There are so many great shortcut commands in SOLIDWORKS that even the most common shortcuts often go unnoticed. Familiarization with onscreen navigation, and getting a better idea of what you're looking at is key. I decided to compile a list of the commands that help me when I'm creating a SOLIDWORKS model.
How many of these do you already know? Scroll to the bottom for a printable infographic!
1. [F] for Zoom to Fit: Hit the [F] key to center up your Part/Assembly/Drawing on your screen.
2. [S] for Shortcut bar: This brings up a shortcut bar that you can customize to access certain features. The shortcut toolbar is modal, meaning it changes based on which of the main “modes” of SOLIDWORKS you are currently using: sketching, parts, assemblies, and drawings. To customize this shortcut bar, use the pull down menu Tools > Customize (may need to use the double arrow down at the bottom of the menu to get to Customize), then select the Shortcut Bars tab.
3. Gesture Wheel: This 4 or 8 icon gesture wheel allows you to quickly access more commands at the exact location of your cursor. Just need to right click and hold, barely move your mouse to activate the Gesture Wheel and drag in the direction of the desired command. Then you can let up on your right mouse button. This is also customizable. (Of course it is, after all it’s SOLIDWORKS we’re talking about here!) To customize and switch from 4 to 8 gestures go to the pull down menu Tools > Customize, then select the Mouse Gestures tab.
4. [F5] is the Selection Filter toolbar: These selection filters allow you to control what type of geometry in the graphics area you can click on, such as a face only, edge only, vertex only, etc.
5. [F6] turns off any active selection filter: Sometimes we accidentally hit the default hot keys to turn on these filters (“X” for filter face, “V” for filter vertices, and “E” for filter edges) and we don’t want those turned on. So just hitting F6 quickly gets rid of it for you.
6. [F10] Hide/Show Command Manager: Sometimes you may want more graphics area for designing, this hotkey allows you to Hide the command manager then show it when you need it.
7. [F11] activates the Full Screen to be on/off: Once again, you may want to be able to see more of your design; this allows you to hide the Feature Manager Design Tree and the pull down menus.
8. [Ctrl+Tab] switches between open documents: This is a nice quick and easy way to navigate your open SolidWorks documents.
9. [Ctrl+Q] or [Ctrl+B]: Rebuild [Ctrl+Q] is a forced rebuild that rebuilds the entire feature manager design from the beginning (it takes longer, but it's more thorough). [Ctrl+B] only rebuilds what has changed or is new.
Want to print out this infographic? "Save As" to your desktop and then print! You can also see it on the web here.