Setting up and using SolidWorks Revision Tables faster

I am sometimes surprized by the limited the adoption of the SolidWorks Revision Table.  This is a powerful tool for drawings within SolidWorks.  The Revision Table allows the user to create a drawing template with an easily updateable revision block already included.  The user doesn’t have to use a potentially unstable Excel inserted OLE.  They also do not need a drawn revision block that requires significant labor in order to update and maintain.

The SolidWorks Revision Table is easy to insert in SolidWorks 2008.  With a drawing open, just go to Insert pulldown>Tables>Revision Table.  Within the Revision Table Pane, pick the appropriate revision template.  Choose any desired options for the table. Choose OK.  The Revision Table will automatically appear in upper right corner.  Save the drawing template for future use.  (See Help for instructions to place the Revision Table at other locations on the drawing.  Also, more steps are required in 2007 and prior; but, they are intuitive to follow and provide more on-screen control over the table’s location.)

Custom Revision Tables can be created to suit the companies specific needs.  Right click on the table to use the RMB menu to access functions that provide methods to modify the table.  When modifications are complete, use the RMB menu Save As option to save the new table as a table template for future use.

To add a revision, simply right click on the Revision Table.  Choose Revisions>Add Revision.  A new revision row will appear with the next revision inserted.  Simply double click any field to add or modify its value.  LMB click outside of the table to set the edits.

Of course, there is a simpler way to add revisions to the Revision Table!  I’ve created a macro that provides a form which allows the quick addition of revisions to the Revision Table.  It’s called RevBlockControl.  It is much faster than directly creating and entering all the rows and values.  It has been recently updated, so if you already use this macro, please consider using the latest version.

RevBlockControl Form

Sample image of the macro form

To use the macro, place it in the macros folder under the SolidWorks folder.  If it doesn’t exist, create it.  Within SolidWorks, assign a custom key stroke to the macro and/or create a toolbar icon location for it.

It can be used for a variety of revision table set-ups, including standard recommended ASME types.  It is limited to 5 columns, though it is customizable without editing the code or a complex .ini file.  If editing the code is desired, everything is spelled out with descriptions for easy of use.  In fact, the code can be quickly edited to allow the macro to drive the drawing’s “Revision” custom property.  Additionally, there is a small .ini included in this current version.  It is simply a list of initials used by the Rev By field.  Edit it with NOTEPAD to add and delete names that will automatically appear within the Rev By field.

Even without the RevBlockControl macro, the easy of use of the SolidWorks Revision Table is well worth the few minutes of effort to set it up on a template.  With the RevBlockControl macro, adding revisions to a Revision Table is so fast that it is almost effortless when compared to other type of revision blocks.

Author: fcsuper

As a drafter, mechanical designer and CAD engineer, I've been in the mechanical design field since 1991. For the first 8 years of my career, I was an AutoCAD professional. I utilized AutoLISP and many other AutoCAD customization features to streamline drafting activities for 6+ drafters and designers. I authored several custom functions, one of which was published in the March 1997 issue of Cadalyst Magazine. Since 1998, I've been used SolidWorks non-stop. I've worked to utilize the SolidWorks' user environment to simplify drafting and design activities for 20+ engineers. I've created this website to provide current information about SolidWorks from a variety of contributors. More recently, I am now employed by Dassault Systemes as SOLIDWORKS Sr. Product Definition Manager to improve drawing, annotation and MBD related areas.

One thought on “Setting up and using SolidWorks Revision Tables faster”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

By submitting a comment here you grant this site a perpetual license to reproduce your submitted words and name in attribution. Please note, comments are moderated to cut spam, so they may not appear instantly when submitted.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.