Restoring eDrawings Preview in SOLIDWORKS PDM Vault View

Article by Rodolfo Gutierrez on Jan 17, 2023

If eDrawings is installed and starts up okay when launched (via the Start Menu) but you cannot preview files in the SOLIDWORKS PDM vault view (Figure 1), this is likely because there is a disconnect between eDrawings and PDM. This guide explains how to fix all issues with PDM files not previewing in the Preview tab.

Restoring eDrawings Preview in SOLIDWORKS PDM Vault View

Figure 1: “Cannot preview [file name] since the program that handles viewing of this kind of file isn’t installed”

Determine Where eDrawings was Installed

  • C:\ProgramFiles\Common Files\eDrawings or C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\eDrawings
    • If eDrawings was installed by SOLIDWORKS PDM
  •  C:\Program Files\SOLIDWORKS Corp\eDrawings
    • If eDrawings was installed by SOLIDWORKS Installation Manager

Re-register eDrawings

First, run the Command Prompt as an administrator. (Figure 2)

Run Command Prompt as an administrator SOLIDWORKS PDM and eDrawings

Figure 2: Run Command Prompt as an administrator

Second, step into the eDrawings installation folder via the Change Directory command, cd <path to eDrawings installation folder> (Figure 3)

Change Directory to eDrawings Installation Folder

Figure 3: Change Directory to eDrawings installation folder

Third, re-register the emodelview.dll with the Regsvr32 command, Regsvr32 emodelview.dll. (Figure 4)

Administrator Command Prompt Regsvr32 emodelview.dll

Figure 4: Regsvr32 emodelview.dll

Fourth, register edrawingofficeautomator with the regserver command, edrawingofficeautomator /regserver. (Figure 5) Please note this step will not display a dialog. It will simply continue to the next command line. 

Administrator Command Prompt edrawingofficeautomator /regserver

Figure 5: edrawingofficeautomator /regserver

Restart File Explorer or Reboot the System

Launch the Windows Task Manager and restart Windows Explorer. (Figure 6)

Restart File Explorer eDrawings SOLIDWORKS PDM Vault View Restore

Figure 6: Restart File Explorer

If these simple steps still prevent you from previewing files in SOLIDWORKS PDM, please consider repairing eDrawings. If it was installed by SOLIDWORKS, repair the SOLIDWORKS install. If it was installed by EPDM, repair the EPDM install. If all else fails, perform a clean uninstall of eDrawings. 

How to Do a Clean Uninstall of eDrawings

First, uninstall all instances of eDrawings. Modify the SOLIDWORKS installation or SOLIDWORKS PDM installation, depending on how it was installed, and remove eDrawings.  

Second, delete any folders containing the ‘eDrawingOfficeAutomator.exe’. Common eDrawings install folders are typically found under:

  • C:\Program Files\Common Files\eDrawings20xx
  • C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\eDrawings20xx (on 64-bit OS)
  • C:\Program Files\SolidWorks Corp\SolidWorks eDrawings
  • C:\Program Files (x86)\SolidWorks Corp\SolidWorks eDrawings (on 64-bit OS)

Third, delete the eDrawings registry keys using Windows Registry Editor:

  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\eDrawings
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\eDrawings

Fourth, verify that the following key does not have any dll entries pointing to the eDrawings install folders (deleted in the second step). If entries are found, delete them:

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\SharedDLLs
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\SharedDLLs (on 64-bit OS)

Reboot the system.

Finally, reinstall eDrawings from the SOLIDWORKS install media.

I hope you found this guide helpful. To learn more about eDrawings and SOLIDWORKS PDM, check out the articles listed below.

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About Rodolfo Gutierrez

Rodolfo Gutierrez is a Mechanical Engineer by profession specializing in SOLIDWORKS, Routing, PDM, Sheet Metal, and Weldments. Lucky husband and goofy dad. Loves productivity hacks.

View all posts by Rodolfo Gutierrez