Controlling how flag notes are attached to leaders (part 1)

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series Controlling how flag notes are attached to leaders

SolidWorks provides the ability to support many different shapes for flag notes.  In addition to shapes, there are several methods in SolidWorks to create flag notes on a drawing.  Each method gives a slightly different result in how the flag note symbol looks and how it is attached to the leader line.  Part 1 of this article will cover shapes and the flag note symbols.

Flag note symbol shapes

There are two general methods to add flag note symbols to an Annotation Note.

The first (and older) method is to use the symbol library.  There are literally hundreds of symbols included within the library.  The library supports triangle, square and circle symbols for numbers and letters, with or without the period.  This method inserts a tag into the Annotation Note, which then generates the flag note symbol, based on existing data in the gtol.sym file.

Using the Flag note symbols from the symbol library

To use this method, create the Annotation Note with a leader.

While in the edit mode, click on the Add Symbol button in the PropertyManager.

This opens up the Symbol Library.  Pick the appropriate flag note symbol and OK.This opens up the Symbol Library. Pick the appropriate flag note symbol and OK.

This will insert the symbol into the Annotation Note.

If the triangle is chosen, the resultant symbol is not an equilateral triangle. The square and circle symbols are truly squares and circles, respectively.  Note the gap between the flag note and leader.  This gap can get bigger or be completely removed with a different method, which I will go into in part 2 of this article.

SolidWorks 2010 Usability: Attach Annotations to Dimensions

There are a ton of subtle improvements in SolidWorks 2010 to improve its usability.  Many of these improvements might seem small now, but once one is reliant on the new functionality, it will seem like we’ve always had it this way.  Attaching annotations to dimensions is now easier with expanded capability.  Here’s a couple of examples showing-off these new capabilities.

Drop Annotation Notes into Dimensions

It is now possible to drag an annotation note and drop it onto a dimension, to become apart of that dimension callout.  First, LMB click and hold on the annotation note.

Select annotation text

Then, simply drag that annotation note on top of the dimension.

Selected text becomes apart of dimension

The result is that the text from the annotation note is now included within the text of the dimension.  One limitation is that the dimension field still does not support borders around selected text.

Attach Annotations to Dimensions

Other types of annotation that can be attached to dimensions include GD&T feature control frames, datum feature symbols and surface finish symbols.

Annotations attach in more ways to dimensions

  • Annotations and their leaders may now be attached directly to extension lines.
  • GD&T annotations now may be dropped right into a dimension callout and then detached with the use of the handles in the upper left corner.
  • Annotations may now be moved around extension lines, and more easily moved from one attachment to another.