Using Empty Views (Part 2: Creation)

In this article I’m going to cover how to create an Empty View, and the ugly hack for making it a desired size.  In Part 2, I will cover how to use Empty Views for quick zooming and bookmarks in PDFs.

Creating Empty Views

Creating Empty Views is easy.  With a drawing open, goto Insert pulldown>Drawing View>Empty.

Add empty view to drawing

SolidWorks will then ask for a location on the drawing for the Empty View. Simply LMB click at the desired location.  In the example below, I’ve placed the Empty View in what might seem to be an very unusual location (covering the Revision Block table).  I’ll cover why in Part 2 of this article.

Pick location on drawing

Ugly Hack

To get the Empty View to stretch across the full length of the Revision Block table, we’ll need to employ an ugly hack.  Within the new Empty View, draw a line that starts from the corner of the border. Terminate the other end at the vertex of the table at other end.  The endpoints of this line will not attach to these two vertices, but will drop on top of them when the line is created.

Pick location on drawing

The result is an Empty View sized as required. The way to hide the line in this hack is to place it directly over another line (in this case, the Drawing Border).  (A RMB click on the line and choosing the Hide function will not work.  The view will resize back to its default shape.)

Pick location on drawing

Now RMB click on the view and choose the Lock View option.  This will keep the view in place (preventing it from accidentally shifting around).

Making the Empty View useful

To make this new Empty View useful, rename it in the FeatureManager.Renaming the Empty ViewRenamed Empty View

This will allow for easier identification when it comes time to use this (and any other Empty Views).  Part 2 will explain more about this and the reason for these additional steps.

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.

4 thoughts on “Using Empty Views (Part 2: Creation)”

  1. You may not be able to RMB hide the line, but you can add it to a layer and turn off that layer. The view will retain its size, at least in 09-2.1

  2. CNote98,

    Thank you for your helpful tip. I’m not sure if the email you used when you left your posting is real. Please contact me with your contact information. Include the email address you used in your comment for verification. I may have a prize in which you may be interested.

    BTW, I’ve confirmed that it works in SW2008 SP0.0 as well, so I’m guessing this works across the board.

    *Update*
    I thought I was to do this in 2008 0.0, but now I’m not sure. I just tried it in 2009 0.0 and it did not work. Once the drawing refreshed, the empty views did not hold their shape. I will be looking into this a bit more.

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