When sketching in SolidWorks for the first time there is a lot to take in. Even with the best of instructors the first time through you might forget some of the nice features. In this series I am going to compile the very basics of sketching that and generate a table of all the modifier keys in one succinct location.
To start off with when creating a shape with lines there are two methods, click click, and click drag. Click Click will automatically start another entity of the same type, click drag will not. Click Click will have the same effect as click drag when closing off a profile, or when creating an entity that is closed, such as a rectangle or a circle.
Once sketch entities are created modifier keys become very useful. For example by holding down the shift key when dimensioning circles it is possible to dimension to the min and max without any extra steps. If you want to move under-defined sketch entities together without changing their positions relative to each other you can hold down the shift key. This also prevents entities from accidentally lining up or adding automatic relations to other entities. If you want to line these entities up with others or add automatic relations it is possible to hold down control instead, keep in mind this makes copies of all the entities so anything that references them down the feature tree or in assemblies or drawings will have to be updated.
Two more functions of the modifier keys in sketches are to do with selections. When holding control clicking toggles the selection, which is to say if something is selected and gets clicked while holding control it will be deselected. This differs from shift which will only add to the selection. If no keys are held down and something that is not selected is clicked everything else is deselected. If no keys are held down and something that is selected is clicked then nothing happens.