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SolidWorks Composer Data Paths for Multi User Environment

When 2 or more SolidWorks Composer users want to share common styles and workshop profiles, it is best to store the standards on the network, or better yet in a SolidWorks Enterprise PDM Vault.

Though this may not ‘currently’ be as easy as setting paths to things like templates in SolidWorks, it is still a fairly simple procedure.

Add the New Data Path
The process starts by editing a simple XML file. This can be done with default tools like WordPad and Notepad. If you really want to retain the look and feel of an XML file while editing, you can download a free tool like Notepad ++.

  1. Open SolidWorks Composer.
  2. Go to FILE > PREFERENCES > DATA PATHS and click the BROWSE button next to the top path.
  3. EDIT the “DataPath.xml” file in your editor of choice (WordPad, Notepad ++).
  4. Change the only path listed in the “DataPath.xml” file to the location of your choice and then SAVE the changes.

    **ORIGINAL DataPath.xml

    **NEW DataPath.xml

  5. Back in SolidWorks Composer, browse back to the NEW DataPath.xml file and you will see the new path added to the User Profiles list as well as to all the PROFILES listed below.
  6. Now use the ‘New’ DataPath.xml file to point all of the users to the same location by browsing to it from each users SolidWorks Composer installation.

Best Practices with the New Location
Now it’s time to populate the new path with the profiles that will be the common standards moving forward. These includes styles for collaborative actors like arrows and labels as well as profiles for standardizing outputs from the technical illustration and high resolution image workshops.

NOTE: Even after the new path is set, any styles or new profiles a user creates will STILL go to the original path for that user.

Treat this as a ‘Sandbox’ so that many users can experiment with setting up styles and profiles without polluting the common location.

Once a style or profile has been perfected, a ‘gatekeeper’ can put it in the “NEW” location path for all other users to see and use.

To do so securely, follow these steps:

  1. Locate the Style or Profile from the user’s Original Path.
  2. Edit the Style or Profile in an XML Editor.File Types included .smgStyleSet, .smgHighResSet, .smgVectoSet… etc.
  3. FOR SECURITY, change the <Profile.Modifiable Value=”1″/> in each Style or Profile to read <Profile.Modifiable Value=”0″/>.  Value=”0″ makes this a LOCKED PROFILE indicated by the “LOCK” icon in the Profile List.
  4. Now simply copy the Style or Profile along with the accompanying .BMP of the same name in the case with collaborative actors to the “NEW” location.

All users should now have access to a standard and secure set of profiles the next time they start up SolidWorks Composer. This provides high level of consistency in documentation even in a multi user environment!

Darin GrosserDarin J. Grosser
Engineer – CSWE – Elite AE
DASI Solutions, LLC

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