Engineering Technical Solutions


Assemblies Keyboad Shortcut Preferences:

  • Mates / SmartMate —» Alt + drag (component).
  • Move with Triad mode and in Exploded Views, allign the triad with an edge or face —» Alt + drag (the center ball or handle on the trial and drop it on an edge or face.
  • Copies the component and creates a SmartMate —» Alt + Ctrl drag.
  • Copies a component —» Ctrl + drag it.
  • Insert a component & rotate 90° —» while insert —» Tab.
  • Temporary displays all hidden components as transparent —» Ctrl + Shift + Tab —» Click a hidden component to change it to show.
  • Invokes mouse gesture —» In a blank area Right-click and drag.
  • Rotates a component relative to the assembly origin —» On a component Right-click and drag.
  • Insert and Reorients a Routing component —» Shift + arrow keys.


Copy/Paste Keyboad Shortcut Preferences:

  • Copies sketch entities , parts, sub-assemblies, assemblies, drawing views —» Ctrl + C. In Feature Manager design tree, copy the feature as an assembly-level feature.
  • Pastes sketch entities , parts, sub-assemblies, assemblies, drawing views —» Ctrl + V. In Feature Manager design tree, paste the feature as an assembly-level feature.
  • Copies sketch entities, parts, subassemblies, assemblies, drawing views —» Alt + drag.


Dimensions/Annotations Keyboad Shortcut Preferences:

  • Turn off automatic alignment when placing dimensions and annotation —» Alt + click.
  • Moves an annotation independently from the group in which it is contained —» Alt + drag.
  • Insert a ° symbol —» Alt + 0176. Insert a Ø symbol —» Alt + 0216. Insert a µ symbol —» Alt + 0181.
  • Creates additional leaders on a note —» Ctrl + drag (a leader's arrowhead).
  • Snaps a dimension to the MAX or MIN location —» Shift + click (when dimensioning arcs & circles with Smat Dimension tool).
  • Change the annotation view plane for a dimension or annotation —» ` key.


Display Keyboad Shortcuts:

  • Rotates the model parallel to the viewing plane —» Alt + arrow keys or —» Alt + drag the middle mouse button.
  • Rotates the model parallel Moves an annotation independently from the group in which it is contained —» Alt + drag.
  • Rotate the model 90° symbol —» Shift + arrow keys.
  • Zooms the model in —» Shift + Z — Zooms the model out Z.
  • Zooms the model in and out about the screen center —» Shift + drag the middle mouse button.
  • Zooms to fit —» F.
  • Shows a hidden body or component —» Alt + click (when hoover over the body or component).
  • Shows a section view when using the magnifying glass —» Alt + middle mouse wheel.
  • Opens the View Selector —» Ctrl + spacebar.
  • Opens the View Selector and Orientation dialog box —» Spacebar.
  • Opens the Appearances PropertyManager when you drag and appearance from the Task Pane onto a model —» Alt + drag.


Drawings Keyboad Shortcut Descriptions:

  • Select anywhere in a table to move the table —» Alt + drag or —» Ctrl + drag.
  • Breaks the drawing view alignment when insert a drawing view —» Ctrl + drag.
  • Copies annotation without snapping to the grid or to other annotations —» Ctrl + drag.
  • Selects on edge in a drawing view if multiple edges are collinear —» Shift + click. In general, when an edge in a drawing is selected, the entire line is highlighted if all of the line segments are collinear.
  • Moves a dimension to another drawing view —» Shift + drag. When drag and drop it on another view.


Selection Keyboad Shortcut Descriptions:

  • Pans a model —» Ctrl + arrow keys or —» Ctrl + drag the middle mouse button.
  • Moves a set of sketch entities —» Shift + drag — Move a feature of a part —» Shift + drag.
  • Move the selected drawing view and any related views together as if they are one entity —» Shift + drag.
  • Moves a dimension to a different view —» Shift + drag.


Move Keyboad Shortcut Descriptions:

  • Pans a model —» Ctrl + arrow keys or —» Ctrl + drag the middle mouse button.
  • Moves a set of sketch entities —» Shift + drag — Move a feature of a part —» Shift + drag.
  • Move the selected drawing view and any related views together as if they are one entity —» Shift + drag.
  • Moves a dimension to a different view —» Shift + drag.


Sheet Metal Keyboad Shortcut Descriptions:

  • Flips the direction of the forming tool —» Tab when dragging the forming tool onto a face.


Sketching Keyboad Shortcut Descriptions:

  • Symmetrically adjusts both handles of a control point in a spline —» Alt + drag.
  • Suppresses infernce lines when dragging an endpoint —» Ctrl + drag.
  • Turns off automatic sketch relations —» press Ctrl while sketching.
  • Turns on snapping —» Shift + click.
  • Line snaps to specific lengths —» Shift + drag when sketching a line.
  • Changes the XYZ plane —» Tab when sketching in a 3D sketch.


User Interface Keyboad Shortcut Descriptions:

  • Rebuilds the model —» Ctrl + B — Redrawn the screen —» Ctrl + R — Moves among open documents —» Ctrl + B.
  • Open the shortcut bar —» S — Rpeat the last command —» Enter.


Use a mouse gesture as a shortcut to execute a command or macro quickly by right-draging in the graphics area to invoke a preassigned tool or macro from a drawing, part, assembly, or sketch. You can enable/disable mouse gesture, and set the number of mouse gestures that appear in the mouse gesture guide.

To Enable Mouse Gesture: Tools —» Customize —» Mouse Gesture —» select Enable Mouse Gesture —» 4 gesture (8 gestures) —» OK SolidWorks Selection Filters

To Enable Command Manager Toolbar: F10 or right-click in the window border and select CommandManager

Window Select Options: You can select all entity types in parts, assembly, and drawing by dragging a selection box with a pointer. When you select from left to right, all items within the box are selected. Select from right to left, items crossing the box boundaries are also selected. To change the selection —» RMB —» select Box Selection/ Lasso Selection. The default geometry type selected is as follows —»

  • Part —» —» —» Edge
  • Assembly —» —» —» Components
  • Drawing —» —» —» Sketch entities, dimensions, and annotations

To select different types of entity, use selection filter (F5).


Using Centerlines to Create Radial & Diametric Dimensions: In a sketch with a centerline and lines or points, click Smart Dimension —» select the Centerline/Lines/Points —» to create a radius, move the pointer to the near side of the centerline / to create a diameter, move the pointer to the far side of the centerline —» place the dimensions

Creating Angular Dimension Between Two Lines: Open sketch —» Smart Dimension —» click one line —» Ctrl and click the second line —» move the pointer to show the angular dimension preview —» place the angular dimension —» OK

Section View in Drawing: Section View —» select Section/Half Section —» select a Cutting Line —» select Auto-start section view/Use the Section View Popup to add offsets to the Cutting Line —» snap it to the mid-point to pllace the Cutting Line —» LMB to place the Section View (the view should be behind the arrow) —» Section Line direction can be flip using Section View Property —» Section Depth is for Offset Cutting Plane (input a value to offset)

Section view in Model: In a part/assembly document —» select Section View —» Breaking Dimension Line Section View Property Manager —» Section Method —» select Planar (to define a section view by selecting one, two, or three planes/planar faces) or Zonal (to define a section view by selecting one or more zones. Zones are defined by the selected plane or face and the bounding box of the model) —» Section Option —» select how the section offset is calculated Reference Plane or Selected Plane —» Section 1 (select a plane) —» set the offset distance and rotation (if the selected is Zonal, you can't reverse the section direction) —» Section 2 and 3 is for model with additional planes or faces —» click Selected bodies or Selected components to create a section view —» Selected components (select Exclude selected or Include selected —» select Enable selection plane —» drag the center ball of trial to view hidden components —» if Zonal under Section Method is selected, select one or more intersection zones —» Preview —» Save —» Save As (View Orientation) —» View Name (SectionView) —» Save.

Horizontal/Vertical Dimensions: Breaking All Dimension Line Smart Dimension —» select the first feature (radius) —» hold down Shift key —» select the second feature (radius) —» OK

Break Dimension Lines: When the dimension lines are broken, they break around lines that are nearby. If a dimension is moved significantly, it may not break around the new nearby dimensions. To update the display, unbreak the dimension lines and then break them again. To break a dimension line —» select the dimension —» Dimension properties —» select Leaders tab —» select Break Lines —» un-checked Use document gap —» specify the gap (ex: .06) —» check Break extension lines —» un-check Break dimension lines —» OK. However, this would take some time to select them all one by one. The easiest way we found is to use your selection filters command. To break all dimension and extension lines —» select Filter Dimensions/Hole Callouts (1) —» window select all dimensions (2) —» in Dimension —» select Break Lines (3) —» un-check document gap —» enter your prefered gap —» OK.


Cosmetic Thread describe the attributes of a specific hole so you need not add real threads to the model. A cosmetic thread represents the minor (inner) diameter of a thread on a boss or the major (outer) diameter of a thread on a hole and can include a hole callout in drawings. Create/Design the part (.prt) without the threaded hole —» select the Hole location surface —» Insert —» Features —» Hole Wizard —» Hole Type —» select Straight Tap —» Standard —» select ANSI Metric —» Type —» select Tapped hole (threaded thru) —» Size —» select size —» End Condition —» select Through All —» Thread —» select Through All —» Options —» check Near side & Far side countersink —» enter countersink diameter and angle —» check/uncheck With thread callout —» select Position tab —» select where to place the thread —» OK.

Cut Thread. Create an Internal Thread —» Create/Design the part (.prt) —» then Insert —» Features —» Hole Wizard —» Hole Type —» select Hole —» Standard —» select ANSI Metric —» Type —» select Drill sizes —» Size —» select a size (should be the thread size) —» OK —» select the thru hole inside diameter edge —» Insert —» Features —» Thread —» End Condition —» select Revolution (type in a number) —» Type —» select Metric/Inch Tap —» Size —» select a size —» Thread Method —» select Cut (internal) or Extrude (external) thread —» Thread Option —» select Right/Left-hand thread —» check Multiple Start (external thread only) and enter 2 or any number to start thread above selected edge) —» check Trim with start face —» check Trim with end face —» Preview Options —» check Shaded/Wireframe preview —» OK.

Part Cutaway View: The part cutaway view creates a section in a pictorial/drawing (isometric, trimetric, or dimetric) view. This method relies on part configurations.

  • Open a part file, to create a new configuration for the cutaway view —» In FeatureManage Design Tree —» highlight the part name —» select ConfigurationManager —» RMC —» Add Configuration —» Configuration name: (type/enter Cutaway View) —» uncheck Use in bill of material —» OK —»
  • In the model (.prt), use Extruded Cut command —» cut the part as it should appear in the drawing view —»
  • In the model (.prt) —» In FeatureManage Design Tree suppress the cut feature in all other configurations —» in the drawing —» select a view —» insert —» drawing view —» projected —» OK —»
  • In the drawing (.dwg) —» In FeatureManage Design Tree —» select the inserted view —» RMC —» select Properties —» check Use named configuration —» expand the downward arrow —» select Cutaway View configuration —» OK.

Replacing Fasterner Types in Assembly: Design Library —» Bolts and Screws —» select Hex Screw and drag it into the assembly —» select Size + Length —» OK —» Cancel —»select the Inserted Fasterner from the tree —» RMC —» Open Part —» File —» Save —» Save As —» select the folder where the Edit Assembly stored —» Name the Fasterner —» Save —» Close —» In the assembly tree select the fasterner to be replace —» Replace Components —» in Assembly select the fasterner to be replace —» With this one —» Browse —» select a Fasterner to replace —» OK to replace —» Delete the Drag-in Fasterner.

Replacing Components: Assembly toolbar —» Replace Components —» Multi-site replication allows the sharing of data across multiple locations. This functionality can ensure that all locations have the latest versions of files. EPDM allows the automation and standardization of creating documents, such as ECO’s. Templates can also automatically create a predefined folder structure and automatically name these folders. For example, a folder could be named after project number or customer. EPDM Multiple Workfolws allows a separate workflow for different products, departments and divisions and unlimited Workflow States allows the creation of a workflow that accurately represents a company’s product lifecycle.

Rename Component Files from Manager Tree On/Off: Tool —» Options —» System Options —» FeatureManager —» select Allow component files to be renamed from FeatureManager Tree —» OK.


To Access SolidWorks Add-Ins: Tools —» select Add-Ins. Within the Add-Ins dialog, we have the option of making the Add-In active in the current session (Active Add-Ins, the left column of checkboxes) and we can also select which Add-Ins to automatically enable when SOLIDWORKS launches (Start Up, the right column of checkboxes). Some of the Add-Ins required license.

SolidWorks Design Checker: The Design Checker is a utility that verifies settings in a document such as dimension standards, annotation settings, fonts, materials, units, ect. The SOLIDWORKS Design Checker is an add-in that is available in SOLIDWORKS Premium and SOLIDWORKS Professional only. Tools —» Design Checker —» Build Checks (use this tool to set the requirements for evaluation) or Learn Check Wizard (use this tool to retrieve design checks based on attributes from an existing SOLIDWORKS document) or Check Active Document (use this tool to validate the current document or Check Against Existing File (use this tool to validate the active document against design checks from existing files) —» Laumch the Check Active Document, in Design Checker Task Pane —» click + (to add a new standards file, – to remove from the list) —» check on of the boxes to select an existing standard to run on the active document —» select File to open a document to check Tools —» Options —» System Options —» File Locations —» select Design Checker in the pull down menu —» Add the path to the folder location that contains the .swstd files

SolidWorks Utilities: Utilities is a significant productivity tool. Utilities finds differences between two versions of the same part quickly and identifies problematic geometry in a part. It can also find, modify, and suppress feature within a model. Specific functionality includes:

  • Thickness Analysis: Determines thin and thick regions of a part and the thickness of a part within a specified range of values.
  • Compare Geometry: Enables you to quickly determine what geometry is different between two designs using Face Comparison, Geometry Comparison, or View Synchronisation
  • Compare Features: Highlights what model features are different between two designs and color-codes them from easy identification. A list of differences can be generated
  • Compare BOMs: Compares bill of material (BOM) tables from two SOLIDWORKS assembly or drawing documents, listing missing columns and rows, extra columns and rows, and failed rows.
  • Compare Document: Allows you to easily compare the properties of 2 SOLIDWORKS documents. Any standard hole types, such as simple, tapered, and counterbored
  • Geometry Analysis: Helps you identify and highlight problematic imported geometry in a part based on user-specified parameters such as minimum fillet radius, minimum sliver face size, etc.
  • Find/Modify: Finds a set of features in a part that satisfy specified parameter conditions and edits them in a batch mode.
  • Symmetry Check: Checks automatically for geometric symmetry in parts and assemblies about a plane and identifies symmetrical, asymmetrical, and unique faces. Automatic Symmetry Check reduces a part to its smallest repeatable symmetrical body—especially useful when running analyses using simulation software.
  • Report Manager: Manages reports generated by the Geometry Analysis, Compare Geometry, Compare Features, Compare Documents, Compare BOMs, Symmetry Check, and Thickness Analysis utilities.
  • Report Manager: Manages reports generated by the Geometry Analysis, Compare Geometry, Compare Features, Compare Documents, Compare BOMs, Symmetry Check, and Thickness Analysis utilities.
  • Report Manager: Manages reports generated by the Geometry Analysis, Compare Geometry, Compare Features, Compare Documents, Compare BOMs, Symmetry Check, and Thickness Analysis utilities.
  • Power Editing: Lets you find, modify, and suppress features within a model based on their parameters. Power editing also lets you create simplified versions of parts and assemblies by locating and suppressing small features


The Future of 3D Printing. SOLIDWORKS can be used for additive manufacturing technologies because parts and assemblies model can be saved as an STL file. This is the format needed to transform the data from the model into G-code that a 3D printer can work with. More on Designing for Additive Manufacturing Technologies here.