A great user interface enhancement in SOLIDWORKS 2016 are the new Selection Breadcrumbs, they are a context-based view of the current selection in the SOLIDWORKS graphics area designed to show related elements up and down the hierarchical tree; from the selected entity through to the top level assembly or part. Check out the video below to see Breadcrumbs in action:
In addition, breadcrumbs provide access to common selections that are adjacent to the selection, such as the underlying sketch of a feature, or the mates of a component.
Breadcrumbs are enabled by default and appear in the upper left corner of the graphics area when you select:
- An entity in the graphics area
- A node in the FeatureManager design tree
TIP: You can also display Breadcrumbs wherever your mouse pointer is in the graphics area by pressing the ‘D’ key – continue pressing the ‘D’ key to toggle between the top-left corner of the graphics area and your mouse pointer position.
Breadcrumbs are a very common form of navigation for websites and other user interfaces so you’ll already be familiar with how they work.
Breadcrumbs in a Part
For example in a part when you select a face you are presented with breadcrumbs for the related sketch and features associated with the face right back to the top level; as shown in the figure below you can see the breadcrumbs for the selection are: Part > Solid Body > Cut-Extrude3 > Face, and the adjacent ‘Sketch7’ is listed underneath
Breadcrumbs in an Assembly
In an assembly, when you select a face, edge, or a component, all of the mates for that the component belongs to are displayed above the component/part breadcrumb listing with the related sketch for the face selection displayed below.
Breadcrumbs provide convenient access to the tools you would normally access from the FeatureManager design tree but saves you having to locate parts or sub-assemblies and dig into their hierarchy. For instance prior to SOLIDWORKS 2016, to view the mates of a component you either had to right-click the component or find the component in the FeatureManager design tree and then open the mates folder, now you can just select a component in the graphics area and the related mates are presented to you.
Note that Breadcrumbs do not appear when:
- A PropertyManager is displayed.
- When you select an annotation or dimension in the graphics area.
- Or if you multi-select entities.
Learn more about SOLIDWORKS 2016
To learn more about the latest SOLIDWORKS release you can watch a recording of our Launch Broadcast.