PDM Preview Tab Display Options
The preview tab in the SOLIDWORKS PDM local vault view is primarily used to preview a selected file. By default, the preview tab is split into a graphical file preview on the left and a card preview with PDM variable values on the right. There are a few options to change the appearance of the preview tab.
Turn Off Card Preview
For users who rely on the data card to display the PDM variables/metadata about the files, then the card preview can be turned off to expand the graphical preview to fill the entire preview tab region by selecting Display > Card Preview to activate or deactivate the checkmark.
Alternatively, the File Preview can be turned off all together to only display the card preview with PDM variables by selecting Display > File Preview.
Activating Controls for eDrawings Preview
By default, the preview for CAD files uses eDrawings. The default option, however, only shows the graphics with no eDrawings controls for measure, move, section view, properties, etc. A toolbar with common eDrawings tools can be activated by selecting Display > Options > Show full UI in SOLIDWORKS preview.
Displaying a Bitmap Preview - Performance Enhancement
By default, when the preview tab is selected, PDM must cache the file locally before the preview is displayed. For large files, updating the local cache can be time consuming, especially when all you want is a preview of the file. To improve preview time, PDM can be configured to display a static Bitmap image of the file as the initial preview, which displays much faster than waiting for the file to be cached.
You can still activate the eDrawings preview for full preview functionality by clicking Show Preview eDrawings button in the upper section of the preview window, though now you must wait for the file to be cached locally.
Note, prior to PDM 2022, you had to click the thumbnail preview image to access the eDrawings preview.
Additional PDM Resources
Share these quick tips with your team to help them get the most out of the PDM preview tab to fit their needs.
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About the author
Rick is a Customer Service Expert based in the Phoenix, Arizona. He has been using SOLIDWORKS to solve complex design challenges since 2007. Rick’s experience includes sheet metal design and fabrication, CNC laser operation, developing components and engineered systems for the transportation industry, as well as CAD administration for SOLIDWORKS and PDM. He enjoys providing solutions to satisfy customers and assist their users in becoming proficient SOLIDWORKS users.