Solidworks template

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How to Update Templates in SOLIDWORKS

Every few releases it’s always a good idea to update your SOLIDWORKStemplates to the latest version you and your company are currently using. Being one of the techs on the Technical Support team, we run into the rare occurrence that a part, assembly or drawing seems to have become corrupt. It’s even more rare that we find that multiple files fail to open, this is when we start looking at the templates being the culprit.


With CAD software continually updating, you would not want to design your new parts in old templates. Similarly, would you want to use a template from an old version Microsoft Word 5.5 to be used in your Microsoft Word 2016?

Over many years, during the normal upgrade path of SOLIDWORKS, templates get changed, updated and saved in the current version of SOLIDWORKS. This should allow the users to have templates that are of the best quality to start their new part, assembly and drawing file(s) with. However, as with any program on Windows, templates can have problems. The steps below are how to get a fresh set of current templates created and, if so desired, to copy the Drafting Standard and Sheet Format (title block) over to the new template(s).

Hint: To check the age of a part or assembly template you can, start the new part or assembly, right click over one of the normal planes (Front, Top or Right), select Properties and look at the Date created and Last modify fields.

Here is an example of a template to NOT continue using until it’s updated (replaced):

old solidworks templates

Follow these steps on how to get a fresh set of  SOLIDWORKS templates:

  1. Open SOLIDWORKS > go to Options (gear icon on top center toolbar)

    Change Options Settings

  2. On the ‘System Options’ tab, select ‘File Locations’ category on the left side (about in the center)
  3. Leave the ‘Show folders for:’ set to ‘Document Templates’
    Hint: We will be deleting all the paths in the Folders box in the next step. Take a screen shot or copy these down if you wish to re-establish these paths afterwards.
  4. Selecting one by one, delete all paths that are listed. (If using PDM Professional, skip deleting the path pointed towards your PDM vault temp folder)
  5. Click the ‘Add’ button, browse to some place convenient. (C:\ or Desktop or Documents)
  6. Create a new empty folder. I created mine as ‘C:\SW Template Folder\
  7. Open this folder and then click the ‘Select Folder’ button.

    how to update templates in SOLIDWORKS

  8. Click OK out of ‘System Options’, click yes if prompted to making changes to search paths. The creation of the new templates happens very quickly and behind the scenes.
  9. Start by going to the File menu, then selecting New or Clicking on New button. This action causes SOLIDWORKS to check the empty folder that we pointed towards, see that there aren’t any templates in the folder and create new ones.

At this point, you can just keep using the new templates that SOLIDWORKS created, modifying them as needed or you can use these templates as the basis for creating updated version of your old templates.  If you plan on updating your old templates, then you may want to add the old paths back into File Locations, Document Templates.

The basic process for creating new templates using the settings from your old templates is as such:

  1. Open the old template, let’s start with a part template. This can be done by file, open (change your file type to Template), browse to the folder where your existing part template is stored or by file, new and selecting the existing part template. (File, New works if you put your old template paths back into folder locations.
  2. Save the drafting standard to an external file by going to Options, Document Properties tab, stay on the ‘Drafting Standard’ category, then click the ‘Save to External File’ button. This creates an .sldstd file that can be read back into another part file. It stores most items on the Document Properties Tab but not all of them.
  3. To import these settings into the new part template that was created in the first half of this article. Open the template by going to the ‘File’ menu, ‘Open’, change ‘File Type’ to template, browse to the folder that we created them in. In my example ‘C:\SW Template Folder\’. Open the part template for this example. Part.prtdot
  4. While the part.prtdot file is open, go to Options, Document Properties, Drafting Standard category. Select the ‘Load From External File’ button, browse to the .sldstd file we make back in step 2). This imports all of the settings from your existing part template file. Verify that all of your existing settings are imported and then make any additional changes on the Document Properties tab as needed.
  5. Save the part.prtdot, close the template. Then click new and test the new template.

Hint: I like to name my templates as to what they are and when I created them. i.e. ‘Part Inch 2020.prtdot’

Repeat these last steps 1) through 5) for your assembly and drawing templates. For your drawing template, you will also need to move over your Sheet Format (Title block) if you’ve customized them. To move over your Sheet Format follow these general additional steps.

  1. Open your existing Drawing template that contains your title block.
  2. From the file menu, select ‘Save Sheet Format…’ This allows you to save your title block as a .slddrt file.
  3. Close your existing drawing.
  4. Open your new drawing template by ‘File’ menu, ‘Open’, change ‘File Type’ to template, browse to the folder that we created them in. Again, in my example ‘C:\SW Template Folder\’. Open the drawing template for this example. draw.prtdot
  5. Change the sheet format by right click over ‘Sheet1’ in the ‘FeatureManager’ tree, selecting ‘Properties’ and then browse to the .slddrt file that was saved in step 2
  6. Save your drawing template, close it and then test it to make sure it’s working correctly.

To expand on these steps if you have additional size drawing sheets and/or need to update your title block with extra things like, Annotations that are linked to custom properties.

Since you are updating your templates here is a group of great other tech articles that go further in-depth of Drawing templates:

SOLIDWORKS – Drawing Templates Pt. 1 of 3

SOLIDWORKS – Drawing Templates Pt. 2 of 3

SOLIDWORKS – Drawing Templates Pt. 3 of 3 

SOLIDWORKS – How to Adjust Template Settings


How to Adjust Template Settings in SOLIDWORKS

Template files for parts, assemblies, and drawings are the storage location for default
environmental settings used when creating new files. These control the items such as unit
systems, drafting standards, first/third projection angles of drawings, dimension formatting,
annotation formatting, image quality of parts, and many more options.
The template files themselves act only as the initial conditions of a new file. Once a new file is
created based off of a template the new file is no longer controlled or affected by changes made
to the template. So, it is generally a good idea to setup document templates as a first step and to
revisit templates with updates at the outset of new projects.

What settings are encompassed in a template?

There are common locations where template settings are held for all part, assembly, and drawing
templates. All of these locations are listed below.


Document Properties (found under ‘Tools’, ‘Options’, ‘Document Properties’)
Item Visibility Settings (found under the ‘View’ menu)
Features/Sketches (found in the ‘FeatureManager Design Tree’)


Document Properties (found under ‘Tools’, ‘Options’, ‘Document Properties’)
Item Visibility Settings (found under the ‘View’ menu)
Features/Sketches (found in the ‘FeatureManager Design Tree’)


Document Properties (found under ‘Tools’, ‘Options’, ‘Document Properties’)
Item Visibility Settings (found under the ‘View’ menu)
Sheet Properties (found by right clicking the drawing sheet & going to ‘Properties’)
Sketch entities
Sheet Format (the line art for a drawing title block and border)
The ‘Document Properties’ will hold different settings for part/assembly, and drawing files based
on the specific needs of those modes. Drawing templates, additionally, have template settings
stored under ‘Sheet Properties’.
Please note that the sheet format (title block line art) is not specifcally part of the drawing
template but is stored in a separate “Sheet Format” file that is picked upon creation of a new
drawing. This will be discussed more later in this document.

What do these settings areas look like?

The “Document Properties” dialog will only be available when a document (Part, Asssembly, or
Drawing) is open within SolidWorks. It can be accessed via ‘Tools’, ‘Options’ on the tab of thes ame name. All options found within this tab are settings that can be setup for document
templates and is shown in Figure 1.

Changing Template Settings Figure1

Figure 1: “Document Properties” dialog box.

The “Sheet Format” consists of the backdrop on which all the title block, border line art, title block
properties, and the sheet size of a drawing exist. These are the only items that are stored in a
“Sheet Format” file. If a drawing template is saved with a “Sheet Format” selected that drawing
template will always open with that “Sheet Format” present and will not prompt the user to select
a “Sheet Format” to then apply upon open.


Changing Template Settings2

Figure 2: A “Sheet Format” showing title block, border line art.


The “View” menu is found at the top of the SOLIDWORKS Window at all times but will only have
template specific settings once a document is opened as is shown in Figure 3.

Changing Template Settings3

Figure 3: The document specific “View” menu as seen from within a part or assembly file.

“FeatureManager Design Tree” items such as sketches, features, or planes can be put into position
and then saved to be a portion of a part or assembly template. When such templates are then
used to create parts these items populate the “FeatureManager Design Tree” upon creation of the
new file as shown in Figure 4. Additionally, sketch entities (line art) placed in free space within a
drawing can be saved as part of a drawing template.

Features and sketches

Figure 4: Features and sketches may be placed into part or assembly templates.

The “Sheet Properties” dialog will only be found within a drawing document and can be accessed
by right mouse clicking on a sheet in the FeatureManager Design Tree then going to ‘Properties’.
The resulting dialog is shown in Figure 5.

Sheet Properties dialog

Figure 5: The “Sheet Properties” dialog.

What is the process to update template settings?

No matter what setting is being changed the process of updating the setting within a document
template remains the same. If a setting exists in multiple file types (part, assembly, or drawing) or
multiple templates then that setting will have to be changed on a per type or per template basis
by just repeating the process below:

1. Create a new document (part, assembly, or drawing)
    If creating a drawing do not select a sheet format but rather dismiss the sheet
    format selection dialog (shown below).

Changing Template Settings6

2. Go to the location of the setting you wish to change (‘Document Properties’, ‘View’ menu,
    ‘Sheet Properties’)
3. Change the setting (or place Features or Sketches into the ‘FeatureManager Design Tree’)
    then accept the changes
4. Go to ‘File’, ‘Save As’, set the file format to “Part (or Assembly, or Drawing) Template”
5. Overwrite the existing template file to update it or give the file a new name to start
    creating multiple templates.

If new template files are being saved into new locations is becomes important to make sure that
SolidWorks is querying that new folder looking for document templates to use. To do this, do the

2. Go to ‘Tools’, ‘Options’, ‘System Options’, ‘File Locations’
3. Show folders for ‘Document Templates’ (it should already be this way but make sure)
4. Check the list for the folder location the new templates are saved to and if that folder is not
     listed go ahead and add it to the list.

If there are multiple SOLIDWORKS users in the company it may be appropriate to add
the UNC path of a network shared folder to this list for all SOLIDWORKS machines.
One set of updated templates could then be placed into the network shared folder
and all users would be sure to be using the same document templates.

5. Accept the ‘System Options’ dialog

With the file locations double-checked and updated it is now important to refresh what templates
SOLIDWORKS uses by default for imported files (IGES, STEP, Parasolid, DXF, DWG, etc) by doing the

2. Go to ‘Tools’, ‘Options’, ‘System Options’, ‘Default Templates’ (shown below)

Changing Template Settings7

3. Use the “…” buttons to the right of all your templates to re-select which template should
    be used as the default template
4. Accept the ‘System Options’ dialog once all templates are refreshed

At this point the document templates have updated settings or new templates have been created,
the default templates used by SOLIDWORKS have been refreshed, and everything is ready for use by
the SOLIDWORKS user(s).

  1. Sparklight address check
  2. Boys transformer shirt
  3. Haikyuu takeda
  4. Penn valley concrete

Step-by-step Guide for creating a SOLIDWORKS Part Template

Making a SOLIDWORKS Part Template is a quick and easy way to model in the desired unit of measure, have the appropriate visual qualities and have other specific settings turned on or off. Below is a step by step process of how to create a simple part template tailored to your company’s needs. This process will work for creating SOLIDWORKS part, assembly, route, weldment and drawing templates.

  1. Start off by clicking on “File” and then select “New”.
  2. A new window will appear, from the default templates SOLIDWORKS provides, we will select “Part” and click “Ok”.
  3. With the blank canvas opened we will start to modify it. At the top, select the cog icon for “Options”.
    SOLIDWORKS Options

    SOLIDWORKS Options

  4. At the top of this new window we are going to select “Document Properties”. This is where we will make all the changes.
  5. In the left menu click “Drafting Standard” and in the main section select in the drop down box the drafting standard your company prefers. For this example I am going to choose “ISO”.
  6. Each drafting standard has its own specific settings that are automatically set. Please notice in the left menu, when selecting “Annotations, Dimensions, Tables” and “DimXpert”, that they are set to the drafting standard you previously selected. These settings can be modified, once modified, the file will have ‘modified’ in the title.
  7. We are going to move onto the most popular area, which is “Units”. The units can be adjusted to display what you are modeling in, whether its Imperial or Metric. SOLIDWORKS has quick standards that can be selected. For this example I am going to select “MMGS” (millimeter, gram, second), but then I am going to select “Custom” to customize options.
  8. Part way down I am going to customize Mass by selecting “grams” from the drop down box. I am going to select “pounds” for this example.
  9. Next we are going to select “Image Quality” in the left menu. We are going to adjust the top slider bar “Shaded and draft quality HLR/HLV resolution”. Adjust the slider bar to the left and right and you can see the sample circle get shaped into a hexagon or into a high quality circle. For typical parts that don’t need amazing quality (like surfacing retail items), I suggest leaving the bard about 1/3 the way in from the left (Low – faster). This will still have a decent picture and not slow down the performance of that part. To learn more about image quality please refer to our SOLIDWORKS Image Quality article.
Low resolution

Low resolution

High Resolution

High Resolution

  1. For this exercise I have made all the changes to the “Document Properties” I wanted, now I will click “OK” at the bottom.
  2. Click “File” at the top and then select “Save As”. In the drop down box “Save as type” we are going to select “Part Templates (*.prtdot)
SOLIDWORKS Part Template

SOLIDWORKS Part Template file type (*.prtdot)

  1. Change the “File name:” to what you want it to be called. Mine will be called Metric-Pounds.
  2. Finally, click “Save” at the bottom and you’re done.

Thank you for following this SOLIDWORKS Part Template how to guide.

SOLIDWORKS: Part and Assembly Templates

Create clean SOLIDWORKS templates: one simple trick

There is a reason you cannot download fresh SOLIDWORKS templates.

Because you don’t need to.

You can create them yourself in seconds.

Which templates are we talking about here?

This post is about three types of SOLIDWORKS templates:

  1. Part templates (*.prtdot files)
  2. Assembly templates (*.asmdot files)
  3. Drawing templates (*.drwdot files)

The difference between a drawing template and a sheet format

A quick reminder: a drawing template (*.drwdot) is not the same as a sheet format (*.slddrt).

You use a drawing template to create a new drawing file and set drawing properties. A sheet format however only determines the size, border and title block of one sheet in that drawing.

You can use multiple sheet formats in a drawing, but only one drawing template.

A drawing template can contain links to two sheet formats: for the first sheet and for the rest of the sheets.

Check Settings > Document Properties > Drawing sheets > Sheet format for new sheets. If you get a popup when you add a sheet, the file set here might be missing.

How to create new templates

The trick is: SOLIDWORKS will create a new template when it cannot find one.

So to make this happen, follow these steps:

  1. Remove all reference folders or all referenced files
    • SOLIDWORKS looks in the folders set in Settings > File Locations > Document templates
    • You can either delete these references (use this method to edit multiple locations at once) or delete the files.
  2. Click browse on the right of the part/assembly/drawing template path
  3. Click Cancel or OK. It doesn’t matter which button you click, SOLIDWORKS notices the problem and fixes it.
  4. You’re done.

There will now be one (or multiple, one for each file type) new template file in the first file location set in File Locations > Document templates.

If you haven’t changed this folder, it is set to:

C:\ProgramData\SolidWorks\SOLIDWORKS 20xx\templates\

Replace 20xx with your SOLIDWORKS version year.

When you click File and New, SOLIDWORKS will create all missing templates as well.

The default location for sheet formats

This one might just come in handy when you are looking for sheet format files. The default location for sheet formats is:

C:\ProgramData\SOLIDWORKS\SOLIDWORKS 20xx\lang\english\sheetformat

Default files names

  • Part.prtdot
  • Assembly.asmdot
  • Drawing.drwdot

What SOLIDWORKS looks like when templates are missing

If a template file cannot be found, SOLIDWORKS might display them as Blank.

I say might, because I have actually set up two folders here. The second folder does not show up, even though it contains an assembly and drawing template.

In the image below, the assembly template and drawing template are missing:

You can just create a new file with any of these templates. SOLIDWORKS will create the missing ones when needed.

How to edit a template

Editing a template is very simple. It’s basically this:

  1. Create a new file using an existing part/assembly/drawing template
  2. Make only the absolute necessary changes
  3. Click File > Save as
  4. Pick a file name
  5. Select part template/assembly template/drawing template from the file type dropdown.
  6. Click Save

Have fun impressing your colleagues

Congratulations. Because you know this trick, you are one step closer to becoming the SOLIDWORKS guru at your company!


Template solidworks

Saving SolidWorks Templates to Custom Locations

By Josh Carrier, Javelin Technologies Inc.

It is often necessary to create your own customized document templates and drawing sheet formats.  The default SolidWorks save locations for these files is within a directory that should be deleted if SolidWorks is fully uninstalled properly.  If you have not created a backup of your templates, they will also be deleted.  It is because of this that it is typically advisable to create a unique folder location (outside of the SolidWorks install directory) for these files to be saved in to prevent future data loss.

When saving a document template (go to File, Save As), upon choosing the template file type from the drop down list, the save location automatically changes to the SW default template location.  This is typically “C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\SolidWorks\SolidWorks\templates”.  You can then change the save location to a custom location, such as “C:\SolidWorks Templates”.

After saving the template, you must modify the SolidWorks options to actually reference the new template location.  Go to Tools, Options, File Locations, choosing Document Templates from the drop down list.  You can then pick the Add button and browse to your new template location.

File Locations

Figure 1: File Locations

After adding the new document template file location, click OK to accept this change.  If prompted to add this location as a search location, you can typically click Yes

To use this new template, go to File, New, and the new template location will be listed as a separate tab within the New SolidWorks Document dialog box shown in the figure below.

New SolidWorks Document dialog box

Figure 2: New SolidWorks Document dialog box

A similar procedure can also be followed to save a drawing sheet format and then update the Sheet Format file locations within SolidWorks. It’s also possible to save document templates and drawing sheet formats to network locations.  This can then allow multiple computers to access this network location, thereby ensuring that all SolidWorks users are utilizing the exact same templates.




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Now discussing:

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