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Kiss your CAPS LOCK Key Good-bye with SolidWorks 2014 “All Uppercase”!

Article by Jim Peltier, CSWE created/updated September 16, 2013

hAS THIS EVER HAPPENED TO YOU? Sorry about that. I left my Caps Lock key on after typing some notes on a drawing. Still, there are few nuisances as annoying as remembering if you have caps lock on or off. Especially if you’re like me and you look at the keyboard when you type, rather than at the screen. Here’s what I mean:

 

My note is all in lowercase. If I retype it manually, I'll miss something for sure.

My note is all in lowercase. If I retype it manually, I’ll miss something for sure.

So I’ve typed up my note and it’s all in lowercase. Up until today we’ve all had to manually retype the note. Well, good news, everyone: today that changes! One of the understated and below-the-radar enhancements in SolidWorks 2014 is one little checkbox that will make caps lock obsolete forever! Behold:

Take note of the units

What have we here?

Fixed in a single click! Success!

Fixed in a single click! Success!

You may have noted that I changed the units from inches to millimeters when I did the close-ups. That’s because SolidWorks recognizes that mm is an SI unit and should not be capitalized! As you recall from your engineering class, a capital M (Mega) does not mean that same thing as a small m (milli). I try this trick sometimes at the grocery store when they advertise something in ML (1 million litres) and they really mean mL (1/1000th of a litre), but they never seem to understand. SolidWorks, however, does understand and I’m pleased to report that the “All uppercase” tool that they’ve added reflects this understanding, although not with all units by default. When I tested the aforementioned mL, it changed it to ML and I promptly had to test it on the latest version! What I found a little later on is that you can actually change this.

Tools > Options, then under the Document Properties tab, select Drafting Standard from the list on the left

Tools > Options, then under the Document Properties tab, select Drafting Standard from the list on the left

I feel a lot better knowing that I can choose exceptions to the All Uppercase tool. Of course, if I tick the checkbox in here for “All Uppercase” then it will apply globally to all annotations in my drawing and all new notes that I place! That means that it’s an option I can set in my drawing templates (.DRWDOT) and I can give my caps lock key a fitting retirement:

No need for Caps Lock anymore!

No need for Caps Lock anymore!

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Jim Peltier, CSWE

Jim has been using SolidWorks since 2001, and has spent most of that time working in the design of industrial automated manufacturing equipment. He has been working as an Applications Expert at Javelin Technologies in Oakville, Ontario since July 2012 and is a Certified SolidWorks Expert (CSWE).

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