Removing Detailing Mode Data from Drawings

This article describes the process of disabling detailing mode data in drawing files. Detailing mode data can cause exponentially large file size resulting in extended opening and save times. Detailing mode was introduced in SOLIDWORKS 2020 SP0, however the ability to disable it for these instructions only became available in 2020 SP4. Please update to 2020 SP4 or newer to proceed.


Confirming Detailing Mode Data Exists in the Drawing

In SOLIDWORKS, go to File > Open. Browse to your drawing in question and select it. Move the slider to detailing mode before attempting to open the file. This option is only available if the file has been saved with detailing mode data.


Another way to confirm if the drawing is affected is observing dramatically larger file size after saving the drawing in the newer version of SOLIDWORKS (i.e. 5MB drawing increasing to 100MB) which can cause the drawing to open and save much slower than previous versions.


Removing Detailing Mode Data

Now that we know detailing mode data exists, we need to remove it. Simply turning off the setting will not erase previous detailing mode data and the file size will not decrease. We need to hide the reference files from the drawing so that it will be unable to recreate the views and subsequent detailing mode data will be blank. Follow the steps below to remove detailing mode data from your drawing files.

  1. Move all assembly and part files directly referenced by the drawing views to a new folder in a location that does not typically store SOLIDWORKS files. The Desktop should generally work for this step. You can also select the option to exclude recent save locations if you do use the Desktop to save SOLIDWORKS files.
  2. Open the drawing file. This will take the same loading time as before. If prompted, select the option to suppress all missing components as we want the views to be blank.
  3. Disable the setting to save with detailing mode data. Then save the drawing again and close it. The file size should now be greatly reduced.
  4. Move the reference parts and assemblies back into their original folders so that the drawing file can see them again.
  5. Open the drawing again. It will open with blank views. Right click on each view and select show. This will show your drawing views as they were originally.
  6. Save the drawing file.

If multiple drawings are having this issue with file size and long opening times, it is recommended to keep detailing mode data turned off in your SOLIDWORKS system settings.


Contact Us:

For further technical support please contact Hawk Ridge Systems at 877.266.4469 for the U.S. or 866.587.6803 for Canada.

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