Creating Linked Views in SOLIDWORKS Composer

SOLIDWORKS Composer can enable users to transform 3D CAD data into technical communications that helps customers understand and retain product information effectively. One of Composer’s powerful functions is to “breathe life” into conventional 2D documentation and 3D interactive outputs with dynamic hyperlinks and user-friendly navigation. By setting up a navigation structure ahead of time, the creation of the interactive content is reduced to a series of simple steps and the result is immediately apparent.

This example below shows the hierarchy of the parts catalog for a component. Each coloured box represents different areas which can be used for a website or an interactive document for example.

To create these links, both collaborative and geometric actor properties are configured to enable links to connect. There is a large variety of link types available in Composer and it is possible to hyperlink any actor to nearly any location, whether it be HTTP, FTP, a file on the network, or any point or portion of an animation in the Composer file.

This table has been compiled to list the available link types and their descriptions:

A common function is linking views throughout a document and this is demonstrated as follows:

Step 1: The relevant view is created (text box optional) and is pre-selected as the initial link

Step 2: In the Properties tab on the left-hand side, go to Event > Link > select the ‘…’ to open the URL options

Step 3: Under URL select view:// – From the drop down select the ‘View’ that is required to link and click OK.

Step 4: To validate the link – it is recommended to come out of the ‘design mode’ environment to simulate a user environment rather than editing the document. By clicking on the linked view, it should automatically switch to the designated view set earlier in steps 2 – 3.

Last step: Once all the links have been set up – an html file can be exported to publish to a website or alternatively, it can be used as an interactive assembly instruction guide in a workshop. The completed document can now be seamlessly navigated with ease.

Whether you’re new to SOLIDWORKS or a seasoned Composer user, I hope you’ve found this overview useful.

Andrew Tsim is an Applications Engineer at TMS CADCentre, a SOLIDWORKS Value Added Reseller in Scotland.  You can read more from Andrew on the TMS CADCentre blog
TMS CADCentre is a SOLIDWORKS Reseller based in Scotland providing CAD Design Software, analysis software & product data management software. Founded in 1981, TMS CADCentre is the only UK SOLIDWORKS Reseller based and funded within Scotland and have been providing SOLIDWORKS software, training and support since 1996 when the product was first launched in the UK.