How to customize SOLIDWORKS

Before or while in the middle of the work process, you have the option to customize your SOLIDWORKS, so it would be more intuitive for your work specifications. But, as each year we welcome new SOLIDWORKS version – the customization part slightly changes with it. We have gathered a small guide for you to not get lost in all of the options provided. You can get it here: Customize SOLIDWORKS.

For older SOLIDWORKS versions this could be it:

TOOLBARS

Customizing SOLIDWORKS settings is easy. Right click on either the Command Manager or the status bar and select Customize from the list – here are all the tools that are used for customizing SOLIDWORKS interface.

Command_manager

 

Show large icons without text in the Command Manager = Large work area

Enable_command_manager

Tooltip

 

Notice new option in SOLIDWORKS 2016 to lock the toolbars from accidental movement or undocking.

Tooltips_commandmanager

Create custom tabs in Command Manager> Customize-> Right-click on a Tab> Add Tab> Empty Tab. Drag and drop icons from Commands tab to wished place on Command Manager.

Large icons are without text, because there are tooltips describing every functionality.

Icons_from_commands

 Tabs

 

MOUSE GESTURES

Mouse_gestures

Add Shortcut bar, Zoom to Area, OK and Cancel as Mouse Gestures. Select the same gesture for the tools in each work environment: Sketch, Part, Assembly and Drawing.

Right-click the Command Manager or Status bar-> Customize-> Mouse Gestures-> Start the function by checking the Enable mouse gestures-> Then choose if you prefer four or eight tools in the circle. To use Mouse Gestures-> Hold the right mouse button down and drag into direction of the feature you want to enable.

Mouse

Mousegestures

SHORTCUT BARS

Add the tools you use most often.

Shortcut_bar

Tips: Add feature tools in sketch mode

HOW TO?

Take the Shortcut Bar through Mouse Gestures or press S on the keyboard> Right-click in the window-> Customize-> Drag and drop icons from the Customize window to the Shortcut Bar. You can move icons inside the Shortcut Bar but also customize the size of the window.

Shortcutbar

Moving items in the window by dragging.

Pull the edge of the window on the Shortcut Bar to adjust the window.

Since SolidWorks 2013 the Shortcut Bars received its own tab in the Customize menu. It is possible to customize the Shortcut bar in sketch, part, assembly and drawing mode at the same time. In previous versions of SOLIDWORKS you have to activate it in each mode separately.

CHANGE CONTENTS OF CONTEXT MENUS

You can control what commands are available in context menu. Click on arrow down in end of menu and choose Customize Menu.
From there you can add or remove check marks to make menu items visible. One useful option to add is Open Drawing.

CUSTOMIZING CONTEXT-SENSITIVE TOOLBARS

You can modify top part of menu that opens when you either left or right click on something in model area or feature tree.
Right click on this area, choose Customize and add and add commands the same way as for Shortcut bar.

customizing_context

RUNNING MACROS

If you have automated anything in SOLIDWORKS with macros then you can add the macro button to any toolbar.

Commands

Drag the button to wished place, browse to macro file and choose file and tooltip if you wish. Prompt will be shown on lower edge of SOLIDWRORKS window, where usually explanatory texts for commands are.

Customize_macro_button

You can also assign shortcuts to macros in customize settings window.

 

MAGNIFYING GLASS

This tool is by default activated with G on keyboard. Press Alt and scroll the mouse wheel to display a section view parallel to the screen.
To gain improved control over movement, Ctrl + middle-drag to pan with the magnifying glass.

magnifying_glass

TAB

You can toggle the visibility of assembly parts or part’s solid and surface bodies by moving the pointer over the body in the graphics area and clicking Tab to hide or Shift + Tab to show.
In addition, you can show one or more hidden bodies by moving the pointer to the graphics area, and pressing and holding Ctrl + Shift + Tab. Hidden bodies will temporarily display as transparent and can be changed to show by clicking them.

 

COMMAND SEARCH

You do not need to know any more where some command button is located or proactively organize all toolbars. You can search for commands and either start commands from there or drag command button to toolbar. You can jump to this search box with W.

command_search

Or clicking on glasses you get big red arrow introducing the command location in toolbars.

AUTOMATIC DIMENSIONING OF SKETCHES

SOLIDWORKS can add dimensions to sketched entities if you want to enter value. You will save several clicks by not needing to start dimensioning command afterwards.
Tools->Options->System Options->Sketch->see picture

help_picture

BREADCRUMBS

With SOLIWORKS 2016 new feature called breadcrumbs will start if you click anything on model area or any feature in feature tree.

breadcrumbs

From there you can access all applicable to selected face or feature.
Clicking D on keyboard will move breadcrumbs to your mouse pointer.
All shortcuts are available for printing.

commands_with_shortcuts

More links: SolidWorks Shortcuts

The article is written by PLM Group technical consultants Johan Rosenqvist and Mati Link