Drawing Templates or Sheet Formats

Drawing Templates or Sheet Formats? What’s the difference and why does it matter?

A SOLIDWORKS drawing is made of multiple elements but there are two primary elements, drawing templates (.SLDDOT) and sheet formats (.SLDDRT). Understanding how to properly use these two components of a drawing can save users lots of time as well as make their job easier.

Sheet Formats can contain the following components (Not all are required)

  • Defined Title block
  • Boarder
  • Standard Notes
  • Standard Images (ex. Company Logos)
  • Custom Properties
  • Anchor Points (For Tables)

Drawing templates can contain the following components (Again not all are required)

  • Sheet Formats
  • Predefined number of sheets
  • Document Properties(ex. Units, Font)
  • Pre-defined Drawing views



When visiting customers I often am asked: Why do I not get the option to select a size of drawing when I create a new drawing anymore?


The default drawing template (SLDDOT) file does not have a sheet format (SLDDRT) inserted, so the sheet format selector becomes available to give you the option to select one. If you would like to create a template without a sheet format simply create a new drawing. Then go to the FeatureTree and delete the sheet format, then do a save as and select file type as (SLDDOT).

Setting up drawing templates this way will make it easier for you to administer the document properties and control internal drawing standards. An additional benefit I have seen is for the use of one to one drawings on which you do not want a boarder; simply select “Cancel” on the sheet format selector and you will have a blank workspace.

Best of Luck in Your Design Efforts,

Garrett K.

Application Engineer