The best way to speed up your design process in SOLIDWORKS is to use shortcut keys!
There is a vast array of SOLIDWORKS shortcut keys and learning all of them would require several hours of practice and can become overwhelming. This blog presents the most useful shortcut keys you can leverage going forward to drastically reduce your design time.
Keyboard Shortcut Keys
By pressing a combination of keys on your keyboard, you can access different operations in SOLIDWORKS. This removes the hassle of searching specific operations in the different tabs.
The shortcut keys presented in this blog are only some of the SOLIDWORKS shortcut keys offered but the ones used most often.
File Commands and Editing
Ctrl + O Open Document
Ctrl + N New Document
Ctrl + S Save Document
Ctrl + A Select All
Ctrl + Z Undo
Ctrl + Y Redo
Ctrl + X Cut
Ctrl + C Copy
Ctrl + V Paste
Ctrl + Shift + C Copy Appearance
Ctrl + Shift + V Paste Appearance
User Interface Shortcuts
Ctrl + Q Forced Rebuild
Ctrl + Tab Switches between open documents
Q Display planes * – SOLIDWORKS 2022 and beyond
Enter Repeats the last command
F Zooms to fit.
Spacebar Brings Up View Selector
Scroll Mouse Wheel Zoom in and Out
Click and Drag Mouse Wheel Rotate View
Click and Drag Mouse Wheel + Ctrl Pan View
Ctrl + 1 Front View
Ctrl + 2 Back View
Ctrl + 3 Left View
Ctrl + 4 Right View
Ctrl + 5 Top View
Ctrl + 6 Bottom View
Ctrl + 7 Isometric View
Ctrl + 8 Normal to Selected face
The Shortcut Toolbar
The shortcut toolbar is powerful in a way that it drastically reduces your design time and is very easy to use. Surprisingly, this feature is not as popular as it should be. However, after reading this, it will become your secret design weapon.
To access the shortcut bar, press the “S” key at any time, and a pop-up menu will appear instantly next to your cursor. This menu will display the most used commands. This will save time you would have spent searching for these commands in the command manager. The commands in the pop-up menu will vary depending on whether you are editing a sketch, a part, an assembly, or a drawing.
Can’t find a command on the shortcut toolbar? No worries! You can always customize it by clicking on the options pull-down menu, selecting “customize”, and then selecting “shortcut bar”. You can choose which shortcut bar to customize (sketch, part, assembly, or drawing) by selecting one of the icons circled in red in the following image. You can also customize your shortcut bar by searching for the command in the search bar and dragging it into the shortcut bar.
You can activate the mouse gestures wheel by right-clicking and dragging your cursor. This wheel counts with an array of tools designed to access your favourite commands faster. You can even customize it if you want a 2, 3, 4, 8, or 12 command configuration. The array of accessible commands also changes depending on the design environment you are working (part, sketch, assembly, or drawing). Moreover, you can always customize your mouse gesture wheel by clicking on the options pull-down menu, selecting “customize”, and then selecting “mouse gestures”.
The “D” Key
Finally, you can display and select the breadcrumbs of a feature next to your cursor by selecting it on the model and pressing the “D” key. Moreover, if you press the “D” key in the middle of an operation, the confirmation box will appear instead and will help you exit your operation.
Start practicing these shortcuts on your next design, and you will notice that your design speed will increase significantly with time and practice!
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