How to control the visibility of SOLIDWORKS Bodies with your mouse & keyboard

Article by Rod Mackay updated July 6, 2016


Last year during the launch of SOLIDWORKS 2016 we showed you the new component visibility toggle functionality to quickly hide and show components in your assembly. Well did you know that this functionality also applies to bodies? Here is an example of a SOLIDWORKS weldment comprised of solid bodies. I’ll use the SOLIDWORKS bodies visibility tools to hide and show weldment sections:

solidworks bodies visibility

Weldment with solid bodies

Hide Body

If you want to quickly HIDE a body simply hold down the <Tab> key and move your mouse pointer over a body, the body will then be hidden from the display:

Hide a solid body

Hide a solid body with the Tab key depressed

Show Body

To SHOW a hidden body you can hold down the <Shift> and the <Tab> key and move your mouse pointer over the position where the hidden body is located and it will be made visible again.

Show a solid body

Show a solid body with the Shift and Tab key depressed

Temporarily show all

The show body technique described above might be difficult to use when there are multiple hidden bodies as you might not know their positions is space. SOLIDWORKS can help here too as you can temporarily show ALL hidden bodies on the screen by depressing the <Ctrl> <Shift> and <Tab> keys. Then use your mouse pointer to select the bodies you want to make visible again. As you can see in the screenshot below the hidden bodies are temporarily shown as blue transparent bodies:

Show all hidden bodies

Temporarily show all hidden bodies with the Ctrl, Shift and Tab key depressed

Note that SOLIDWORKS bodies visibility applies to both solid and surface bodies, and is ideal for weldment and consumer product creation where multi-bodies are often used to create models.

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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.