How to fix Empty SOLIDWORKS Drawing Views

Article by John Lee, CSWE updated March 11, 2021


Are you seeing empty views when opening a SOLIDWORKS Drawing?  Where did the Views and Annotations go? In this tech tip I’ll describe the blank view problem and provide a solution.

SOLIDWORKS Drawing Blank Views

Never fun to see our drawing views displaying like this

Why are my Drawing Views empty?

If the urge to swear out loud is overpowering at this point, then we understand your pain.  What likely happened is that the referenced model(s) have been moved from their previous folder to another one, but the drawing wasn’t informed of this change, and so it opens with blank views because the referenced model is not where the drawing expects it to be.

If the drawing was open while the model was saved to the new location, then there wouldn’t be this issue…the drawing’s references would be updated.  Same as if the model were moved in Windows using right-click > SOLIDWORKS > Move > update where used.

Resolving the empty view Issue

  1. Close the drawing (no need to save)
  2. Select File > Open > select the drawing, but do not open yet > References > double-click the model  > browse to the model’s new location

    Find new File Location

    Double-click the model to browse to it’s new location

  3. The new folder path appears in green in the dialog box, to confirm the change press OK

The drawing should now open with all views populated, and all annotations present!

Drawing Views now populated!

Drawing Views now populated!

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John Lee, CSWE

John Lee is inherently lazy in that he prefers to work smarter - not harder. A CSWE with fifteen years of experience using SOLIDWORKS and a background in mechanical design, John has used SOLIDWORKS in various industries requiring design for injection molding, sheet metal, weldments and structural steel.