SOLIDWORKS Composer Keyboard Shortcuts

Article by Scott Ellery updated November 10, 2015


SOLIDWORKS Composer is a great tool for creating technical documentation and product assembly instructions. Composer can easily create assembly animations and renders as well as create interactive 3D documentations in many different file outputs.

So how can we use SOLIDWORKS Composer even faster?

The answer is keyboard shortcuts, which allow you to use certain functions within Composer quickly and efficiently without the need to find the specific tools in their respective toolbars.

Ok, shortcuts sound great, but where do I find them?

It is not immediately obvious where to find the SOLIDWORKS Composer Keyboard Shortcuts function, but we’ve got you covered and have outlined the steps below:

The first step is to right-click in the grey space of your composer toolbar and select Customize Quick Access Toolbar from the shortcut menu.

Customize Quick Access Toolbar

Customize Quick Access Toolbar

Next, you need to click on the Customize button next to Keyboard Shortcuts near the bottom left of the window

Customize keyboard shortcuts

Customize keyboard shortcuts

In the Customize Keyboard menu you can scroll through all of the commands Composer has to offer and see current Hot Key assignments under the Current Keys on the left hand side, as well as apply your own custom shortcuts in the Press new Shortcut Key option on the right hand side.

SOLIDWORKS Composer Keyboard Shortcuts

Select command and enter the shortcut key[s]

And that’s it! three steps and you are on your way to making your SOLIDWORKS Composer project creation faster and more efficient. As a bonus there is a list of the most common keyboard shortcuts in Composer below.

Keyboard Shortcut Command Description
Alt Enables curve detection mode. Available only in transformation modes: rotate, translate, and explode.
Alt+Enter Displays the Document Properties dialog box.
Esc Quits the current function.
Space Bar Displays Digger.
Tab Hides temporarily the actor under the mouse pointer.
Tab+Shift Restores actor visibility, one after the other, after hiding with Tab.
F1 Displays the appropriate online help topic (contextual help).
F2 Edits the text (rename).
F4 Redoes the last operation.
Shift (held) Toggles the selection.
Ctrl (held) Adds to the selection (multi-select).
Ctrl+A Selects all.
Ctrl+D Displays Digger.
Ctrl+G Shows/hides the grid.
Ctrl+K Using the Image Area, create a snapshot of the viewport that can be pasted into other applications, such as Microsoft Paint (Ctrl+V).
Ctrl+S Saves the active document.
Ctrl+T Shows/hides all actors.
Ctrl+W Shows/hides the ground shadow.
Ctrl+Z Undoes the last operation.
Ctrl+Y Redoes the last operation.
Ctrl+Shift+0 through 9


Enables rendering modes.
Ctrl+Shift+F Front/back camera view.
Ctrl+Shift+R Right/left camera view.
Ctrl+Shift+T Top/bottom camera view.
+ (or Up Arrow) Increases navigation speed in Fly Through mode.
– (or Down Arrow) Decreases navigation speed in Fly Through mode.
A Applies on-demand rendering effects, such as anti-aliasing, to the viewport.
H Hides the selected actor.
I Toggles inertia mode.
K Keeps hidden an actor that was hidden with Tab.
P Plays/pauses animation.
R Refreshes the scene by resetting the OpenGL engine. Use this command if you have graphical display issues.
S Show statistics, such as the number of model actors and triangles, in the lower-right corner of the viewport when navigating the model.
T Shows/hides collaboration actors.
X Displays Digger.
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Scott Ellery, CSWE

Scott Ellery is a CSWE and an avid contributor to the SOLIDWORKS Community, He is a ten time SOLIDWORKS World\3DExperience World Presenter and contributes regularly to SWUG meetings organized by four different user groups in Canada, Scott has worked with many CAD Software packages for over a decade in a multitude of different industries including Steel Fabrication, Injection Molding and Sheetmetal. With a background in Mechanical Engineering Technology and Design, Scott enjoys pushing SolidWorks to it's limits and teaching users to be as fast and efficient with SolidWorks as humanly possible.