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How to Show Part Colour in a SolidWorks Drawing HLR/HLV View

Article by Jim Peltier, CSWE created/updated April 30, 2014

In a SolidWorks assembly, it is possible and quite helpful to have different parts shown in different colours (or colors if you prefer). It can help to symbolically distinguish between different parts in an assembly, it can be used to display the final colour after a painting operation, or can be applied using a company’s standards to indicate whether a part is purchased, or made in-house. Here is an example of colours used in an assembly:

A SolidWorks assembly using different colours for different parts

A SolidWorks assembly using different colours for different parts

This is alright in the assembly, but when you create a drawing of the assembly, the Hidden Lines Visible (HLV) and Hidden Lines Removed (HLR) display modes remove this colour, showing all the lines in black as you would expect on a typical engineering drawing. You can modify the colour for the entire assembly in your System Options (Go to Tools > Options, then under the System Options tab, select Colors from the list on the left and find “Drawings, Visible Model Edges” from the list on the right). But, let’s say I just bought a colour plotter and wanted to make use of it. I could create a drawing view that made use of the Shaded With Edges display mode, but that will use up lots of ink. What I would ideally like is something like this:

This is what I want the drawing to look like

This is what I want the drawing view to look like

This is what it currently looks like

This is what the drawing view currently looks like

There is an option to do this, although it is not in the same area of the Options. It can be found under the Document Properties tab by selecting Detailing from the list on the left. then checking the box for “Use model color for HLR/HLV in drawings”

"Use model color for HLR/HLV in drawings"

“Use model color for HLR/HLV in drawings”

This will use whatever colour has been applied to show part colour in a SolidWorks drawing, either at the part level, or if a colour has been applied as an assembly override.

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Jim Peltier, CSWE

Jim has been using SolidWorks since 2001, and has spent most of that time working in the design of industrial automated manufacturing equipment. He has been working as an Applications Expert at Javelin Technologies in Oakville, Ontario since July 2012 and is a Certified SolidWorks Expert (CSWE).

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