by Adam Evangelista, December 21, 2018

Inventor Professional 2019 Tips: Why Your Snapshot Views Won't Update in Your Presentation Files

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This is one of your first attempts at using the presentation environment inside of Inventor.  You would love nothing more than to have a nice exploded view to feature on the next IDW that you send down to manufacturing.  However, there is one problem: your snapshot views wont update in your presentation or your .idw!


Two of the main causes we’ll be looking at today are as follows:

  • Link was broken to .idw
  • Link was broken to timeline

In either case, there is an associated link which provides the information for the update which can, for the uninitiated, easily be unlinked.

Fixing the .IDW Link

Drawing views derived from .ipn files behave largely in the same way as drawing views made from .ipt’s and .iams!  That said, to have your drawing views to be updated after making changes to the main .ipn, make sure the drawing view has the box checked for associative!  

This chain link icon represents associativity throughout the application:


The .IPN Link

At this point, you have presumably just started your IPN, you’ve made a few tweaks, and maybe have even made some snapshots.  If everything is still working properly, you should be able to move your marker across the snapshot marker, and a small blue button will appear on the snapshot timeline:

You’re screen hopefully looks like this!


Moving the tweak also updates the model space representation as well:


Notice the big blue button after making a change to the tweak timeline:


Upon pressing that button, the thumbnail should update, along with any associated drawing views in an .idw.  This is the intended way to update snapshot views in your .ipn (and therefore also in your .idw).

The common mistake that people often stumble into is that they will right click and attempt to “Edit” the snapshot view.  You will notice that the storyboard panel disappears, and when you will go to make a tweek, and be prompted with this message:


People will often go ahead and click “Break Link” and proceed with their tweaks.  This however results in an isolated snapshot view which doesn’t update with changes made back on the storyboard; we want to preseve this link!  These isolated snapshots can still be used in .idw’s, but will not update when changes are made to the .ipn even if the drawing view in the .idw has associativity checked on!

There isn’t a way to rebuild the link once it’s broken, but you can delete the old snapshot and just make a new one.  The best practice is to keep the link between snapshots and the storyboard unbroken and make the changes you need via the process described above!


IPN’s are great when they’re working, but it can be frustrating trying to understand why a particular view isn’t updating as you expected.  So just keep your wits about you, and try and understand what is connected to what.  In our case, snapshots have associative links to the .ipn storyboard and to the .idw.

Additional Resources:

For more learning, feel free to check out our full video on presentations files on our youtube channel:

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