Keyboard and Mouse Shortcuts in SolidWorks

By Wayne Keller, Javelin Technologies Inc.

In response to a customer request we have a look at how to view and change the keyboard shortcuts, and list the mouse shortcuts in SolidWorks.

To customize keyboard shortcut keys:

  1. First open or start a new Part, Assembly or Drawing document
  2. Click Tools, Customize, or right-click on the window border and select Customize from the shortcut menu as shown below in figure 1.
Command Shortcut Menu

Figure 1: Selecting Customize from the Command Shortcut Menu

  1. Select the Keyboard tab in the Customize dialog box to view, and edit the shortcut keys.
Customize Dialog Box

Figure 2: Customize Dialog Box

To Assign Keyboard Shortcuts:

  1. Select a Category or leave it as All Commands
  2. Select a Command from the list e.g. Make Drawing from Part
  3. Press a key or key combination e.g. CTRL D. The shortcut has been assigned as shown in figure 3 below.
  4. Pick OK to finish and the command will be assigned to the system
Customize Dialog Box

Figure 3: Customizing a Command

  • If a shortcut key is already assigned, a message informs you. If you choose to use the shortcut for the new command, it is removed from the old command
  • Letters are shown in uppercase. For example, if you hold down Ctrl and press m, Ctrl+M is displayed. If you hold down Ctrl and press Shift and m, Ctrl+Shift+M is displayed
  • When executing keyboard shortcuts, Caps Lock does not imply Shift and does not affect the shortcut

To Remove Keyboard Shortcuts:

  1. Access the Customize dialog as described in the steps above
  2. Select the command and click the Remove Shortcut button as shown in figure 4 below. To reset all shortcuts to the system defaults, click the Reset to Defaults button. To abandon current changes, click Cancel
Removing a shortcut

Figure 4: Removing a shortcut

Display and Document Keyboard Shortcuts

Category Drop Down  

The category drop down acts as a display filter and can be set to:

  • Display All Commands
  • One of the main menus
  • Others. (Others includes orientations, FeatureManager design tree commands, relations, etc.)
Removing a shortcut

Figure 5: Category List

  • Macro icons with shortcuts can be displayed by selecting the 'Tools' category
  • Selecting the Only show commands with shortcuts assigned option displays the commands within the selected category that have shortcuts assigned
  • Typing in the Search for box, filters the Command field as you type

Print List

Click the Print List button to open the Microsoft Print Setup dialog box and print the selected list with columns for Category, Command, and Shortcut(s)

Copy List

Click the Copy List button to copy the selected list to the clipboard so you can paste it into documents such as Microsoft Word™ or Microsoft Excel™

Accelerator Keys

Accelerator keys are available for most menu items and in dialog boxes and are indicated by underlined letters as shown in figure 6 below. They cannot be customized

  • To display the underlined letters for menus or on a dialog box, press Alt
  • To access a menu, press Alt plus the underlined letter; for example Alt+F for the File menu
  • To execute a command, after displaying the menu, with Alt still pressed, press the underlined letter; for example, Alt+F, then O to open a document.

Accelerator keys might be used more than once. Continue to press the key to cycle through all possibilities

File Menu

Figure 6: File Menu activated with Accelerator Key

Mouse Shortcuts

Listed below are the shortcut options in SolidWorks when using your mouse. Shortcuts for Part, Assembly and Drawing documents are included:


Table: Mouse and keyboard shortcuts for Part environment
SolidWorks Part Environment
Keyboard Button Mouse Button
  Left Middle Right
CTRL Copy Features / Multi Select Pan No Action
Shift Move Features / Multi Select Zoom No Action
Alt No Action Rotate View No Action


Table: Mouse and keyboard shortcuts for Assembly environment
SolidWorks Assembly Environment
Keyboard Button Mouse Button
  Left Middle Right
CTRL Copy Part / Multi Select Pan Rotate Component*
Shift Multi Select Zoom Rotate Component*
Alt Mate Highlighted Geometry Rotate View Rotate Component*

* Holding CTRL, Shift, or Alt is not required for function operation


Table: Mouse and keyboard shortcuts for Drawing environment
SolidWorks Drawing Environment
Keyboard Button Mouse Button
  Left Middle Right
CTRL Copy Sheet, View, Dimension / Multi Select Pan* No Action
Shift Multi Select Zoom No Action
Alt No Action Rotate View* No Action

* Holding CTRL, Shift, or Alt is not required for function operation


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