SolidWorks: PDM Version History

SolidWorks PDM Version History

You’re working on a project in SolidWorks when you realize you or a project partner has made some unwanted changes and saved over any previous versions. It happens to the best of us. Looks like you’ll have to spend extra time remodeling the part to get it back to the way you wanted, just to spend more time now modeling the changes you wanted to make in the first place. Not so fast. If you are working with SolidWorks Product Data Management (PDM), you are presented with multiple options to potentially avoid, or quickly fix problems like this.

Version History

To find the version history of a given file, first, locate it in your vault within your file browser. If you were not working out of the vault initially, unfortunately, you will not be able to go back to any previous versions by adding it after the changes were already made. If you need any help setting up your first vault, see my previous blog post, Intro to PDM, for a walkthrough. Once you have located your file, highlight it and select the “History” button.


Figure 1: Location of Version History

This should then open a page similar to the one shown in Figure 2.


Figure 2: Example of Version History Page

Once this is open, the next step is to determine which version you need to access. The first option to do this is to read through the comments. This can be helpful; however, it can also be unreliable. There is no guarantee that anyone put a comment on when changing an event. If there is a comment, there is no guarantee that it is accurate. If you find a comment that seems inaccurate, you can edit it as seen in Figure 3.


Figure 3: Editing Comments in Version History

Once you are done editing a comment, make sure to select update. The other option for determining what version you need is done using the “View” option. Highlight a part that you think has potential to be what you need, then select the “View” button on the upper toolbar.


Figure 4: Upper Toolbar

This will open an eDrawings preview window of the selected version of a part, with which you can pan, zoom, rotate, and take measurements to confirm roughly whether this is the version you desire.


Figure 5: eDrawing Preview Window

Once you have determined which version you would like to obtain, you are presented with three options. These options are “Get”, “Save”, and “Rollback”. They can be found in the upper toolbar, depicted in Figure 4.


By highlighting an event and clicking the get button, you will retrieve that version to the local cache. The changes and events made after that version will remain in the version history; however, when you go back to your file browser, the part will appear as the version that you selected.


By highlighting an event and selecting the save button, you are presented with the option to save a copy of a given version. You can save this both in and out of the vault.


By highlighting an event and selecting the rollback button, you will delete all the events that occurred following the event highlighted. If you attempt to rollback an assembly, you will be presented with the window shown in Figure 6.


Figure 6: Individual or Reference Included Rollback

Once you have made your selection or are attempting to rollback a part, you will be presented with the window shown in Figure 7.


Figure 7: Rollback Window

Once you have entered your comments and you attempt to continue you will be presented with one final confirmation, making sure you know that all versions after the selected event will be permanently deleted. Check the selection that you understand and confirm the rollback.

Note: If you are working with various projects in different versions of SolidWorks this feature can be especially useful. If you accidentally save a project from an earlier version of SolidWorks to a more recent version, you can rollback to revert it back to a file type that works with whichever earlier version of SolidWorks it is you are working with.

That’s all for now! You now know how to navigate the version history provided in SolidWorks PDM. If you like the content or have questions, signup for our email list to stay in the loop for solutions or weekly content.

Written By: 

Matthew Fontana

Matthew Fontana

Engineering Co-op at Perception Engineering

Matthew Fontana2, PDM, Software, SolidWorks