TechDraw Templates

From FreeCAD Documentation


Every TechDraw page is based on a Template object. The Template controls paper size and contains fixed text graphics and text, for example, a page frame or border.

The Template can also contain editable text fields for attributes like Title, Subtitle, Author, Date, Scale, Weight, Drawing number and Sheet.

Templates are SVG files which can be created and modified outside of FreeCAD, with an application such as Inkscape.


  • DataOrientation: Portrait or Landscape.
  • DataWidth: Paper width in mm.
  • DataHeight: Paper height in mm.
  • DataPage Result: A copy of the original Template file including all changes to editable texts. This allows users who may not have a copy of the Template file to see the Page as intended. Not typically useful for end users.
  • DataTemplate: a) A pointer to the copy of the original Template file which is incorporated into this *.FCStd file, or b) a filepath to a template accessible on the current machine. Use the file selection ellipsis (...) to change to a different template.

Select a different template file

To select a different template for a drawing:

  1. Locate the desired Page object in the Tree view.
  2. Expand the Page node if necessary.
  3. Select the Template object.
  4. In the Property editor click in the DataTemplate property field.
  5. Press the ... (ellipsis) button that appears.
  6. A file dialog opens the folder the current template is located in. If the Page was created in the current FreeCAD session this will be the default template folder (as set in the TechDraw Preferences).
  7. Optionally browse to another folder.
  8. Select a different template file.
  9. Press the OK button.

If you have modified a template file and want to update a Page created in the current FreeCAD session that uses this template, temporarily select a different file first, and then select the modified file again.

Custom Templates

A limited number of pre-formatted templates in various standard page sizes are included with FreeCAD. These are found in


Where $INSTALL_DIR is the directory where FreeCAD was installed, for example


Custom templates can also be specified as a default in the TechDraw Preferences.

See also How to make a custom TechDraw template, or, if you prefer script generated templates, TechDraw TemplateGenerator and Macro TemplateHelper.


  • TechDraw Templates are not entirely interchangeable with Drawing Templates. In general, Drawing templates will work in TechDraw, but there may be problems with editable text.
  • The library FreeCAD uses to process SVG only supports the svg-tiny specification. In particular: "SVG Tiny does not support gradients, transparency, clipping, masks, symbols, patterns, underline text, strike through text, vertical text, or SVG filter effects." (from Adobe Illustrator Help). Using these features in your custom template will cause problems in rendering.
  • The xml:space="preserve" clause sometimes causes problems with text size and positioning. It is best to avoid/remove this clause from your custom template's SVG code.
  • Templates work best when they contain no extraneous SVG code (called "garbage SVG" by some). There is a good article on removing garbage from SVG here. The article is in Russian.