Drawing Template with Two Different Sheet Formats (Part 2)

UPDATE for SolidWorks 2014: The following protocol is no longer necessary to achieve a different sheet format for addition sheets on a drawing.  Please see 2014 What’s New in SolidWorks – Sheet Formats for current information.

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Here is the [no-longer-necessary] protocol to set up a Drawing Template so that it can use two completely different Sheet Formats without requiring any additional action by the user when they start a new drawing.

This protocol tricks SolidWorks into having a Drawing Template use one Sheet Format for sheet 1, but also to have a different Sheet Format as the default for any added sheets.  It does this by swapping around the names of the Sheet Format files.

This allows a CAD Administrator to set up their Drawing Templates to be ASME compliant by automatically calling up the simplified title block when additional sheets are added to a drawing.

Instructions

In Windows Explorer:

1. Save a backup copy of the current sheet 1 and multi-sheet Sheet Format files.  Also, save a backup copy of your Drawing Template.

2. Rename multi-sheet file, such as adding an underscore in front of its name.  For example, if your multi-sheet file is named “C-SIZE-SECOND.slddrt”, rename it to “_C-SIZE-SECOND.slddrt”.

3. Rename sheet 1 file so that is has the original name of the multi-sheet file.  For example, if your sheet 1 file is “C-SIZE.slddrt”, rename it to “C-SIZE-SECOND.slddrt”.

In SolidWorks:

4. Start SolidWorks.

5. Open your Drawing Template.

6. Load your renamed sheet 1 Sheet Format.  In the example above, this would be “C-SIZE-SECOND.slddrt”.  The result should be a drawing that shows your sheet 1.

7. Save your Drawing Template.

8. Close SolidWorks

In Windows Explorer:

9. Rename sheet 1 to its original name.  In the example above, rename the “C-SIZE-SECOND.slddrt” file back to “C-SIZE.slddrt”.

10. Rename your original multi-sheet file to its original name.  In the example above, rename “_C-SIZE-SECOND.slddrt” to “C-SIZE-SECOND.slddrt”.

In SolidWorks:

11. Start SolidWorks.

12. Test results by starting a new drawing using the same Drawing Template.  Sheet 1 should appear on sheet 1.

13. Create sheet 2.  The multi-sheet format should appear on sheet 2.

For best results, uncheck “Show sheet format dialog on add new sheet” in Tools pulldown>Options…>System Options tab>Drawings.

The limitation of this method is when the administrator wishes to change sheet 1 of the Drawing Template, they will have to replicate these steps each time.  That doesn’t happen often and well worth the savings in time produced by implementing this method within the Drawing Template.

Additional keywords: 2 title blocks drawing

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.

9 thoughts on “Drawing Template with Two Different Sheet Formats (Part 2)”

  1. Hello man,

    How to set up a new .slddrt? In another word, can I convert finished .drwdot to .slddrt.
    thanks

  2. Open it up and Save as Sheet Format is an option in the File pulldown; Save as Template is an option under the Save As… screen.

  3. Here is an easier way of doing this.

    1. Setup your drawing to look the way you want (with revision table and notes, etc.) then under the File menu, click on [Save As…] and save as a template file (.drwdot)

    2. Setup your drawing to look the way you want for sheet 2. (can remove revision table, material notes, etc.) then under file menu, click on [Save Sheet Format…] save as the same name as in step 1.

    Your done! no need to rename anything or go into explorer.

    ***

    Zenjoe,

    I’ll still need to save the template again with the second sheet format without a second sheet in the template. I’ll play around with this approach to see if I can refine it.

    Matt

  4. ZenJoe, I looked into the method you mentioned. It is only half a solution. The problem is that if you ever need to look the first sheet format manually, you’ll not have a sheet format to load. So, yes it would work, but not the best solution for the long term. There are no time savings in using that method because you are still doing additional work, so it’s better to just use the method suggested in this article.

  5. My company has a secure, read only drive that we are required by our ISO process to store our Document Templates on. I modified our Border templates just as you suggested. Of course, to save these .DRWDOT & .slddrt files, I had to work from my local drive, and once I was satisfied that they worked, I had our PDM dept. move them to the secure drive. I tested the templates again and found that they automatically load the correct 2nd sheet. Then I ask various users to try the new borders. They don’t work. When you try to load the sheet it says it cannot find the correct sheet format. We are all pointing at the same directory. It always works from my workstation but doesn’t from anyone elses.

  6. David,

    I use this method over a network as well. It sounds like your templates are trying to point to the local drive. I would recommend modification of the template files when they are on the network drive (if possible).

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