Macro to add Revisions to Drawing Revision block table

A while ago, I created a SolidWorks macro that allows the user to quickly add new revisions to a drawing’s revision block table. It’s called RevBlockControl. I’m fairly proud of this macro because of its flexibility and easy of use. Within SolidWorks, it can be used for any ASME Y14.35M-1997 compliant revision block table and even supports not so compliant layouts. One cool feature is that it supports revision block tables that start either from the top or bottom of a drawing. The macro even provides an option to update a revision custom property (though the name of the custom property is stored in the code). This one function, of course, is not as useful for those who update their custom properties within the part model. Another requested feature that was included is the addition of buttons to insert some common special characters like line feed and the +/- symbol.

RevBlockControl 1.01

Image of an early version of the RevBlockControl

This macro will not work with manually drawn or excel based revision blocks. It only works with a SolidWorks revision block table.  One area of the macro needing improvement is that of settings. Currently, the settings are stored within the code itself, or user selected each time the macro is run. Also, it does not validate if the current revision block table matches the user selected settings. However, it does have clear instructions within a detailed help area that will allow even a novice user to quickly modify the code to establish their settings preferences. There is currently only one known bug involving the form X button. Use the actual Cancel button if quitting the macro without making changes to the revision block table.

One big plus of the macro is that it has a simple preview area that allows the user to visualize how their revision entry will appear. The preview updates to match whatever settings are selected, and any data entered into the input fields.

The macro may be downloaded here: RevBlockControl.  It may be freely distributed. For additional details, see its .txt file and its help area.  Feedback is always welcome.

Create a SolidWorks Drawing Watermark

For whatever reason, watermarks are sometimes necessary, even on drawings. Since SolidWorks has no watermark feature, and does not allow the user to change the order of drawing entities, a workaround is necessary. Here’s a method I recently discovered.(I am currently using SolidWorks 2007 SP3.1.)

 

  1. Open the drawing.
  2. Edit Sheet Format
  3. Use Annotation Note to create and place the text that will become the watermark.
  4. Edit the properties of the Note to adjust its font, angle, size, etc as desired.
  5. Highlight the Note and change its color using the Line Color function.For best results, assign a very light color to the Note.
  6. Right Mouse Button click on the Note and select Make Block and accept.
  7. Edit Sheet.

 

The Note will now appear underneath all other objects on the Drawing Sheet. This tip is based on the SolidWorks Forum discussion which can be found here:http://forum.solidworks.com/forum/messageview.cfm?catid=6&threadid=1989&enterthread=y

*UPDATE*

I have written an article detailing a more advanced method that will link the text of the watermark directly to a custom property here: Create a SolidWorks Drawing Watermark (with linked value).

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UPDATE for SolidWorks 2013

SolidWorks 2013 now has the ability to set any annotation note on the sheet format to appear underneath all drawing elements to act as a watermark.  The method mentioned above is no longer necessary to achieve the desired results. Please see SolidWorks 2013 What’s New – Display Note Behind Sheet.