How to identify and label X & Y coordinate points in a SOLIDWORKS Drawing

Article by Mehdi Rezaei, CSWE updated July 31, 2016


In complicated drawings where there are many details to represent, you may want to label specific SOLIDWORKS coordinate points in your drawing views. If only a few labels are required then two dimensions can be used, one for horizontal and the other for vertical distance. Alternatively, Chain or Ordinate dimensions can denote XY coordinates with a measured distance from an origin point on the sides of a drawing view as shown in the example below:

Ordinate Dimensioning

Ordinate Dimensions

However, if there are too many points and you would like to eliminate the dimension lines in order to prevent crowding the view, there is another possibility to show the XY coordinate of any point in a drawing view with respect to a defined origin. Here is how:

  1. Add points to the desired locations in the model. Points could be added using 2D or 3D sketches. Then, dimension the points to an arbitrary origin.
1-Add points in Part environment

Add points in the Part environment

  1. From File > Properties, add a custom property using the two dimensions made in the previous step as demonstrated in the following image:
3-Add a custom property

Add a custom property

  1. In the drawing, select the points and link them to the custom property which were made in the part properties:
4-Link the points to premaid custom properties

Link the points to the custom properties

  1. The result shows the X and Y coordinate of each point with respect to the specified origin. The values are parametric and therefore will update in case of modifications in the part environment:
SOLIDWORKS coordinate points label

SOLIDWORKS coordinate points label

Where Coordinates Are Measured from:

  • The origin from which the distances are measured could be specified by a text in drawing. Alternatively, turning on the origin symbol in drawing allows demonstrating the origin of measurements.
  • The added coordinate in the drawing is made of a Note command which is editable. For instance, adding units, description of where that point is, etc.
Show origin & units

Show origin & units

Learn more about Drawings

To gain a better understanding of using dimensions you should plan to attend our SOLIDWORKS Drawings training course either online or in a Canadian city near you.

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Mehdi Rezaei, CSWE

Mehdi is a Certified SOLIDWORKS Expert (CSWE) and works near Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada