Creating Custom Appearances

This article describes the process of creating custom appearances and adding them to the SOLIDWORKS Task Pane. 

Creating custom appearances

Appearances are used to add color and texture to a model. Custom appearances can be created by editing an existing appearance or using an image file. 

To create a custom appearance from an existing one, right-click on the appearance in the Display Manager tab and select 'Edit appearance'. To modify the appearance and save a custom copy, you will need to select the 'Advanced' option. The Advanced tab includes the Illumination, Surface Finish, Color/Image, and Mapping tabs.


edit_appearance.png   advanced.png


For information on how to apply Illumination, Surface Finishes, and Texture Mapping, please visit the SOLIDWORKS help page here. After you have customized the appearance using the available tabs, you will want to save the new appearance file by selecting 'Save Appearance' under Appearance.





The appearance is saved as a .p2m file type to your specified location. If SOLIDWORKS is not pointing to this location, the following message will appear:




Selecting 'Yes' will add the location to the Custom-Appearances Locations and the folder will be added to the Appearances Task Pane. 




Adding images as custom appearances

Image files can also be used as custom appearances in SOLIDWORKS. You will need to save the images to a location that can be added to the Task Pane. To add the file location, open the Appearances, Scenes, and Decals Task Pane, select the 'Appearances' top folder, and click 'Add File Location' at the top of the Task Pane. The folder where the images are saved will now appear at the bottom of the Task Pane. 




If you have any questions regarding the information above or are unable to troubleshoot this issue, please contact Hawk Ridge Systems Technical Support at 1-877-266-4469 (US)1-866-587-6803(CAN), or





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