Customizing your Hole Callouts in SOLIDWORKS Drawings – Part 2

Article by Malak Souissi, CSWP updated August 8, 2022


This article is a continuation of my previous article on creating a SOLIDWORKS hole callout template. In this article we will be customizing the template.

Let’s look at where the hole callout data resides in the text file:

In SOLIDWORKS, the exact hole callout text is displayed, but this time “translated” into symbols and text.

Hole Callout Text file description

Hole Callout Text file description

So what happens under the hood?

SOLIDWORKS is reading directly from the text file and translating the hole callout text to symbols, text and values. That is what we can customize based on your needs.

In the example above we saw the following hole call out for: ANSI INCH COUNTERBORED Blind Hole with an underhead countersink. The text looks something like this:

<MOD-DIAM> <hw-diam> <HOLE-DEPTH> <hw-depth>;\
<HOLE-SPOT><MOD-DIAM> <hw-cbdia> <HOLE-DEPTH> <hw-cbdepth>;\
<HOLE-SINK><MOD-DIAM> <hw-midcsdia> X <hw-midcsang>

Each one of the values above represent a meaning. These are called “Callout Variables”. What it looks like when translated into a SOLIDWORKS Hole Callout:

We notice four types of Callout Variables shown in the text above:

  1. SOLIDWORKS symbol names
  2. Hole Wizard variables
  3. Characters
  4. Custom text that can be entered

1. SOLIDWORKS Symbol Names:

The full list of the symbol names list can be found by editing the hole callout text and going to the following menu:

Hole Callout Symbol Menu

Hole Callout Symbol Menu

Full SOLIDWORKS Symbol Menu

Full SOLIDWORKS Symbol Menu

Symbol Name Displayed in Hole Callout Text

Symbol Name Displayed in the Hole Callout Text

The symbol names can be then inserted in the hole callout text file and customized as needed.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Customizing the symbols while editing the hole call out in SOLIDWORKS Drawing will ONLY be reflected on that hole, not all the similar holes. You can do this if that exact hole callout text needs a special modification.

2. Hole Wizard Variables:

These can be found at the very end of the “calloutformat.txt” text file:

Hole Wizard Variables Preview in the text file

Hole Wizard Variables Preview in the text file

3. Characters:

“;\”  is a line break. Which means back to a new line for the next variables/text that come.

4. Custom Text:

You can customize text between variables. For example adding the letter “X” or the word “DEG” or “C’BORE” instead of a SolidWorks Symbol.

Applying the customization

After understanding the basics of hole callout customization, let’s make a simple one:

For the hole: standard ANSI INCH hole type: Counterbore, hole parameters: blind with underhead countersink

  • We will change the counterbore symbol into the word “C’BORE”
  • We will change the countersink symbol into the word “C’SINK”

IMPORTANT NOTE: this will be reflected in all the future holes with the exact standard, hole type and hole parameters that we will create, it will be a template creation.

Customizing the Hole Callout Text file

Customizing the Hole Callout Text file


Check out the results below for before and after hole callout customization:


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Malak Souissi

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