When using custom properties for your parts, assemblies and drawings, you have the option in the drop down menu to select pre-existing properties. These properties are stored in the Properties.txt file. If you are missing or not pointed to the right directory, you may receive an error or the drop down menu may just be blank.
The cause of this is that SOLIDWORKS cannot locate the properties.txt file. To check, where it is looking, go to Tools > Options > System Options > File Locations, then bring the pull down menu to "Custom Properties File." By default, this is located in the folder: C:\ProgramData\SOLIDWORKS\SOLIDWORKS 20XX\lang\english
First, I would recommend navigating to that location to see if the file exists. C:\ProgramData is a hidden folder so you may need to either manually type it in or change your folder view settings to show hidden folders. If it does, open it and make sure it is populated. If there is nothing in the file, the contents may have been deleted and the file needs to be replaced.
If the file is not there and you have recently upgraded, you may want to check if the Properties.txt might be in a different location. For example, check the SOLIDWORKS 2016 folder instead of the 2017 folder and see if you can find it there. If you find the file, you can either copy it to the location in the options, or delete the old file path and replace it with the location of the file (only one file path allowed for this property).
If this does not work, I've attached the properties.txt from the default 2017 installation, though it is a text file that will work in all versions. Download this file and place it in the proper location.
If you have any further questions, please contact Hawk Ridge Systems technical support at 877.266.4469 (US) or 866.587.6803 (Canada) or email us at email@example.com