Windchill Fundamentals > Working with Windchill Objects > Documents > Documents in Windchill
Documents in Windchill
Windchill documents allow you to manage and share content that has been created using an external application. Documents can be files uploaded to Windchill, URL links, or descriptions of external content that is not electronically accessible. Documents can represent general content or a specific type of content relevant to product development, such as BOMs, specifications, or technical publications.
Windchill documents are essentially comprised of two elements:
Windchill Document Object
As a Windchill object, the document is subject to version control and is assigned certain attributes that are unique to Windchill, such as a number and type. Depending on the processes used at your site, a document might be assigned a life cycle state or included in a workflow process. You can also create reference and usage associations between documents and other Windchill objects.
Primary Content
The information contained in each document is its primary content.
Primary Content
Local File
The most common type of primary content is a file uploaded from your local machine. For example, a Microsoft Word document, a PDF, a spreadsheet, or a presentation.
URL Link
A link to an external website. In this situation, the primary content is considered the full URL path.
External Storage
External storage documents represent content that cannot be attached as a local file or as a URL link. This might include physical objects, places, or highly sensitive information.
In this situation, the primary content is a brief explanation. For example, depending on the nature of the content, this might be a description of the object, an address, a file cabinet number, and so on.
No Content
A document object without content. For example, to act as a placeholder for future documentation.
Secondary Content
In addition to the primary content, you can include secondary content as an attachment to the document.
Attachments can include the same types of content as a typical Windchill document, but are not considered standalone objects. Therefore, attached content is not visible in the Folder Contents table and has limited functionality compared to other documents. For more information, see Attachments.
Attachments are best used in the following situations:
When content directly correlates to or is derived from the primary content. For example, an image file generated from a technical illustration.
When you do not need to use version control, workflow processes, or customized access control settings for the content.
To check which objects have secondary content, create a custom table view to include the Attachments column.
If an object includes secondary content, an attachment indicator appears in the column. Click the indicator to open the Attachments table.
If you have multiple content files that are related but are not appropriate for secondary content, you have the following options:
You can link documents within the Structure tab on the document information page. In this situation, you would group documents under one central or “parent” document. This creates a Uses and Where Used relationship, visible under the Related Objects and Structure tabs. For more information, see Structured Documents.
You can link documents using References Documents and Referenced By Documents associations. Associated documents appear under the Related Objects tab on the document information page. For more information, see Document References and Object Relationships.
Document Subtypes
You can have different types of Windchill documents, known as “subtypes.” You specify a type when creating the document. Once created, you cannot change the document type.
In addition to the main Document object type , several document subtypes are commonly available in Windchill by default, and include a unique object type indicator:
Reference Document
Some document types might include default attributes or a unique functionality. For example, the Reference Document object type is the only document type that can be associated to a part using the References and Referenced By relationships.
Document subtypes are customizable, meaning that your site administrators might create document types that are unique to your company. The document type does not necessarily restrict the types of primary content you can specify, but it might be a best practice for your site to use certain file formats when creating a specific document type.
Document Management
In addition to common actions available throughout Windchill, you can use the following tools to manage documents:
Document structures
A document structure defines parent-child relationships between documents. These relationships are reflected in a hierarchical table in which each document uses the documents that appear below it.
Document references
You can create reference relationships between a document and another document or a part.
Windchill Desktop Integration
Windchill Desktop Integration is a plugin that allows you to access Windchill documents directly from your desktop, as well as perform most Windchill document management actions directly from within Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook, and PowerPoint.
The actions that are available depend on the Windchill solutions you have installed and the preferences set at your site. For example, Pro/INTRALINK does not include Windchill Desktop Integration functionality.
Specialized Windchill Documents
Several other Windchill objects might also be referred to as a “document” and are similarly created in an external application and uploaded to Windchill. However, the Windchill documents described here are a unique object type that is distinct from other content managed in Windchill. For example, CAD documents and Arbortext documents are each considered a separate object type.
Depending on the solutions installed at your site, several other document objects might also be available. For more information on other documents, see the following topics:
Dynamic documents
CAD documents
If you have Windchill Integrations for Embedded Software installed and are working with software documents, see the following topics:
Managing Software Documents and Software Configuration Data Documents
Working with Primary Source Content and Attachment Content
Working with Software Document and Software Configuration Data Information Pages