TechDraw TemplateHowTo

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How to Make a TechDraw Template

This HowTo assumes you are familiar with FreeCAD, Inkscape and Svg.

We're going to make a simple template for US Letter size paper in landscape orientation. A copy of the result of this HowTo is available in your FreeCAD Template directory (HowToExample.svg).

  • open a new document in Inkscape
  • in Document Properties
    • select a page size (US Letter) & orientation (landscape)
    • set default units and page size units to mm (279.4 x 215.9)


  • draw outlines, zone numbers, centerlines, etc
  • draw the boxes and lines for the title block.
  • add and position your static text
  • add and position your editable text
  • you now have your finished artwork - something like this:

  • use the XML Editor to add "freecad:editable" tag to each editable <text> item
    • assign a meaningful field name to each editable text

  • use XML editor to adjust viewbox to match your page size in mm

  • your template will now appear much too big.

  • We need to shrink it.
    • Edit>Select All in All Layers (or box select. make sure you select everything)
    • adjust the W: and H: spinboxes to match your artwork's size in mm
      • page-size less any applicable margins
    • use "Align and Distribute" or X/Y spinboxes to position artwork on page if required.
    • your template should now look right, just like it did in the finished artwork picture above.

  • ensure that all your editable texts are "ungrouped" (shift-ctl-g)
  • select everything on your page (box select or Edit>SelectAll) and Edit>Copy
  • Layer>Delete Current Layer
  • Edit>Paste in Place

  • Your template should now look right and shouldn't have any unwanted transforms
  • Save your template
  • try it in FreeCAD.


- Don't use Layers until you've mastered template creation without them. Layers (and Groups) can automatically insert unwanted transforms into your SVG.

Back to Templates.