How to modify a SOLIDWORKS Drawing View Scale on the Fly

Article by Angus Hudson, CSWP updated July 26, 2017


One of the inconvenient truths of drawings, is that one sheet scale doesn’t necessarily fit every drawing view. While your sheet scale may be perfect for orthographic, auxiliary, and section views, it may leave you reaching for your reading glasses when it comes to detail views. Not to worry, with SOLIDWORKS it’s simple to set a custom scale for any drawing view. This can be done by first selecting the drawing view and then selecting “Use custom scale” in the Property Manager.  Note that any changes to the scale of a drawing view will also affect the scale of any views projected from it.

SOLIDWORKS Drawing View Scale

A Custom Scale can be Set for Any Drawing View in the PropertyManager

How do we inform a reader of a custom defined scale? See our post from February 2017, Automatically add Scale Labels to all SOLIDWORKS Drawing Views that are not set to Sheet Scale, for more information on adding labels to drawing views.

Is the property manager the only way to set a different custom scale? While it is certainly a viable option, there is an even easier way to apply a custom view scale on the fly if they are already called out in a label.

Changing a SOLIDWORKS Drawing View Scale

Double clicking the drawing label allows us to edit the information contained in the label and opens the relevant section in the PropertyManager. Close inspection of the text box shows that SOLIDWORKS automatically populates drawing labels with tags of the relevant information. For example, the drawing label shown below is actually made up of four distinct tags which evaluate to the following text:

  1. Name: "SECTION"
  2. Label: "B-B"
  3. Scale: "SCALE"
  4. Delimiter "1:3"
Double Click the Drawing View Label to Edit

Double Click the Drawing View Label to Edit

We can easily change the scale of this drawing view simply by replacing the delimiter portion of the tag with another scale in the form of X:X. Provided that we replace the existing delimiter with a new, properly formatted delimiter, the drawing view will update automatically. As was mentioned in the February 2017 article, the Scale and Delimiter tags will not be shown if the scale is the same as the sheet scale. These tags will be removed from the label if the delimiter is modified to the sheet scale, requiring any custom scale modifications to be made via the PropertyManager.

Changes to the Delimiter are Automatically Updated in the Drawing View

Changes to the Delimiter are Automatically Updated in the Drawing View

Modifying a SOLIDWORKS Drawing View Scale via the delimiter tag is just one way to cut down your mouse travel and clicks while creating or editing drawings. To learn more about creating drawings easily and efficiently, check out our Instructor Led SOLIDWORKS Drawing Course.

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Angus Hudson, CSWP

Angus is a Certified SOLIDWORKS Professional and Applications Expert, based in our Vancouver, British Columbia office.