Basic Knowledge of SolidWorks Drawing Templates & Sheet Formats

Article by Wayne Chen, CSWP updated January 30, 2012


For people who are new to SolidWorks, and want to setup some standard templates, this will be a good article to start with.

The background information stored in a new drawing file is from two locations – drawing template and sheet format.

Sheet format stores the sheet size, scale, title block, etc.  Basically what you see in a new drawing file (no views inserted yet) is controlled by sheet format.  File name extension is “.SLDDRT”.

Drawing template includes drafting standards – font sizes, dimension, annotation styles, etc., AND a link to the sheet format (optional).  If there is no link, you will start with an empty sheet and you can choose a sheet format manually.  File name extension is “.DRWDOT”.

To create/modify sheet formats

To create/modify sheet formats, users are encouraged to open the default files made by SolidWorks.  File -> New -> Drawing, under the “templates” tab.  This is a blank sheet.  You can pick any size to start in the next page.  To access the titleblock, right click on the drawing, and select “Edit Sheet Format”.  You will be able to pick the titleblock sketch now.  You can add company logo by inserting a picture, and add some notes, etc.  When you are done, right click on the drawing sheet and select “Edit Sheet”, this will bring you back to the regular drawing view.

You can save the sheet format file by going to File -> Save Sheet Format…  The save dialog will direct you to the default sheet format location, which can be changed under Tools -> Options -> System Options -> File Locations -> Sheet Formats – as shown below.

Sheet Formal File Locations

Sheet Formal File Locations

To create your own drawing templates

To create your own drawing templates, it is also recommended that the user starts with some existing drawing template with default sheet format (or your own sheet format).  It is easier to setup the template during the process of creating an actual drawing because you will see the dimension, annotation styles, etc when you have drawing views on the sheet.  All the options are located in Tools -> Options -> Document Properties – please see below.

Document Properties

Document Properties

Once you are done with the modification, you should save your actual drawing first, and then remove all drawing views because generally you won’t include any views in the template, though some users like to add the 3 standard views and maybe an ISO in the template, which will be empty in the template, but will populate when you use it to create a drawing from a model.

If you don’t want to have the template associated with a sheet format, you can expand the sheet in the design tree on the left hand side, and right click on “Sheet Format1” to delete.  Next, go to File -> Save As…, and choose “Drawing Templates” as the type.  The default location can be changed under System Options -> File Locations -> Document Templates.

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Wayne Chen, CSWP