Why are some of my drawing files so large?

You may notice sometimes you come across a drawing that is
very large in size, Sometimes larger than the part or assembly it is referencing.
What is the cause? The main reason I have found is due to views
being draft quality…But isn’t draft quality lower than high quality? – The answer
is actually no.

The high quality drawing view image is a vector
graphics image, also known as SVG format (Scalable Vector Graphics).  The
draft quality drawing view image is a raster graphics image, which is just like
a regular Bitmap.  The Bitmap files are much larger in size because the
image consists of pixels.  The vector graphics are smaller because the
image consists of lines.  The only downside of the vector graphics is that
those lines have to be calculated in order to produce an image.  That's
why it takes a longer time to calculate the high quality vector graphics
drawing view.

Shaded views also increase the file size because they have to be
represented by raster graphics.

Examples of an SVG and Bitmap of the same image are attached.  The SVG is
only 4.19 KB and the Bitmap is 2.53 MB (2,590 KB) so there is a very big

How do you tell if your view is draft quality? – Cursor over your view,
you will see the draft quality icon appear.


So why do you have draft quality views? It can be a few reasons. First,
make sure you have your system options set to high quality views


The other reason you may have draft quality is that is actually may be
due to bad model geometry. Check
on the model or assembly that the drawing is referencing.

This can be accomplished under the tools/check menu.


 Once the geometry issues have been corrected this will allow you to switch back to high quality views.

One comment on “Why are some of my drawing files so large?

  1. In the white paper, “Maximize SOLIDWORKS Performance,” that was based upon research conducted by CATI, Draft quality was the recommended setting for the Display quality for new views.
    My assumption is that if performance is your most important factor, then this setting should be set to Draft Quality. If file size is important then the High Quality is the better setting.

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