: Copy the adobe acrobat plug-in files from composer installation location to Adobe Reader/Acrobat installation folder:

We would need Adobe Acrobat plug-in to view the PDF files containing SOLIDWORKS Composer SMG enhanced content.This plug-in is automatically installed with SOLIDWORKS Composer or SOLIDWORKS Composer Player.

If your colleagues do not have composer or composer player installed on their machine they will not be able to view content in this PDF file. So, you will have to share this plug-in files with them, to view this PDF.

This add-in works with either Adobe Acrobat or Adobe Reader version 7.0.7 or later.

  • When we install Composer or Composer player, plug-in files composerplayercontrol.dll and composerplayerreader.api are installed along, in the composer installation directory < C:\Program Files\SOLIDWORKS Corp\SOLIDWORKS Composer\Plugins\acrobat\reader\plug_ins. This is default installation location.If you are using the writer then copy the files from writer folder.
  • Copy all the files to the adobe directory <C:\Program Files (x86)\Adobe\Acrobat Reader DC\Reader\plug_ins.
Composer Installation directory

Composer Installation directory

STEP 2: Publish to PDF

Now Go to File > Publish > PDF and select SMG (enhanced content) for embedded 3d file > Save.


Save as dialog box-options

STEP 3: Review the PDF

Now open the PDF file in Adobe Reader. Click on the image to start composer Player inside the PDF file.

If Composer Player window doesn’t start with PDF go to Edit > Preferences > Security (enhanced) > Deselect Enable protected mode at start up 

You can zoom, rotate, switch views and play the animation within PDF file.

PDF with SMG content

PDF with SMG content

Learn more about SOLIDWORKS Composer

Attend a SOLIDWORKS Composer training course either in a Canadian classroom near you or live online. For more information about composer software and training solutions call 1-877-219-6757.

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Vipanjot Kaur, CSWP

Vip is a Certified SOLIDWORKS Professional (CSWP) and is based in our Oakville Ontario head office.