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How to Use PDM Copy Tree

SOLIDWORKS PDM has a specific tool for creating copies of files with references to create a second instance unrelated to the original. The Copy Tree tool is like SOLIDWORKS Pack and Go except Copy Tree contains file management tools specifically for use with SOLIDWORKS PDM. Using Copy Tree to copy and rename a file in PDM records the new relative location of the associated files when they are checked in. This applies to relationships between assemblies, subassemblies, drawings, and parts.

If you need to move a file or entire file structure within PDM to a new folder or multiple new folders without creating copies, you can use SOLIDWORKS PDM Move Tree.

CAUTION! SOLIDWORKS Pack and Go should never be used for files within SOLIDWORKS PDM. Pack and Go only copies files which are cached locally and does not consider PDM file versions.

Copy Tree is available from the Tools dropdown list in the File Explorer of the Local Vault View

How to Use PDM Copy Tree

The top of the Copy Tree dialog contains the following options:

1. Default Destination is the location to copy files. The destination can be set to a specific folder inside or outside PDM.


2. Settings contain options to select which file version to copy, include simulation or drawings, name drawings after their models, preserve the relative file paths, and regenerate serial numbers.

Versions to use:

  • Latest – Will perform the copy with the latest version of every file listed.
  • Referenced – Will perform the copy with whatever version of the file is referenced by the version top-level file which is being copied.


Copy Type:

  • Files – output just the files to the destination location.
  • Compressed Archive – output the files into a compressed .zip that will later need to be unzipped to utilize the files. 



  • Include simulation – will perform the copy with any referenced simulation results included.
  • Include drawings – will perform the copy with any referenced drawings included. 
  • Name drawings after their models – will name any copied drawing to match the name of the model it is referenced to. 
  • Preserve relative paths – copies the subfolder structure for each default file location to the destination location. 
  • Regenerate serial numbers in cards – if serial numbers are used in data cards, this will copy the next serial number in sequence to the new cards.


3. Transform options contains options to add a prefix or suffix to the copied files or replace a specific text string within the file name. All three options can be used together. 

copy tree dialog box

The center of the dialog lists the files to be copied and the associated references. Use the Copy column to mark which files will be copied.

Right-clicking a column header will display a list of columns to display. Columns can also be reordered left-click and dragging the column header to a new position. In the image below, the dialog has been configured manually to display only the columns shown. Rows with changes will be highlighted in yellow.

In this example, the Target File Name contains the custom prefix NEW_ for the files selected to copy.

target file name

The bottom of the dialog contains options to Check-in on Copy with a Comment and Total to Copy, which summarizes the number of files to be copied based on the selections.

copy tree total to copy

Copied files are treated as new files with a new History specific to the copied file.

new history to copied file
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