Using and Customizing the Shortcut Toolbar

Article by Rod Mackay updated July 29, 2010

Shorcut Toolbar

Shorcut Toolbar

Beginning with SolidWorks 2008, SolidWorks introduced the Shortcut Toolbar – a context sensitive toolbar that can be very useful and save time when designing in SolidWorks.  This toolbar is activated by pressing the “S” key on your keyboard.

The Shortcut Toolbar has 2 useful traits: (a) when activated it appears directly next to the mouse cursor, eliminating the need to move the mouse across the screen, and more importantly (b) it is context sensitive, meaning that you can have different versions of this toolbar customized for use in the sketch, part, assembly, and drawing environment.  Essentially this gives you four completely unique versions of this toolbar, depending on what you are doing in SolidWorks at a given time.  By default, each of these toolbar versions has several of the most obvious tools  (sketch tools for the sketch environment, features for the part environment, etc.).

To customize the Shortcut toolbar, you must be working in the particular environment that you wish to customize for example the sketch environment.  In this example, we will customize the Shortcut Toolbar for the sketch environment.

To customize the SolidWorks Shortcut Toolbar:

  • Edit or begin a sketch
  • Press the “S” key to activate the Shortcut Toolbar
  • Right-click the toolbar and select Customize
Customize Shortcut Bar

Customize the SolidWorks Shortcut Toolbar

  • On the Commands tab of the Customize menu, find the specific tools/icons you wish to add to the toolbar
  • Drag and drop any individual icons directly onto the Shortcut Toolbar
  • Drag the toolbar edges to resize/reshape if required
  • Click OK when done editing the toolbar

You can follow this same procedure to customize the toolbar for all four unique environments. Watch the video below for an example of customizing the shortcut toolbar:

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Rod Mackay

Rod has been using 3D CAD software for over 25 years and has trained thousands of designers to use their CAD systems more effectively. Rod is the Javelin Webmaster and is based in Ottawa, ON., Canada.