Design tables are a commonly used feature in SOLIDWORKS in order to manage configurations. A common issue that users call into support with is being unable to create a design table.
When creating a design table, nothing happens or SOLIDWORKS crashes.
When experiencing this issue there are three common solutions that will resolve most cases. I will list them here then elaborate further on the process for each:
- Optimize for Compatibility – An option found in Microsoft Excel to improve compatibility with using multiple displays. This option can resolve some issues with SOLIDWORKS using Excel.
- Ensure 64 bit Microsoft Office is installed rather than 32 bit, especially when using Office 365.
- Disable any alternative graphic device (such as integrated Intel card) outside of dedicated graphics card.
1. Optimize for Compatibility
This option is simple to enable. Simply launch Microsoft Excel and go to your options (Location of options will vary between versions. In Office 365 when you launch the program options can be found in the lower left corner).
Inside the options in the General settings there is a checkbox for “When using multiple displays” and then a radial checkbox for “Optimize for compatibility”. Check that option, close Excel, restart SOLIDWORKS and retest.
2. Ensure 64 bit Office is Installed
The first thing to do is to identify if your current office installation is 64 bit or 32 bit. To do this, open your start menu and search for ‘excel’ and then right click ‘open file location’
This will navigate to the start menu programs where you will see an Excel shortcut. Right click the shortcut and click ‘open file location’ one more time to navigate to the installation directory.
Once in the installation directory for excel, note the file-path. It should look something like:
C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\root\Office16
If instead of ‘Program Files’ you see your path as ‘Program Files (x86)’ then that means it is the 32-bit version of office. You will want to contact your IT to assist with installing 64 bit.
(Side note: Office will not install at 64 bit if any other office product is still installed at 32 bit. A common program that is already installed at 32 bit tends to be OneNote)
After reinstalling to Office 64 bit, retest to see if issue is resolved.
3. Disable Alternative Graphics Device
SOLIDWORKS can have any number of issues when there is more than one graphics device, specifically an integrated card. The first thing to identify is if your issue is graphics related. To do this, make sure SOLIDWORKS is closed and then open SOLIDWORKS RX (you can find this by searching your start menu for ‘RX’).
On the home page of SOLIDWORKS RX near the bottom are Safe Modes that you can use to help diagnose any issue your SOLIDWORKS may have. For this example, choose ‘Click here to launch SOLIDWORKS while bypassing the Tools/Options settings’.
This will have your CPU take over for what your GPU would generally be doing within SOLIDWORKS, now we can test to see if SOLIDWORKS can create a design table. If it now works, then the issue is related to the graphics device(s).
If you find that the issue is related to your graphics card, the next thing to check is going to be what graphic devices you are using. To do this, search in your window start menu for ‘Device Manager’ and open it. Inside the device manager under ‘display adapters’ you will see your current graphic device(s).
If you see more than one device, such as an NVIDIA Quadro card as well as an Intel HD graphics, then it could be related to the problem.
At this point, if you are running a machine that has ‘switchable graphics’ you will want to turn that off. For most machines that have the ability to toggle switchable graphics, it will be located within the video settings of the machine’s bios. You will likely want to consult your IT department for assistance with identifying if a machine has switchable graphics and how to turn it off.
If the machine does not have switchable (or sometimes called ‘hybrid’) graphics, then the other option would be to right click and ‘disable’ the integrated graphics device. Before doing this, verify what screens you have active since this will likely affect the display of external monitors. If you are on a desktop machine and all your displays are plugged directly into the dedicated graphics card, then you can safely disable the integrated card. If you are on a laptop and unsure of which graphics device oversees which display you use, you may want to consult an IT personnel for assistance with disabling the integrated device safely.
After testing the potential solutions above, you should hopefully find that one resolves your design table issue. If you continue to experience problems with the design table after exploring these options, feel free to reach out to our technical support team at 888-285-2284.
Technical Support Engineer
Computer Aided Technology, LLC