Using and Customizing SOLIDWORKS Mouse Gestures [VIDEO]

Article by Andrew Lidstone, CSWE created/updated September 22, 2010

With SOLIDWORKS 2010 a new productivity tool was introduced called SOLIDWORKS Mouse Gestures.  Once you get used to using them, Mouse Gestures can be a real time saver when using SOLIDWORKS to bring your designs to life.

SOLIDWORKS Mouse Gestures

Mouse Gestures Wheel

How SOLIDWORKS Mouse Gestures Work:

You use Mouse Gestures by pressing and holding the right mouse button and moving the cursor slightly in any direction.  This will launch the Mouse Gesture wheel  By default Mouse Gestures are enabled in 4 gesture mode.  To activate a gesture simply slide the cursor over it, no left click, no releasing the right click, the gesture launches on contact.  This part of the functionality might take a little getting used to, but the more you use it the more your muscle memory takes over and you will find yourself launching gestures without even having to take you eyes off you work.  But for that to be effective you need gestures that make sense for your workflow.

How to Make Mouse Gestures Work for You:

Mouse Gestures are a context sensitive, fully customizable feature.  You can customize Mouse Gestures by going to Tools > Customize and selecting the Mouse Gestures tab.  Here you can select to use either 4 or 8 gestures on the wheel.  You will notice that you have 4 different Mouse Gesture wheels that you can customize depending on what environment you are working in within SolidWorks, Part, Assembly, Drawing or Sketch.  Any command within SolidWorks can be assigned to a gesture giving you immediate access to you most frequently used functions.

Mouse Gesture Customization Manager

Mouse Gesture Customization Manager

A Few Tips to get you Gesturing:

  • One powerful use of Mouse Gestures is to set one gesture to launch the Shortcut Toolbar.  This opens the way for a whole new level of fully customizable work environment. To learn more about customizing the Shortcut Toolbar check out our blog post: Using and Customizing the Shortcut Toolbar.
  • If you are still getting used to the Mouse Gesture process you may want to keep the default of having the wheel divided into 4 for a while then move up to the 8 if you feel that would work better for you.
  • If you are using one command commonly in multiple wheels, set the command to the same gesture on each wheel. (ie.  Setting the down gesture to launch the Shortcut Toolbar in all 4 work environments.)

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Andrew Lidstone, CSWE

Andrew is a SOLIDWORKS Elite Applications Engineer and is based in our Dartmouth, Nova Scotia office.

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