1 2 3 First Previous 105 Replies Latest reply on Apr 17, 2019 12:35 PM by Frederick Law

    Crusty Old Template File Gotcha

    Jim Sculley

      While working on a thorny problem with EPDM and SW BOMs, I discovered the following in the Knowledge Base:



      Solution Id:S-071805

      Product:SOLIDWORKS Professional 2016


      Technically Reviewed Date:1/4/2017



      Question:In the SOLIDWORKS® CAD software, how do I determine if I am using an old template?

      Answer:Making sure that you use the correct template version for your version of the SOLIDWORKS® software is fundamental in avoiding unexpected behavior in the Sheet Metal, BOM, Cut List and other environments.

      There is no tool available in the user interface to check the template version. One way that you can do this is as follows:

      1.     Create a new part or assembly.

      2.     Select the 'Top Plane' in the FeatureManager®.

      3.     Right-click and select 'Properties'.


      The ‘Date created’ field provides information about the creation date. If the template is very old, consider replacing it with a new template from scratch.


      As a best practice, you should not save an old template in the latest version of the software. If you create a new part from an old template and then use the ‘Save As’ function to replace the template in the latest release of the SOLIDWORKS CAD software, some internal data does not update properly.



      My problem went away when I saved a new template based on the default SW template over the top of the template that was giving me problems.  So, if you are using Save...As to update your various template files, be aware that problems may occur.

        • 1. Re: Crusty Old Template File Gotcha
          Ian McLean

          We had numerous problems with sheetmetal, display states, configurations, multi-body parts and others issues which were tracked down to using old templates.

          Our previous practice was simply to resave old templates in latest version.

          There have been major changes to Solidworks part files, and old files, even when saved in the latest version, do not get all the updates.

          Personally, I only came by this knowledge after many hours of VAR support.

          It seems like it would have been a good idea for Solidworks to have made more effort to make this widely known.

          • 2. Re: Crusty Old Template File Gotcha
            Dave Bear

            That's a great heads-up! Thanks Jim.



            • 3. Re: Crusty Old Template File Gotcha
              Mark Marston

              Does this also apply to Drawing Templates?

              • 4. Re: Crusty Old Template File Gotcha
                Josh Brady

                Really?  This is terrible!  There are a large number of document options/properties/etc that get saved in a template.  How the heck is one supposed to go through and check each one to make sure it's correct? 

                • 5. Re: Crusty Old Template File Gotcha
                  John Stoltzfus

                  If you make any changes in the SolidWorks settings or templates – Always do the following

                  Open – Copy Settings Wizard – Find it in the SolidWorks Tools Folder and Save Your Settings


                  Save your Part Templates - Assembly Templates (periodically - setup a scheduled maintenance)


                  Save your Drafting Standards

                  Save your Sheet Formats

                  Save your Templates (Drawing Shown) – but save the Part and Assembly Templates as well


                  Save - SAVE - Save

                  • 6. Re: Crusty Old Template File Gotcha
                    Jim Steinmeyer

                    So if our old parts are not updated this will be a problem? Or just if our new parts templates are old it will cause a problem? I have been playing with #Task to save our files to 2017 so I opened a recently saved part and checked the date on the top plane. It was 2001 even though it had been saved today.

                         I am so corn-fused.

                    • 7. Re: Crusty Old Template File Gotcha
                      Don Carter

                      We too have been bit by this. But here's the thing: I do not find any documentation on this problem any place within Solidworks, other than this one KB article.

                      At the very least, SW should be providing a set of new templates yearly and a set of instructions for how to update production templates with new ones.  At the very least, a location for new templates should be "published" (maybe in What's New or in Release Notes) and easy to find.

                      Are there templates from SW Corp newer than 2013?


                      The KB article recommends to build new templates from scratch.  Does anybody have any idea how to do that?  I find the default planes and origin to be the one part of a template that can never be deleted (well, four parts  ).


                      SW 2016 SP3 on Windows 7, with plans to migrate to SW 2017 SP3 within the month.


                      Disclaimer: Yes, I am whining. I tend to do that, especially when I find that some vital information has been withheld from me, causing me problems in doing my job or in solving problems.

                      Yours truly, The Curmudgeon

                      (a crusty irascible (easily provoked to outbursts of anger; irritable ) cantankerous (bloody-minded: stubbornly obstructive and unwilling to cooperate) old person full of stubborn ideas).



                      • 8. Re: Crusty Old Template File Gotcha
                        John Stoltzfus

                        I never ran into the issue that Jim Sculley mentions, plus I'm working with a much smaller portion of drawings/parts/assemblies, having said that I have opened old files 1998 and after without any issues at all and I think the difference is updating all the templates over the years may have made a difference, I' also hay-ish confused myself

                        • 9. Re: Crusty Old Template File Gotcha
                          Mark Marston

                          I am confused also.

                          I opened the "part.prtdot" template from the SW 2017 default location, selected the top plane and feature properties and this is what I get:

                          Created in 1999!

                          • 10. Re: Crusty Old Template File Gotcha
                            Jim Sculley

                            The problems that can be caused by this are extremely subtle.  For example,  here is the problem I was troubleshooting.  I have a set of test files for testing some custom add-ins I use with EPDM.  I had a drawing file (of an assembly) that had been fully rebuilt, saved and closed.   The next time I opened the drawing, the assembly file would be marked as needing to be saved in the EPDM task pane tree.  If I opened the assembly file itself, it would not have the needs to be saved flag.  The problem would go away if I deleted the BOM from the drawing.  This BOM was created using our custom BOM template file which has some columns linked to custom properties of the model.  If I added the standard BOM template included with SW 2017, and customized it exactly as our old template, the problem did not reoccur.  So, the only explanation is that the crusty old template was causing the problem.  Very subtle.  It has taken me several weeks to track this down.

                            • 11. Re: Crusty Old Template File Gotcha
                              John Stoltzfus

                              We don't use EPDM so I know saving templates, formats etc, can put it into a very different perspective. 


                              Mark Marston Found the same thing here and I'm wondering if it goes back to when SW was loaded in our server



                              The creation date is one thing - but the last modified is what I would look at

                              • 12. Re: Crusty Old Template File Gotcha
                                Dennis Dohogne

                                I'll take your suggestions a step further, Don.  If this is so important then SWX should include a tool for updating the templates.  If it is not adequate to just save the old template(s) in the new version then the tool should do whatever is necessary to assist us.  Even if the tool has to open the old template and copy the customizations to create a new one then so be it.


                                SWX is fantastic software and I have (mostly) enjoyed using it for 20+ years.  That said, it is really just a productivity tool.  The genius lies between our ears as we figure out what shapes to make to solve the design challenges we face.  Let me say it again, SWX is a productivity tool.  Period!  The emphasis (by SWX Corporate) should always be on this software becoming an invaluable part of our resources - for our productivity.


                                If the old templates can cause ANY problems that can be avoided by making new versions of the templates then SWX MUST: a) inform us of this loudly and clearly, and b) provide a tool to make it painless to achieve.  I DO NOT think this is asking too much of SWX.  I think it is THE LEAST we should expect of them!!

                                • 13. Re: Crusty Old Template File Gotcha
                                  Jim Sculley


                                  Solution Id:S-053149

                                  Product:SolidWorks 2011 Beta


                                  Technically Reviewed Date:5/9/2011



                                  Question:After installing SolidWorks 2011, why is the default templates folder empty?

                                  Answer:The templates are generated in this folder the first time a new file is created in SolidWorks 2011.  However, if the Templates File Location setting includes paths to other template folders, SolidWorks will use those other templates instead of generating the new default templates in the new folder.

                                  To generate the templates in this case, remove all other Template file location paths, keeping only the 2011 templates folder in the list.  Create a new SolidWorks file, and see all of the templates get created in the folder.



                                  So, in my 2016 install, the C:\ProgramData\SOLIDWORKS\SOLIDWORKS 2016 folder is empty, except for a placeholder file named marker.txt.  In my 2017 install, I removed all templates from File Locations in the system options and reset the Default Templates in system options to the default.  I then created a new part and the new templates Part.prtdot, Assembly.asmdot and Drawing.drwdot get created.  Opening these template files, they are brand new, with me listed as the creator of the default planes with today's date.

                                  • 14. Re: Crusty Old Template File Gotcha
                                    Don Carter

                                    RIGHT ON, DUDE !!!   (is that a proper mixed colloquialism?)


                                    When we had the problem, our VAR and SW Corp did acknowledge that they fell a wee bit short in making the need for this known to the masses.  I expected to see that corrected in SW 2017, but I ain't seen it so far.  Maybe 2018??


                                    Any task writers out there willing to take this on?

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