Why can’t I access the SOLIDWORKS Automatic Border tool?

Article by Mehdi Rezaei, CSWE updated July 26, 2018

Article

The SOLIDWORKS Automatic Border tool lets us control the shape and segments of a sheet format border such as zone layout and border size. The details of creating borders and saving them as a sheet format template are provided in the SOLIDWORKS Drawing Automatic Border tool.

However while working technical support, two related questions I have received include:

“Where are my drawing border settings?” and “Why is the Automatic Border Tool inaccessible?”

In this blog article, I’ll answer those two questions:

Missing Sheet Format Toolbar

The Automatic border command icon is under the sheet format toolbar which could be hidden in your drawing template. Right-click on any of the tabs and get access to the drop down list where you can check off the Sheet Format toolbar to show off.

Sheet Format Tool

Sheet Format Tool

Why is the Automatic Border command disabled?

The SOLIDWORKS Automatic Border command is used to adjust the zone layout and border sizes. However, when we are working on drawing views, dimensions, GD&T, etc., we don’t want to mess up the border settings. For that reason in a SOLIDWORKS drawing there are two completely separate layers:

  • One layer is dedicated to drawing views, dimensions, and annotations, and
  • The other layer is dedicated to the sheet format, borders, and title block.

This is different than using layers in a drawing where you create  separate layers of dimensions from annotations or notes and other details. In that case, no matter which layer the details are located on, they could be easily moved around or even deleted.

In terms of sheet format, as long as we don’t activate it, no matter what we do on the drawing views, nothing happens to the sheet format details. Also, same thing happens when the sheet format layer is active. Then, the drawing views and annotations are inaccessible.  Therefore, because borders are on the sheet format layer, then the sheet format must be activated first to gain access to automatic border command.

Note: Because drawing borders are located on the sheet format layer, the sheet format must be activated first to gain access to automatic border command.

Edit the Sheet Format

To gain access to the sheet format level, either select the “Edit Sheet Format” icon from Sheet Format toolbar or right click on a free spot on the graphics area and select Edit Sheet Format from the shortcut menu. In case the sheet format tab is not shown, you can right click on a free spot on the drawing graphics area and select Automatic Border command from that drop down list as well.

SOLIDWORKS Automatic Border

Activate the sheet format level to get access to automatic border command.

 

In case Sheet Format toolbar is not active, right click on graphics area to access Automatic Border.

In case Sheet Format toolbar is not active, right click on graphics area to access Automatic Border.

When the border settings and drawing customization settings are complete, the file can be saved as a drawing template so that you will have the same settings to start off your next drawing project. Check out more blog articles on working with SOLIDWORKS Sheet Formats.

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Mehdi Rezaei, CSWE

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