Why is the Measure command not available in eDrawings?

This article discusses the various scenarios in which the Measure command can be utilized in eDrawings, or why it may be missing.

Using eDrawings Professional

Measuring within SOLIDWORKS files and eDrawing files exported from SOLIDWORKS is possible with eDrawings Professional. The Enable measure option must be turned on within SOLIDWORKS prior to saving eDrawing files.

To enable measuring, click the Tools menu > Options > System Options tab, and select the Import section. In the Import section of the System Options, select EDRW/EPRT/EASM from the "File Format:" drop down menu. The Enable measure option will become available and can be checked.


Enable measure is not a retroactive setting. It must be enabled prior to exporting eDrawing files.

There is also an Enable measure option in eDrawings Pro that can be found near the bottom of the Save As window. This means if eDrawings Professional is owned and any SOLIDWORKS file is viewed, it can be saved as an eDrawing file with Measure enabled, without requiring SOLIDWORKS on the same computer.


Using the free eDrawings Viewer (eDrawings Standard)

If using the eDrawings Viewer, it is not possible to measure within SOLIDWORKS Standard files. Likewise, the eDrawings Viewer cannot measure eDrawing files exported from SOLIDWORKS Standard, even if Enable measure has been turned on. However, the eDrawings Viewer can measure eDrawing files exported from SOLIDWORKS Professional or Premium, provided the Enable measure option has been turned on. Native SOLIDWORKS files are inherently measure-enabled (the Enable measure option plays no role).

Using SOLIDWORKS Standard and eDrawings Pro on the Same Computer

When exporting eDrawing files (.eprt, .easm, or .edrw) from SOLIDWORKS Standard, SOLIDWORKS performs a check to see if eDrawings Professional is installed on the same machine. If it passes the check, the file will be saved out of SOLIDWORKS as if it were saved from eDrawings Professional. It will be review-enabled (allowing mark-up) and (optionally) measure.

Anybody can download the free eDrawings Viewer at https://www.edrawingsviewer.com/download-edrawings. Licenses of eDrawings Professional can be purchased as standalone or network licenses.

Measure Enabled versus Review Enabled

Another way of understanding how and when measuring is available in eDrawings is understanding the differences between the Measure Enabled and Review Enabled flags. In short, a file must be Measure Enabled, and an eDrawings Professional license must exist. 

Measure Enabled

If a file is Measure Enabled, the Measure command (tape measure icon) will be present in eDrawings near the bottom left corner of the eDrawings window. The Measure Enabled flag is a document property. Either a document is Measure Enabled, or it isn't.


Review Enabled

If the Markup command is present (pencil icon), it indicates a Professional license is in effect. Look for the pencil icon near the bottom right corner of the eDrawings window. In this case, the file is considered to be Review Enabled. 


Whether a Professional license is present would seem like a straightforward situation, but it is not. With a standalone license of eDrawings Professional, the license will always be present. With a network license, whether eDrawings draws a Professional license is dependent on the setting shown here:


If the "Disable SOLIDWORKS Network License" option is turned off, eDrawings will check availability of an eDrawings Professional license on the SolidNetWork License Manager and pull a license if one is present. If "Disable SOLIDWORKS Network License" is checked, it will not check availability of an eDrawings Professional license and will revert to eDrawings Standard, essentially becoming the free eDrawings Viewer.

A Professional license can also be "embedded" in a file. This sounds confusing, but it can be simplified and comes down to these factors:

  • If a file is saved from eDrawings Pro, it will have an embedded eDrawings Pro license.
  • If a file originated from SOLIDWORKS Professional or Premium, it will have an embedded eDrawings Pro license. This is true for both SOLIDWORKS and eDrawings files.

Even if using the basic eDrawings Viewer, opening any file with an embedded Professional license will effectively grant a temporary upgrade to eDrawings Pro for as long as that file is open and active in eDrawings.

Measure Disabled

Sometimes a file will have measuring disabled, and there is very little which can be done about it, even if an eDrawings Professional license is present. This is intended behavior. It is occasionally desirable to not allow anyone to take measurements from an eDrawing.

From either SOLIDWORKS or eDrawings, save the file as an eDrawing with Enable measure turned off (unchecked). That eDrawing will no longer be measurable, and neither will any of it's descendants. If copies are made, or if the file is opened in eDrawings and a Save As is performed, there will be no option to save it with Enable measure checked. This only works for eDrawings. SOLIDWORKS files are inherently measure-enabled.