Danish Shaikh Jun 6th, 2019

Did you know that SOLIDWORKS PDM has a similar functionality just like SOLIDWORKS Pack and Go? It is called as Copy tree. Copy tree also offers file management capabilities that are specifically built for SOLIDWORKS PDM. Today, in this blog, we cover differences between Copy Tree and Pack and Go and the features of Copy tree.

Where you can find it?

To access Copy tree feature, go into the vault view, under Tools —-> Copy tree.


If you are working outside the vault, you don’t have any option other than using Pack and Go. But if you are working inside the PDM environment, take the advantage of inbuilt tool that is Copy tree that offers you much more capabilities other than maintaining references.

The major difference between both is that Pack and Go only copies the structure which is cached locally, it is not aware of the PDM vault or its architecture. This works great outside of the vault, but in the PDM vault you are not just working with files, but you are working with different versions of files and Pack and go does not understand the version concept of SOLIDWORKS PDM. Since SOLIDWORKS PDM stores every data in its database, Pack and Go does not have the ability to check information within the PDM database.

For example, in the image below,

If you use the pack and go feature for the given assembly, it will only see them as files are present in the vault and it will copy them, there is no proper way to check if they are the correct versions.

Using Copy Tree functionality

By using Copy tree feature, you  get the Version to Use tab, where you have the option to select the latest version of the file or the referenced version.

Understanding Copy Tree Interface

  • Default Destination:

The first option involves where exactly will the copied files go. Before doing any other operations, kindly insert the part where you want to copy your files to.

  • Settings

The options in settings are very similar to Pack and Go Functionality but also adds the PDM features to it.

  • Version to Use:
    • Latest: Files copied with latest versions in the vault.
    • Referenced: Referenced version, may/may not be the latest version, depending on which file it was referenced to.
  • Copy Type:

You can do a normal file copy or create an archive compressed zip.

There are other options too to include drawings, simulation results, regenerate serial number and preserver folder path.

  • Transform operations:

These operations include the functionality of adding a prefix or suffix to files and replacing from one value to another value. If you have SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional, you can also take the advantage of renaming files with the next available serial numbers for the specific files.

  • Filter:

You can search for the specific files using the Filter option, whether you want to copy the file or not to another location, or you can also use the filter operation to change their target location and names (by still maintaining the references). Using the filter options, you can also involve the functions of wildcard operations to search for specific value. (Supported wildcard operations are ?, *, %, -, ., “”)

  • Check-in on Copy:

You can check in the files with/without comment.


Kindly note that Copy Tree is available in both SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional and SOLIDWORKS PDM Standard. Also, you must be working during online mode to use this functionality. You cannot be in offline mode. So, the next time you want to reuse your design data, use the Copy tree feature. It will not only just copy the files to their destination but also maintain the references between them.

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AUTHOR: Danish Shaikh

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