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Pro/Engineer   October 2003   Tip-of-the-Month

Pro/E Search Paths for Dependent Reference Files

Have you ever opened an assembly and immediately entered Resolve Mode with the error "Component not Found"?

How do you tell Pro/E where to find components (part and sub-assembly files) that aren't in the "standard" location?  For that matter, How do you tell Pro/E where the "standard" locations are to look?

(As an example for this tip we'll use an assembly, but there are other dependent file types, like drawings, master models, manufacturing, etc..)

The quickest way out of Resolve Mode is Quick Fix > Find Component then browse to the correct component file.  Unfortunately, this is a one-time fix, and if you don't move the file, you'll need to do this procedure each time you open the assembly.

So how does Pro/E find files?  In general, when you open a file that calls other files, Pro/E looks in the current working directory, and in the directory where the opening file is located.  If you want Pro/E to look other places, you have to tell it where.  (Interlink and PDM have special rules not covered in this Tip.)

You can tell Pro/E where to look with a statement in the like:

search_path c:\ptc\pro_stds\pro_libs\std_parts

If you prefer a little more organization (rather than changing the each time), create a new file containing a list of directories where Pro/E should look.  Put a statement similar to this in your

search_path_file c:\pro_stds\configs\
then build a simple text file called and make its contents something like:
! Pro/E search paths for ZYGLO

search_path c:\ptc\pro_stds\configs
search_path c:\ptc\pro_stds\pro_defs
search_path c:\ptc\pro_stds\pro_libs\std_parts
search_path c:\ptc\pro_stds\pro_libs\std_parts\raw_stock
search_path c:\ptc\pro_stds\pro_libs\std_parts\fasteners
search_path f:\projects\mechel\

Pro/E will read this file on start-up and know where to look for files.  This makes it easy to have Pro/E find your standard parts in a standard parts directory, or to find components you've been working on in various local directories.

If you work in multiple directories (outside of PDM or Intralink) or if you like to experiment with parts prior to "Checking them in", this can be a nice time saver.


Make it a Great Day!  See you next Month.
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