I was helping out a customer this week, and I noticed that he was using a side panel on the Task Pane that I’ve completely forgotten over the years. I frequently use the Task Pane for the Design Library, Appearances, Resources and the View Palette, but that was pretty much it. I was skipping over this tab, until the customer showed me all the custom properties in each part of his assembly with a single click of a button. I was so excited to start using this feature in SOLIDWORKS, but when I clicked on the tab all I saw was this…

Property Tab Builder

Up to this point, the only way I knew to add custom properties was to go to File -> Properties, and add Property Names to the Custom tab and Configuration Specific tabs.

Property Tab

But I had seen the light showing an easier way, so I followed the steps in SOLIDWORKS to create a property page using the Property Tab Builder. When I clicked “Create now…” a new window popped up. The Property Tab Builder is a stand-alone utility used to create a customized interface for entering and viewing properties. Once inside, I realized I could create a custom interface for parts, assemblies, weldments and drawings. By dragging and dropping selection elements on the left into the pane, I was quickly able to create a template. I could then set attributes for each of these elements based on either user input or SOLIDWORKS properties.

Property Tab

Once I was happy with my template designs, I saved each template out to C:\ProgramData\SOLIDWORKS\SOLIDWORKS 2015\lang\english (or wherever you store your custom templates, including your properties.txt file). Depending on the template I was saving, a different file extension was added:

*.prtprp for part properties template

*.asmprp for assembly properties template

*.wldprp for weldment properties template

*.drwprp for drawing properties template

After they were saved, I returned to my part file, turned on my Custom Property Tab and had direct access to edit and view my custom properties. When I clicked the “More Properties” button at the bottom of the side panel, it launched my Properties Summary Window and showed me that all my Custom Properties matched what I had entered.

Property Tab

One of my favorite parts of this job is when a customer shows me something cool and new. Luckily for me, it happens daily!

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