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Design Library

The Design Library tab in the Task Pane provides a central location for reusable elements such as parts, assemblies and sketches.  It does not recognize non-reusable elements such as SolidWorks drawings, text files, or other non-SolidWorks files.

Design Library

Subfolders populated by SolidWorks with reusable items such as parts, blocks, and annotations; you can add folders and content.


To access the content, install and add in the SolidWorks Toolbox browser.

3D ContentCentral

3D models from component suppliers and individuals in all major CAD formats.

SolidWorks Content

Additional SolidWorks content for blocks, Routing, CircuitWorks, and weldments; Ctrl+click to download .zip files.

Previews of annotations, models, and features are displayed in the lower pane and tooltips, including .dwg files but not .dxf files. If no saved preview image is available, a generic image is displayed.

Design Library Tools

The following tools are available on the Design Library tab:

Add to Library

Add content to the Design Library

Add File Location

Add an existing folder to the Design Library

Create New Folder

Create a new folder on disk and in the Design Library


Refresh the view of the Design Library tab

You can also specify folders for Design Library in Tools, Options, System Options, File Locations.

Working with Design Library Contents

You can drag copies of parts, assemblies, features, annotations, and so on from:

  • The Design Library into the graphics area.

  • The graphics area into the lower pane of the Design Library.

  • One folder to another in the Design Library.

  • Microsoft Internet Explorer and Windows Explorer into the Design Library.

When you drag items into the Design Library, the Add to Library PropertyManager appears with a default file name, the default file type, and the selected folder for the Design Library folder.

  • You can add multiple selections of features and sketches, but only one item at a time for other categories.

  • To copy a complete assembly or part into the Design Library, select it in the FeatureManager design tree and drag to the lower pane.

  • To copy annotations or blocks into the Design Library, hold down Shift and drag from the graphics area to the lower pane. Annotations are saved with the extensions for favorites.

  • To copy features, drag from either the FeatureManager design tree or the graphics area. Features are saved as library feature parts.

If you modify an item that you inserted from the Design Library, the item is also modified in the library.

Filtering a Folder

You can apply filters to identify forming tools or display only assemblies in selected folders. Right-click a folder in the upper pane, then select:

  • Forming tools folder. Identifies the folder as containing forming tools. The SolidWorks software handles forming tools differently from other parts, but the file name extension is the same, so the software recognizes forming tools by the folder classification.

  • Assemblies folder. Displays only the assembly documents in the folder.


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