Every company out there utilizes a variety of software tools to get every day work done, from design to scheduling to email. For engineers, SolidWorks is a tool that they can spend upwards of 60 hours a week in, so why not make SolidWorks a communication hub and information resource for these hard working people?
Here’s an easy way to customize the SolidWorks Task Pane to make this essential tool work even harder for you, and give you a method to link users to company-specific resources and information. The secret is… it’s just a ‘web page’!
Customizing the Task Pane is extremely simple because it’s simply based on an HTML file. The original version provided by SolidWorks uses some nifty Java Script to make the panes open and close, so if you are familiar with this coding language, the integration can be even tighter, but any cursory HTML skills are all that is required.
If you browse to your SOLIDWORKS INSTALLATION DIRECTORY\SolidWorks\data\taskpane\ you will find a folder called “solidworks resources”. Inside there is a simple but elegant HTML file called: “SWRESOURCES.HTML”.
If you double click ‘swresources.html’, it will even open in a web browser.
By editing this file in a web design tool, or by simply opening it up in NOTEPAD, you can add HTML code to it and customize the Task Pane to include anything you like.
If you are skilled, a little copy/paste and some editing may be all you need. I copied the ‘frame’ code so that the formatting matched the existing menus, but then added my own HTML code from our corporate website.
I use my Task Pane to list quick links to support pages or the DASI HelpDesk. I encourage companies to add links to their internal resources like Company Dashboards or Calculation and Conversion Tools and specification documents or electronic catalog storage. If work done needs to be logged on a Time Sheet, why not make a link from directly inside the design tool to access the Time Sheet program? The possibilities are endless…
In just a short time you can easily turn the Home Tab of the SolidWorks Task Pane from this:
Darin J. Grosser
Engineer – CSWE – Elite AE
DASI Solutions, LLC