What’s New in SolidWorks 2014: Ballooning

This entry is part 1 of 13 in the series New in SOLIDWORKS 2014

Balloon annotations have been improved in SolidWorks 2014, with several formatting and behavioral enhancements.

Moving the arrow instead of the drawing view

Selection of the geometry within a drawing view tells SolidWorks you want to move the entire drawing view.  Normally, this is a great feature.  However, there is one case that wasn’t supported as a result.  It was not easy to select an arrow which was attached to a vertex of model geometry (because the vertex itself would be selected).  In SolidWorks 2014, when moving the arrow of a balloon to attach it to a different location, select the balloon first, then select the grip at the arrow’s tip.  This will allow you to move the arrow without moving the entire drawing view.

Moving that arrow

Leader attachment with quantites added

When a quantity is added to a balloon, the leader is no longer forced to break around the quantity.  You now have an option under More Properties button in the PropertyManager of the balloon.

To break or not to break, that is the question

Break around qty

No break around qty

Spacing between quantity and its balloon

You now have control of the distance between the quantity and the balloon with the new Distance field in the Quantity group box of the balloon’s PropertyManager.

Quantity spacing


You can now reattach any balloon, including dangling balloons within a stack, to associate them with any component from the same drawing view.


Reattach command



Enhancements to Balloons in SolidWorks 2014, together with the enhancements to ballooning in SolidWorks 2013, have improved and simplified many workflows to allow you to produce quality drawings faster and with less effort.

Balloon Note – REBUILT

I have to admit my original Balloon Note macro was quite quirky. It was the most complicated VBA project I’d done at the time, so I don’t feel too bad about it. I finally had a chance to try out the SolidWorks 2010 implementation – SO – I decided to rethink the whole thing. WOW – I really have to apologize, I’m surprised that old code worked at all. However, if you liked the general idea found in my original Balloon Note macro, I’m sure you’ll like this completely rebuilt version.

If you have no idea what I’m writing about:
Balloon Note is designed to add a Reference Note to an existing Item Balloon and Group them together automatically. It can add an automatically updating Quantity Text object. The result is similar to a function SolidWorks added in 2010, but, you can adjust the location of the text using the ALT + Select and drag method. The strange squiggle (QTY variable) in the text box represents the selected part quantity, until you apply the Reference Note location (Top, Right, Bottom or Left). Balloon Note uses your current document setting for the Note font height to create the Reference Note. The Links button uses a plain text file “BalloonNote_07.ini” located in the same directory as BalloonNote_07.swp to store your lists of links and symbols. The download includes two versions, BalloonNote_07.swp for SW 2007 (you could possibly change the Reference Libraries to your version) and BalloonNote.dll for SW 2010 x32.


SolidWorks 2010: Minor tweaks II

SolidWorks 2010 has made some minor tweaks to the control users have over balloons.

  1. In an assembly, when the user inserts a balloon, they can set it to follow the item numbering of a selected BOM under Balloon text (an added option for that field).
  2. The user can now add quantities to balloons.  These quantities are parametric so they update automatically as the quantity changes for the associated parts used within the assembly.  This was talked about in one of my SolidWorks World 2009 articles.
  3. One thing that has bugged me about SolidWorks for a long time is the fact that balloon size is determined by font size.  Finally, balloon size can now be set using an actual numeric value (such as .50″).  This can be a general setting in Tools>Options…>Document Properties>Annotation>Balloons.  Individual balloon sizes can also be directly customized via it Balloon PropertyManager.