Duplicate File Names

There’s a critical thing we stress in our Fundamentals I class that has a high influence on how we work with SOLIDWORKS. That thing is making sure all your SOLIDWORKS files have unique names is very important. Because of the hierarchy of how SOLIDWORKS finds file references, you could end up opening the wrong “bracket.sldprt” file if you have another one in your working directory. If you are working in just one folder, this isn’t really an issue. This is because Windows won’t let you save a file with the same name as another. But in a lot of cases, most people have files in many different folders based on file type, part type, project, etc. Windows only checks for duplicate file names in the folder you are in and it doesn’t even check sub-folders. You could, therefore, have as many files with the same name as you the number of folder you have. We definitely do not want to end up in a scenario like that.

Luckily for those who are using Enterprise PDM, there is an option to prevent duplicate file names in your vault. We can get to this option by opening up the SOLIDWORKS Enterprise PDM Administration program. Once the program is open, expand your vault and find the section for “File Types”. Right click on “File Types” and select “Duplicate file name settings” from the drop down. This will bring up the Duplicate File Name Check dialog box as shown below:


This dialog box gives us three options. First, we can “Allow duplicate files names in this file vault.” The second option is “Do not allow duplicate file names in this file vault.” And the third option is “Do not allow duplicate file names of files with these extensions:”

There are two important things to know about not allowing duplicate file names in your file vault. The first is that it only prevents files with duplicate names if they have the same file extension. Therefore, you can have a part named “1234.sldprt” and an assembly named “1234.sldasm”.

The other important thing to know is that setting the option “Do not allow duplicate file names in this file vault” only applies from that point on. If you already have files in your vault that have the same name, it will not tell you that. It will only prevent the duplicate file names if it is a new file being added to the vault.