5 Quick Shortcuts for navigating the SOLIDWORKS FeatureManager Design Tree

Article by Alin Vargatu, CSWE updated July 25, 2011


Do you find yourself scrolling up and down the SOLIDWORKS feature tree all day hunting for that elusive feature? Does dragging the rollback bar to the desired feature in your tree feel cumbersome?


Fig. 1 Long Feature Tree

Here are five shortcut tips that can save you a lot of time when working with the SOLIDWORKS Feature Tree:

1. Expand the whole Feature Tree

Select the top item in the SOLIDWORKS Feature Tree (the model name) and press the * key on your numeric pad. Be aware that in a large assembly such an operation will be quite time consuming since every sketch will be revealed in the feature tree.

2. Collapse the whole Feature Tree

Press Shift + C or Right-click on any item in the feature tree and select Collapse Items.


Fig. 2 Collapse Items

3. Fast Rollback to any feature in the tree

Select a feature and click on the Rollback icon from the in-context toolbar. The rollback bar will move above the selected feature. When you have a long tree, this is a great time saver.

Fig. 3 Fast Rollback

4. Roll to End and Roll to Previous

Just Right-click on the Rollback Bar to have access to these two commands. Roll to End eliminates the need to drag the rollback bar down to the end of the tree, which is very handy for long feature trees. And Roll to Previous is a quickest way to get back.

Roll to End

5. Filter the Feature Tree

Probably the most useful tool. Just start typing keywords in order to list only the items that contain them. You can filter by

  • Feature names,
  • Sketches,
  • Folders,
  • Type of features,
  • Component tags
  • and more.

Fig. 5 Filter by feature type

Even more useful is filtering by the custom properties of components. For example, the components shown in fig. 6 have in common the Bendall value for the Vendor property.

Fig. 6 Filter by custom properties

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Alin Vargatu, CSWE

Alin is a SOLIDWORKS Elite Applications Engineer and an avid contributor to the SOLIDWORKS Community. Alin has presented multiple times at SOLIDWORKS World, Technical Summits, and User Group Meetings, while being very active on the SOLIDWORKS Forum.