Reducing Mouse Travel in SolidWorks

As I’m sure you all have noticed, the majority of systems require the user to deal with dialog boxes and windows. This means you are constantly going from dialog box to run your command, to your working area and then back to your dialog box.  SolidWorks has done a great job in getting out and the way and letting the user focus on their design rather than the software. I’m going to show you some tips and tricks to save you time on your design process while eliminating window washing.

The first thing I am going to show you to prove that SolidWorks is geared towards efficiency is by simply turning of interfaces.  If you push F9 and F10, SolidWorks will turn of your left and top interfaces. By doing this, you will more easily refrain from window washing and work in this area alone. You may be wondering, “How can I create my part if I can’t go and select my tools?” You can do this by using your pop up toolbar, shortcut bar, and mouse gesture wheel.

These three things house your commands at your fingertips, rather than window washing back and forth to dialog boxes and other commands. By turning off the interfaces, you no longer have to worry about letting the mouse follow your eyes to select the commands from the toolbars. Turning these off for a few weeks will help you to train yourself not to window wash across your monitor but rather to use the commands that automatically come to you. It’s not possible to do everything in SolidWorks without a dialog box, but you will be surprised at how much you can.

You remember me talking about the pop up toolbar, shortcut bar and mouse gesture wheel, but what are these three features? The pop up toolbar (pictured left) appears when you click on an existing item. It gives you quick commands such as “edit feature” and “edit sketch”. With the pop up bar, you know longer have to go into your design tree to edit the different aspects of your part. However, unlike the shortcut bar and mouse gesture wheel, the pop up toolbar is not currently customizable.


The shortcut bar (shown below) appears when you push the “S” key. This houses what you need to create a new part (Extrude, Revolve, Etc…).  This bar is fully customizable. To do so you simply push your “S” key> right click on the shortcut bar> click customize> drag and drop the items you wish to add onto the toolbar.








The mouse gesture wheel (pictured below) is used to run really frequent commands. To use this you simply hold down your right mouse and slowly drag is bringing up the mouse gesture wheel. This too is customizable. To customize this wheel go to tools> options> mouse gesture. There are many other ways to reduce mouse travel as well, these are just a few to get you started.







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