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Hole Callouts

The Hole Callout tool adds driven diameter dimensions to holes created by the Hole Wizard or circular cut features.

Hole callouts are available in drawings. If you change a hole dimension in the model, the callout updates automatically.

Hole callouts use Hole Wizard information when you create a hole with the Hole Wizard. The default formats for the Hole Wizard types are stored in <install_dir>\solidworks\lang\<language>\calloutformat.txt. A second file, calloutformat_2.txt, is a simplified version. You can edit either file. If you want to use the second file, you must rename the file to calloutformat.txt, which is the file name the SolidWorks software references. You can set the location of the default folder for Hole Callout Format File in Tools, Options, System Options, File Locations.

The number of instances is included in the hole callout if a hole in a linear or circular pattern was created in the Hole Wizard. In the JIS standard, you can change the number of instances indicator to "x" or "-".

Hole callout examples:

A hole callout using information from the Hole Wizard:

The same hole callout, but defined by geometry:

A cut feature representing a hole. The cut feature must contain a circular sketch:

You can add tolerances and precision to hole callouts:

The axis of the hole must be normal to the drawing sheet.

To add hole callouts in a drawing:

  1. Click Hole Callout on the Annotation toolbar, or click Insert, Annotations, Hole Callout.

    The pointer changes to .

  2. Click the edge of a hole, then click in the graphics area to place the hole callout.

    A Hole Callout is inserted and the Dimension PropertyManager appears. The callout contains a diameter symbol and the dimension of the hole diameter. If the depth of the hole is known, the callout also contains a depth symbol and the dimension of the depth. If the hole is created in the Hole Wizard, the callout contains additional information (the dimensions of a countersink or number of hole instances, for example).

  3. Edit the callout in the Dimension PropertyManager.

    You can specify precision, select an arrow style, or add text. However, you should retain the dimensions and symbols for the size and type of hole.

    If the hole has been created by the Hole Wizard, you can also click Variables in the Dimension PropertyManager to access a list of Callout Variables to insert into the hole callout.

    If you attach a hole callout to a tapped hole in ANSI inch standard and the current drawing units are millimeters, the drill diameter and hole depths are reported in mm but the thread description retains the ANSI inch size designation. You might want to replace the thread description with other variables from the Callout Variables dialog box.

  4. Repeat steps 2 through 4 to insert additional hole callouts, then click OK .

  5. You can display the dimension in various formats by right-clicking the dimension and clicking Display Options, then clicking an option: Display as Diameter, Display as Radius, Display as Linear, Show Parentheses, or Show as Inspection.

To edit the properties of a hole callout:

    Select the callout and make the changes in the Dimension PropertyManager.

    If you manually change a portion of the callout text, you might break that portion's link with the model. SolidWorks displays a warning message if you are about to break a link.

To modify hole callouts to include tolerances:

  1. Select a hole callout.

  2. In the PropertyManager, select a Tolerance Type .

  3. Type a value for Maximum Variation and Minimum Variation as necessary.

  4. Click OK .

Define by Geometry or Hole Wizard

To toggle between Hole Wizard and geometry definitions:

  1. Right-click the hole callout and select Display Options, Define by Geometry.

  2. To return to the Hole Wizard definition, right-click the hole callout and select Display Options, Define by Hole Wizard.

    These menu items are available only when holes have been created using the Hole Wizard.

Instances indicators

You can change the number of instances indicator to a dash or "x" for the JIS standard only.

Dash indicator

X indicator

To change the number of instances indicator:

  1. Open calloutformat.txt in a text editor. The file is usually located in <install_dir>\solidworks\lang\<language>.

  2. In the file:

    1. At the top of the file, make sure NO-NUMBER-OF-INSTANCES has an asterisk (*) in front of it.

    2. Search for the JIS section. At the beginning of the section, set JIS-COUNT-DELIMITER to a dash or "x":



    1. Save and close the file.

  1. Make sure the calloutformat.txt file is referenced by the Hole Callout Format File in File Locations.

Manually Define Standards

To manually define derived hole callout standards:

  1. Edit the file calloutformat.txt or calloutformat_2.txt located in installation directory\solidworks\lang\<language>\.

  2. Copy and paste the content for ANSI (or any default standard) to a new section in the text file.

  3. Using only upper case letters, rename the standard name to your required derived hole callout standard.

  4. Save the file as calloutformat.txt.

Use only upper case letters to define hole callout standards.

Modify the Hole Callout Format

You can modify the hole callout format by editing the hole callout format definition file, calloutformat.txt.

Below is an example for editing calloutformat.txt.

Using the code of the symbol library, you can position symbols and order them in the definition of each hole wizard type. For example, <MOD-DIAM> creates a diameter symbol.  The end of the file contains text descriptions of the variables (see the sample at the right).


*Valid Hole Wizard variables are as follows:


Fastener Type
Fastener Size

Counterbore Depth
Counterbore Diameter
Counterdrill Angle
Counterdrill Depth
Counterdrill Diameter
Countersink Angle

To use the definition file, locate the type of hole you want.

Definition of a countersunk through hole:

COUNTERSINK-THRU=<MOD-DIAM> <hw-thruholedia> <hw-thru>;\

<HOLE-SINK><MOD-DIAM> <hw-csdia> X <hw-csang>

Modify the definition.

In this example, the text C'SINK and a space are added before the <MOD-DIAM> symbol:

COUNTERSINK-THRU=C'SINK <MOD-DIAM> <hw-thruholedia> <hw-thru>;\

<HOLE-SINK><MOD-DIAM> <hw-csdia> X <hw-csang>

Related Topics

Adding Multi-jog Leaders to Hole Callouts

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