The more work I accomplish in SOLIDWORKS, the more I realize that I frequently use the same commands over and over. Out of the box, SOLIDWORKS has no way of knowing which commands will be my “go-to” functions, so they have allowed the interface to be easily customized. Here are some quick tricks to customizing your SOLIDWORKS User Interface to better suit your needs.
How to Customize Your SOLIDWORKS User Interface
1. Drag and Drop
This option allows you to quickly bring in a function to an existing Command Manager tab. Using the Command search bar (which is very helpful if you need a command but are unsure of where it is located) you can find the command that you’d like to add to your Command Manager tab.
The only action required here is to drag the function from the drop down list into a spot on your Command Manager tab.
2. The S-Key
To master the SOLIDWORKS interface, you should possess a comfort level with using the S-Key on your keyboard. The S-Key gives you quick access to functions right at your mouse’s location, instead of locating it in the Command Manager or Insert/Tools drop down. The nice part about the S-Key is that it can be completely customizable based on what you are attempting to do, whether you are in a sketch, part, assembly, or drawing.
From the Shortcut Bars tab inside the Customize menu (Tools -> Customize) we have access to the functions that go into our S-Key pop up. In the example below, I found that I was using a lot of specific spline functionality, so I updated my Drawings S-Key to include the “Show Curvature Combs” command. Now I can avoid going to Tools -> Spline Tools -> Show Curvature every time I want to do a quick check on a spine I draw. It is instead near instantaneous feedback from my interface.
3. Custom Command Manager Tab
The final customization option would be for the user that finds themselves using the same unique commands throughout a project and doesn’t feel like searching through different Command Manager Tabs. For these users, I offer up the creation of a personalized tab with all necessary commands for your project. The way we create a new tab is by going back to our Customization Menu. Once the Customize menu is active, you will be able to see all tabs for your Command Manager, even if they are set to be hidden. You will also notice that there is an “Add Tab” option (much like Excel). If you select “Add Tab,” you will have the option to give your new tab a name. The Command Manager for this tab will start out blank. From the Commands tab in the Customize Menu, you can start to populate your personalized Command Manager by dragging and dropping your key command buttons, regardless if they are sketch/part/assembly/drawing specific.
I hope these tips help you to increase your productivity by reducing the time between commands and the distance your mouse has to travel when you are working on projects!