Why is the eDrawings Measure Tool not available?

Article by Andrew Lidstone, CSWE updated May 9, 2011


We have often received questions about the eDrawings Measure tool not being available in an eDrawings file. If you are finding that you are unable to measure a file in eDrawings, there are a couple possible explanations.

eDrawings Measure Active

eDrawings Measure Active

Which Release and which Version of eDrawings are you using?

The first thing to check if you cannot use the Measure tool in eDrawings is, what release are you using?

Starting with eDrawings 2019, the measure tool is available in the free version of eDrawings Viewer.  So if you are unable to activate the Measure tool, check to see if that the release is 2018 or older.  You can do this by going to Help > About eDrawings.

If you are using a version from before 2019, then only the Professional version of eDrawings would have access to the measure tool.

If that is the case, you can install the latest release of the free eDrawings and you should get access to the measure tool (unless publisher of the file has disabled the option as described below).

While this is the situation now, in the past the availability of the Measure tool was something that could seem confusing at first.

SOLIDWORKS Professional and SOLIDWORKS Premium come bundled with a license of eDrawings Professional, while the SOLIDWORKS Standard product comes with the free version of eDrawings.

So until the 2019 release, an eDrawings file published in SOLIDWORKS Standard, when opened by a user with the free eDrawings Viewer would not have access to the measure tool.  However if a user with a license of eDrawings Professional opened the same file, then the measure tool would be available.

But, when an eDrawings file was published in SOLIDWORKS Professional or Premium (or if a user had a standalone license of eDrawings Professional), then a tag would be attached to the file which would remove the limitations from the free eDrawings Viewer for this file only.  This enabled a user with the free eDrawings Viewer access to the eDrawings Professional tools, including the measure tool.

Thankfully the changes to the free eDrawings Viewer in 2019 eliminated all this confusion.

Measure Tool Lock

The second factor that can still prevent a user from being able to measure an eDrawings file is that the user who publishes the eDrawings file has the ability to lock the measure tool protecting their design data.  This is controlled within SOLIDWORKS by going to File > Save As, selecting eDrawings as the “Save as type”, and clicking the Options button.

eDrawings measure option

eDrawings measure option

By default the option “Ok to measure this eDrawings file” is cleared, disabling the measure tool on any eDrawings published, so unless you enable this option, no one will be able to use the Measure tool on any eDrawings files that you create.

eDrawings Measure

eDrawings Measure

So in order to enable the eDrawings measure tool within a file:

  1. The file must be either opened in the free version of eDrawings 2019 or newer, or if 2018 or older, opened in eDrawings Professional or have been published by eDrawings Professional AND
  2. The option “Ok to measure this eDrawings file” must have been enabled when the file was published.
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Andrew Lidstone, CSWE

Andrew Lidstone is a SOLIDWORKS Elite Application Engineer specializing in Data Management systems. He has been working in the SOLIDWORKS reseller channel since 2010 helping clients get the most from their CAD tools.