46 Replies Latest reply on Dec 27, 2017 8:34 AM by Dan Pihlaja

    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.

        • 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.

          • Re: Crusty Old Template File Gotcha
            Dave Bear

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



            • Re: Crusty Old Template File Gotcha
              Mark Marston

              Does this also apply to Drawing Templates?

              • 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? 

                • 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

                    • 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.

                        • 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

                            • 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.

                            • 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!

                                • Re: Crusty Old Template File Gotcha
                                  Dan Pihlaja

                                  Mark Marston wrote:


                                  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!

                                  Yes, however, did you use the original template (before you updated) to create this template?

                                  Or, did you allow SW 2017 to create new default templates (by moving all old templates to a new location), then allowing Solidworks to create new templates from scratch)?


                                  This is our new ones:

                                  • Re: Crusty Old Template File Gotcha
                                    John Frahm

                                    Same. We are on 2015 but I got this:

                                      • Re: Crusty Old Template File Gotcha
                                        Dan Pihlaja

                                        John Frahm , Mark Marston , anyone else....


                                        To create brand new templates from scratch:

                                        1. Go to your templates folder (defined here:
                                          1. And move (or delete - not recommended) all the templates from that folder to a separate folder
                                        2. Then restart Solidworks, and click File-->New
                                        3. Click the "Novice" button  (if it doesn't already bring you to the "novice" area.
                                        4. This should create 3 new templates
                                        5. Now take those templates and modify them to your heart's content.
                                        6. Now you have Brand new, shiny templates.
                                  • Re: Crusty Old Template File Gotcha
                                    Edward Poole

                                    Excellent info John Stoltzfus I guess I have some work to do...

                                  • 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).



                                    • Re: Crusty Old Template File Gotcha
                                      Logan Pegler

                                      Not completely automated when you update your software... but for those wanting to apply previous settings to a new template check out the "Copy Document Settings" task in #TASK: #TASK


                                      If you open the default SolidWorks templates and the date is still older than the version you are using this indicates SolidWorks has been upgraded from the previous version rather than a fresh install. If you choose to upgrade and the previous templates are still there it won't replace them or recreate new ones.

                                      If you do a clean install between versions as is recommended the default templates should be recreated when you launch SolidWorks.

                                      If you haven't seen this dialog in a long time there's a good chance your templates have dust on them:

                                      To recreate the templates you can create a zip file of the templates in the default folders, delete them from the folder then launch SolidWorks and try to create a new part.

                                      • Re: Crusty Old Template File Gotcha
                                        John Pesaturo

                                        It's a little off topic but since the "Copy Settings Wizard" has been brought up I thought it was pertinent.


                                        The same can be said for the "Copy Settings Wizard" as far as I'm concerned. We were having a number of issues for some time now. I won't go into detail on them all but the most disturbing of which was problems with corrupt DXF file conversions and general SW crashes related to save-as DXF's. We had been using workarounds for about a year now (a lot of the machine houses we sub out to require DXF formats for Wire EDM & Water JET jobs) and it came to a head when we could barely go a day without major issues upon installing SW2017.


                                        Thanks to an astute observation by one of our many calls to the VAR ... This one gentleman noticed (while using the Team Viewer app/program) that we had an odd box show up in between the conversion-save as process. It was just a simple box that let you know what layers were being saved at what colors and so on. Nothing important to me as I've always simply clicked by it and it's never done anything that I've required. I have seen this pop up as long as I can remember. Thing is, he'd never seen that pop-up box ... Ever.


                                        So through the voodoo that they do, I reluctantly let him reset my registry essentially tricking SW into thinking it was a fresh install and low and behold all (and I mean all) of our issues disappeared along with that seemingly meaningless box.


                                        Long story short, I think it really came down to the fact that after all the years of using the "Copy Settings Wizard" the system simply got hung up on things it kept trying to pull forward from release to release. Heck, I don't remember how many things have changed since we started using the SW 97+ version. Needless to say, we now have an in-house procedure in place to do an actual fresh install every few years. Sure it's a PITA to remember all the settings we've changed to make our lives easier but in the end it's an hours worth of aggravation resetting these things and the result on our end speaks for itself.


                                        Just my .02 ... Have a great weekend ...

                                          • Re: Crusty Old Template File Gotcha
                                            Glenn Schroeder



                                            I remember someone here (I'm pretty sure it was Kelvin Lamport) say he never used the Copy Settings Wizard when updating to a new version.  That may be a good policy.

                                            • Re: Crusty Old Template File Gotcha
                                              Matt Peneguy

                                              Okay, Dassault provides us a tool that breaks our new installs?  Maybe they should provide us a comparison tool so that we can manually change our interface in the new install to match our old install.  I have a lot of customizations, from changing the default color of a part being edited in the feature tree to a bright color to changing dangling dimensions in drawings to red, because I want to be able to see them and fix them (default drab green was a poor choice Dassault, btw).  It would take me hours to figure out what all is different, then I'd still miss some.

                                                • Re: Crusty Old Template File Gotcha
                                                  Paul Salvador

                                                  Matt, thanks for saying this..   if Copy Settings Wizard is in any way creating problematic updates between releases,.. this should be priority #1.

                                                  I have always used this tool and I'm sure many do as well..   so.. if there are any known issues which VAR's and SW Corp knows about..  the users absolutley NEED a settings error log which pops ups a flags old/new settings which have or have not changed/updated.

                                                • Re: Crusty Old Template File Gotcha
                                                  Rick McDonald

                                                  I use the copy settings wizard on a regular basis.

                                                  Each year (minimum) I run this and save the current settings - I incorporate the date in the file names so that I know what is new and if I see a problem that I never used to I can step back to different times and see when the problems go away - then I can compare the settings and see what is different.  This way I will know what it was that caused the problem and I will be more aware if I later think I may want to change that setting for some reason.

                                                  The wizard also gives you options to select all or certain areas.

                                                  I always save a file of "all" settings as well as saving each of the individual sections independently.

                                                  This way, if I do have a problem it is very fast to narrow down what area is causing that problem and makes finding the cause much faster and easier. And, I don't end up changing more settings than I want to that would cause me different unexpected reactions in the future.

                                                  I  do understand that newer versions might changes the way some of these functions work - but again, if you upgrade (and I always do the new install and then an initial copy settings wizard - for the default settings) and you see differences after restoring the settings to the old version it is easy to isolate the cause and fix it the way you want.

                                                  Another thing to keep in mind (if I remember correctly) there is an option when upgrading, to retain your settings (it will use all the settings you have and add the new ones for the new version - instead of just using the default.

                                                • Re: Crusty Old Template File Gotcha
                                                  Jim Sculley

                                                  This problem popped up again for a part file.  The hide/show functionality for bodies was not behaving properly.


                                                  What's up with this multi-body part?

                                                  • Re: Crusty Old Template File Gotcha
                                                    Scott Stuart

                                                    I have experienced problems that Jim Sculley is describing, particularly with new sheet metal features in old part templates created before new sheet metal features were introduced. So I wrote a macro to help identify this problem. It works by displaying all the versions that a given file has been saved in.


                                                    I ran it on our part template and got this:


                                                    We have a separate sheet metal template, which I have already recreated, but it looks like I need to recreate our basic part template as well.


                                                    A copy of the macro is attached for anyone who wants it.

                                                    • Re: Crusty Old Template File Gotcha
                                                      John Stoltzfus

                                                      Re-doing your templates isn't that hard...  What I did was have two sessions of SW open.  First thing I did is to draw a 8.5" x 11" sketch and place the one corner 0,0 and fixed the sketch, then in the second screen and the other session I just copied the entire title block and pasted off of the new sheet, (don't let the pasted sketch overlap into the new template,  then I highlighted the just pasted sketch and ctrl and picked the 0,0 corner of the pasted sketch and dropped it onto the newly fixed sketch and done.  Close the original template and save over the old template with the new... Takes a few minutes per sheet...

                                                      • Re: Crusty Old Template File Gotcha
                                                        Dwight Livingston

                                                        Is anyone proposing that old drawing formats cause a problem? I assume that one can load an old drawing format onto a fresh drawing template and not produce a crust.