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What is a Drawing Node in PDM?

Drawing Nodes are unique PDM file relationships that can affect how transitions operate when selecting file references. Within the SOLIDWORKS PDM Administration tool, at the bottom of each file type properties dialog, there is a text box where file extensions can be added to create a link as a Drawing Node. These drawing nodes will then be included in dialogs such as check-in, check-out, state change/transition, etc. 


File Types can be accessed in SOLIDWORKS PDM Administration tool > File Types, double-click a file type to open the properties. Enter a file extension into ‘This file type can have drawing nodes with the following extensions: 

What is a Drawing Node in PDM (1)

For SOLIDWORKS files, drawing nodes will be selected automatically and indented as a sub-parent reference with the text in blue as seen below. 

What is a Drawing Node in PDM (2)

How to Turn Off Selection of Drawing Nodes

The option to select drawing node references is turned on by default. It can be turned off for users or groups in SOLIDWORKS PDM Administration Tool > Users and Group Management > select a User or Group and right-click > Settings > Reference Dialog. De-select the Miscellaneous option ‘Select references that are defined as drawing noes during state change.’ Click OK to close the settings. 

What is a Drawing Node in PDM (3)

Drawing nodes will still be displayed as a sub-parent reference, though they will not be selected automatically for check-in, check-out, state change/transition, etc. 

What is a Drawing Node in PDM (4)

Which Files Can Have Sub-Parent References? (Drawing Nodes)

This sub-parent relation is intended to apply to SOLIDWORKS assemblies (.SLDASM) and part (.SLDPRT) files to reference their drawings (.SLDDRW). It is possible to enable the sub-parent references for other file types, though it is not recommended. PDM does not have logic to assign the links automatically, which can lead to unexpected behavior. For similar functionality with files other than SOLIDWORKS, you can use the ‘Paste as reference’ function instead of a drawing node. 


To learn more, read our guide PDM Paste as Reference

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