SOLIDWORKS Automatic Drawing Border Tool

Article by Scott Durksen, CSWE updated January 13, 2016


The latest release now includes a SOLIDWORKS Automatic Drawing Border Tool for your Sheet Formats.  Previously these were just sketch entities that needed to be manually changed based on the existing defaults.

To create a Drawing Border

First pick the new Sheet Format tab on the CommandManager, which provides quicker access to the drawing Sheet Format tools.

Then Edit Sheet Format (1), and pick the Automatic Border tool (2).  You can still access these tools by right-clicking on the sheet.

SOLIDWORKS automatic drawing border

Sheet Format Tab

Delete existing entities

The first menu in the PropertyManager will allow you to delete any existing border entities to avoid overlap as the Automatic Border tool places new entities based on the settings you choose.  You can Box Select (or select CTRL – A) for faster selections.  Once the border entities are selected (they will be removed when the command is completed), click the Next arrow in the top right corner of the PropertyManager.

Delete Entities

Delete Entities

Set Zone Size and Formatting

The next step allows you to set the zone size, formatting, borders and margins. The “50mm from center” option creates zones every 50mm from the center.  The number of rows/columns are based on the paper size. The “Evenly sized” option allows you to specify the number of rows/columns.

Automatic Drawing Border - Zone Size and Margins

Automatic Border – Zone Size and Margins

If you want an odd number of rows/columns, the Center Zone Divider may overlap the center label.  If this is the case, you can specify the Outer Zone Divider Length to be zero. Pick Next for the last step.

Center Zone Divider - Zero

Center Zone Divider – Zero

Margin Mask

The last step allows you to add margin masks to the sheet that can be used to hide zone dividers and labels in the margin. You simply pick the plus button and then reposition and drag the corner[s] of the rectangular mask over the area you want to hide. You can add multiple masks to the page if required.

In the example below a mask has been added and it covers the corner of top-left corner of the drawing border

Drawing Margin Mask

Drawing Margin Mask Applied

Complete the Automatic Drawing Border

To finish pick OK and then right-click on the sheet and select Edit Sheet from the shortcut menu to exit the Edit Sheet Format tool.

Note in the figure below the masked area that was applied has the zone numbers/letters and divider lines hidden but the outer and inner border are still visible.

Masked Border

Masked Border


To learn more about what’s new in SOLIDWORKS 2016 software you can review other SOLIDWORKS 2016 update posts here. You might also consider attending a SOLIDWORKS Advanced Update course where you can learn how to obtain new SOLIDWORKS skills. Learn more about our Update Training.

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Scott Durksen, CSWE

Scott is a SOLIDWORKS Elite Applications Engineer and is based in our Dartmouth, Nova Scotia office.