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Automate File Exports with SOLIDWORKS Task Scheduler

A common process in SOLIDWORKS is to export completed/approved drawings as PDF files to communicate designs with non-CAD users or archive purposes. With multiple drawings, this can be a very time-consuming task. The SOLIDWORKS Task Scheduler can automate many different tasks, including exporting to various file types, which is what this article will focus on. 

What can the SOLIDWORKS Task Scheduler Do?

The SW Task Scheduler lets you set up tasks to perform at a future time. You can use it with any SOLIDWORKS license to convert documents to the latest SOLIDWORKS version. To schedule other tasks, however, you must have a SOLIDWORKS Professional or Premium license. 

NOTE: SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional includes automated tasks to perform exporting of files to various file types, though this article will focus on how non-PDM users can benefit by using the SOLIDWORKS Task Scheduler. 

SOLIDWORKS Task Scheduler has several capapbilities:

Automate File Exports with Task Scheduler

Exporting Files

As mentioned before, this article will focus on the Export Files task. All the other tasks work basically the same way, so explaining one task will help you understand every other task.

The SOLIDWORKS Task Scheduler is a standalone application and must be opened from the Windows Start menu. Go to Windows Start icon > SOLIDWORKS version > SOLIDWORKS Tools > SOLIDWORKS Task Scheduler. Select the Export Files task on the sidebar. The Export Files dialog opens. 

Export Files
Export Files
  1. Under ‘Task title:’ enter a name for the task or leave the default. 
  2. Select the desired file type under Export file type. The following formats are available:  
    1. Dxf (*.dxf) 
    2. Dwg (*.dwg) 
    3. IGES (*.igs) 
    4. Adobe Portable Document Format (*.pdf) 
    5. STEP AP203 (*.step) 
    6. STEP AP214 (*.step) 
    7. JPEG (*.jpg) 
  3.  Select the files or folders you want to export: 
    1. To select files: 
      1. Under Task files or folders, click Add File. 
      2. Select the types of files to export in Files of type. 
        1. Available selections for DXF, DWG and PDF files: 
        2. Drawings (*.drw, *.slddrw) 
      3. Available selections for IGES and STEP: 
        1. Parts (*.prt, *.sldprt) 
        2. Assemblies (*.asm, *.sldasm) 
      4. Browse to the file you want to export, then click Open. 
      5. Repeat steps 1, 2, and 3 to select additional files.  
    2. To select folders: 
      1. Under Task files or folders, click Add Folder. 
      2. Browse to the folder that contains the files to export, then click Select Folder. 
      3. Under File Name or Type, click in the row that contains the folder you just added, then select the type of file to export. 
      4. Repeat steps 1, 2, and 3 to select additional folders. 
      5. If you do not want to include subfolders, clear Include subfolders. 
  4. Under Task output folder: 
    1. Select Same as original file, to save the exported files at the same location as the original files. 
    2. Or select This folder, to select a folder location where you want to save the exported files.  
  5. Under Task schedule, you can specify how often the task should run (Once, Daily, Weekly, or Monthly). Use Start time and Start date to define the start of the defined task. 
  6.  Click Options to set export options. Note that these options are different for each selected Export file type. 
  7.  Click Advanced if you want to change task options such as the Task working folder and time-out duration. 
  8.  If everything is defined as desired, you can click Finish. 

The task and its title, scheduled time, scheduled date, and status appear in the Tasks panel. The status of the task is Scheduled. 

SOLIDWORKS Task Scheduler
    • To run a scheduled task, your computer must be on at the scheduled start time. 
    • The SOLIDWORKS Task Scheduler window does not need to be open. 
    • If your computer is off at the scheduled start time, the task runs when you turn your computer on. 
    • At the scheduled start time, the task is initiated. 
    • If the task acts on more than one file, a sub-task is generated for each file. 
    • When the task completes, the status changes to Completed. 

This article has shown how SOLIDWORKS Task Scheduler can automate export tasks. We also want to encourage you to look at the other available tasks and see if this tool can allow your designers to spend more time focusing on design rather than repetitive tasks. 

Technical Support

If you have any questions or experience unexpected behavior, feel free to reach out to MLC CAD Systems technical support

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