SOLIDWORKS free tools can be commonly overlooked by users. I consider customizing your SOLIDWORKS environment to be one of these free tools.
Over the years, SOLIDWORKS continues to create different means for minimizing mouse movements. From introducing the ‘S’ key for Keyboard Shortcuts or the ‘D’ key for Breadcrumbs or the Right Mouse Button (RMB) click for shortcut menus, just to mention a few. We are going to talk about one of the classics today. SOLIDWORKS 2015 introduced us to ‘Context Toolbar’ which brought us one more way to avoid unnecessary mouse travel. Most SOLIDWORKS users should be familiar with the graphics area context-sensitive toolbar.
To begin customizing the ‘Context Toolbar’. Just RMB click in the grey area of the toolbar (not on a button) and a ‘Customize’ tab will appear. Left click on the ‘Customize’ tab.
The Customize menu will appear. See below.
Opening in ‘Commands’ tab of the customization menu. Notice your ‘Graphics Area’ shortcut toolbar is available to customize like your other shortcut toolbars. Use the Left Mouse Button (LMB) to begin dragging and dropping custom commands into your ‘Graphics Area’ shortcut toolbar. Remember to left-click the OK button when you are finished so it saves your new custom SOLIDWORKS system options.
Now, when you are back in a SOLIDWORKS file and you RMB click, your ‘Graphics Area Context Toolbar’ will show the customized commands you previously added.
Notice I added my 4 favorite buttons I like to click before I close out of a SOLIDWORKS part or assembly file. I click in the order below:
- CTRL+Q (Remember, in 2018, SOLIDWORKS gave us a button for CTRL+Q)
- Isometric View
- Save File
- Close File
TIP: You may be asking yourself, “Why Isometric View button, Don?” Because the Isometric View button does a Zoom Fit & gives us a nice view of the part or assembly in an Isometric View. Which your co-workers will like you for when it comes to looking at thumbnail views in Windows Explorer. It will give you a nice thumbnail preview of the part or assembly.
NOTE: This customization is a SOLIDWORKS System Setting, so SOLIDWORKS will remember your custom settings and add them to your ‘Graphics Area Context Toolbar’.
You could also create a macro button to combine all 4 of these command buttons. But maybe that will be my next blog article. ?
I hope this makes you more efficient in SOLIDWORKS.
Field Technical Services Manager & CAM Product Manager
Computer Aided Technology, LLC