How to access “Where Used” functionality without SOLIDWORKS PDM

Article by TriMech Solutions, LLC updated October 4, 2022

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Do you have a SOLIDWORKS part file that you need to see all the places where it is being used? With SOLIDWORKS PDM this would be an easy operation but what if you do not have SOLIDWORKS PDM? In this blog I am going to show you how to see where SOLIDWORKS Part files and Subassemblies are used all within your windows files explorer using the where used function.

In order to show this, I am going to be using this part file shown below, Where Am I Used.SLDPRT, that is being used in an undisclosed number of assemblies and drawings. We are going to use core SOLIDWORKS tools to find where the part file is being used.

Example SOLIDWORKS part file

Example SOLIDWORKS part file

Select a Folder or Drive for Searching

The first step is to go to the file location of the part or subassembly where you want to find out where it is being used. Right click the file and go SOLIDWORKS > File Locations.

SOLIDWORKS File Locations Command

SOLIDWORKS File Locations Command

A window call File Locations will then appear. In the File Locations window click Add… Also, choose to include subfolders as well as include SOLIDWORKS File Locations -> Referenced Documents folders.

Files locations dialog

Files locations dialog

A “Browser For Folder” window will then appear. Select a folder you want to search through to see where the part is being used and click OK. I am selecting my main folder the Data D: drive in this example so it searches through all my folders on that drive.

Select folder to search

Select folder to search

Click OK.

Search Folder / Drive Selected

Search Folder / Drive Selected

From here, Right Click on the part or subassembly file again and this time go to SOLIDWORKS > and either RenameReplace… or Move.

Rename, Replace or Move

Rename, Replace or Move

Where Used Locations

In this example I chose Replace…once selected a new window will appear and the program will begin searching through the selected folder in the previous step for where the file is used. Once completed the file Names and the paths of where the file is used will appear in the Where Used area.

Where Used locations shown

Where Used locations shown

As shown, the ‘Where am I Used.SLDPRT’, is used in three separate locations. Two assemblies and one drawing.

If you have a general idea of where your part is being used, make sure you narrow the search folder down to a more centralized location rather than using a Drive folder like I did in this example. This will speed up your process in searching for files using the part.

Next time you are struggling finding where all the places a part file or a subassembly are being used, hopefully you will remember this tip and will find it with ease. Again, this is for users without PDM. PDM has its own built-in functionality that can easily show you a treehouse view of where your files are used and being used.

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TriMech Solutions, LLC

TriMech provides thousands of engineering teams with 3D design and rapid prototyping solutions that work hand-in-hand, from sketch to manufacturing. Javelin became a subsidiary of TriMech Solutions LLC in 2021.