Customizing your Hole Callouts in SOLIDWORKS Drawings – Part 1

Article by Malak Souissi, CSWP updated August 4, 2022

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One of the most common asked questions by many of our clients in regards to SOLIDWORKS Drawings is “How do we make our own hole callout template?”. The answer is dissected in this article.

What is a hole callout?

The hole callout option is available when dealing with a SOLIDWORKS Drawing. It is available in the overhead toolbar:

Hole Callout button in SOLIDWORKS

Hole Callout Button in SOLIDWORKS Drawings

The default hole callout given by SOLIDWORKS looks like this:

 

Default Hole Callout By SOLIDWORKS

Default Hole Callout text By SOLIDWORKS

Why would I want to customize my SOLIDWORKS Hole Callout?

1. Shop floor drawings interpretation:

Although SOLIDWORKS is a widely used software for technical communication, Hole callouts can be interpreted differently on the shop floor. The callout can mean many things for the shop floor machinists: Tolerances, Drill bits used, depths to go to, internal/external threading tools to grab.

2. Company policy on wording in drawings:

Depending on the company policy, some symbols have to be changed by words or vice versa. These symbols given by SOLIDWORKS by default may or may not cause confusion on the floor. Changing them to a much simpler wording for example might benefit for more quality parts made due to less confusion in communication.

3. Add/Substract Extra Information :

Another reason to customize is simply some designers might want to use/subtract extra pieces of call out  information that is given by SOLIDWORKS in the drawings.

Where do I start customizing?

Customizing the hole callout file starts at the default location for templates which is usually:

C:\Program Files\SOLIDWORKS Corp\SOLIDWORKS\lang\english

You will find a file there called “calloutformat.txt”. Let’s make a copy and paste it to a different folder to work with. Let’s rename that pasted copy to “calloutformat_edited_1.txt”.

Opening that file might seem daunting at first but is it straightforward, so let’s dive even deeper in it!

What is in the hole callout template file?

The text file “calloutformat_edited_1.txt” contains many paragraphs or “Strings” to be interpreted by SOLIDWORKS. These strings and paragraphs are directly associated with the “Hole Wizard” option available in SOLIDWORKS.

The text file is dissected into:

  1. The Standard you choose in the hole wizard:
    • ANSI INCH
    • ANSI METRIC
    • BSI
    • DIN
    • ISO
    • JIS
    • KS
    • PEM INCH
    • PEM METRIC
    • DME MOLD BASE
    • HASCO METRIC MOLD BASE
    • PCS MOLD BASE
    • PROGRESSIVE MOLD BASE
    • SUPERIOR MOLD BASE
    • HELICOIL® INCH
    • GB-OLD
    • GB
  1. The Type of Hole:
    • COUNTERBORED HOLES
    • PLAIN HOLES
    • COUNTERSUNK HOLES
    • TAPPED HOLES
    • PIPE TAPPED HOLES
    • DOWEL HOLES (NOMINAL)
    • DOWEL HOLES (PRESS)
    • DOWEL HOLES (CLEARANCE)
    • DOWEL HOLES (TRANSITIONAL)
    • COSMETIC THREAD CALLOUTS
    • COUNTERBORED SLOTS
    • PLAIN SLOTS
    • COUNTERSUNK SLOTS
  1. The parameters of the hole (specific to the Standard and Hole).
    • Blind Hole only
    • Blind hole with underhead countersink
    • Blind hole with nearside countersink
    • Blind hole with near and underhead countersink
    • Etc.

If we combine the above mentioned 3 points to make an example with can come up with a hole to customize!

For example: (1) ANSI INCH (2) COUNTERBORED (3) Blind Hole with an underhead countersink.

This gives us one unique hole callout we could customize the text for.

Now that you know what SOLIDWORKS refers to, part two of this article will take a deeper dive into customizing your hole call outs.

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Malak Souissi

Malak is a MSc. Mechanical Engineering specializing in FEA. He has over 3 years of experience in the Mechanical Design & Process engineering in the industrial equipment. He also has a background in Marine Systems Engineering with on-board ship experience.