SOLIDWORKS 2016 New Icon Style is now more consistent

Article by Rod Mackay updated September 21, 2015


One of the new enhancements with SOLIDWORKS 2016 is a new icon style that has been applied to make SOLIDWORKS consistent with the Dassault Systemès portfolio of 3DEXPERIENCE products (for example SOLIDWORKS Industrial Designer). The new icon style standardizes the perspective of icons, removes non-essential details, and emphasizes primary elements. Consistent visual styling applies to all icons. To give you an idea of the difference here is the Features toolbar from previous releases of SOLIDWORKS:

Previous Release Icon Style

Previous SOLIDWORKS Release Icon Style

And here is the Features toolbar in the SOLIDWORKS 2016 release, as you can see there is a slight difference in the icons:

solidworks 2016 new icon style

SOLIDWORKS 2016 New Icon Style

Visual Styling

The visual styling for icons follows these principles:

  • Blue colour to emphasize the primary action or feature.
  • Dark grey outlining to define the overall icon shape.
  • Shadows for visual grounding.

As an existing SOLIDWORKS user you will have no problem recognizing the icons as they are very similar to icons from previous releases, but with crisper lines that improve readability and recognition. Plus the location of icons on the CommandManager and toolbars has not changed. Of course if you need a visual aid for the icons you can still display the icon text by right-clicking on the CommandManager and enabling Use Large Buttons with Text.

Large Buttons with Text

Large Buttons with Text

Icon Scaling for high resolution displays

Another thing to note is that the new icons allow vector-based scaling for superior support of high resolution, high pixel density displays, and for icons/toolbars you can display Small, Medium, or Large buttons by doing one of the following:

  • Click the Options fly-out button (Standard toolbar), click Button Size and select a button size as shown in the figure below.
  • Or Click Tools > Customize and on the Toolbar tab, select an Icon size.
SOLIDWORKS 2016 Icon Button Size

SOLIDWORKS 2016 Icon Button Size

One other big advantage is the icon colour scheme and use of highlights makes it much easier for colour blind users to work with SOLIDWORKS.

Learn more about SOLIDWORKS 2016

To learn more about the latest SOLIDWORKS release you can attend a Launch Broadcast on either Thursday October 1st or Tuesday October 6th. Please visit our registration page to register for a Broadcast event.

Register for a Launch Event

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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.