Adding Symbols within your SOLIDWORKS Custom Property Fields

Article by Chris Briand, CSWE updated June 7, 2017


We can add a hint of elegance, and more importantly reduce the number of characters required to annotate a custom property value through the use of symbols, or what Windows users would term as special characters.

One example of this would be when placing a dimension within a drawing,  typically you will have the option to add symbols to the note surrounding the dimension value.

The process of adding SOLIDWORKS Custom Property symbols can be somewhat tedious in certain areas of SOLIDWORKS as the buttons to generate symbols are simply not present.

SOLIDWORKS Custom Property Symbols

SOLIDWORKS Custom Property Symbols

One such area is the Custom Properties dialog, which simply accepts regular keyboard entry…which generally raises the question: do we have an alternative method to enter symbols into our custom property fields?

Using special keystrokes

One alternative to the awkward use of the windows character map or less-refined sequences of characters, is to use the special keystrokes for each special character and type them in directly in a Custom Property Field.

Some of the most common examples you may want to try are:

  • Plus / Minus Symbol (±)   Keystroke: ALT+0177
  • Degree Symbol (°)  Keystroke: ALT+0176
  • Diameter Symbol (Ø) Keystroke: ALT+0216

Inserting the symbol

The process to place the symbols in the Custom Property fields is simple, place your cursor within the field as though you were going to type regularly.  Hold down the ALT key and type the numbers supplied above. The desired symbol should then appear at your cursor location.

As always, we encourage you to give this method a try!  It should prove a useful technique toward enhancing your SOLIDWORKS annotations.

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Chris Briand, CSWE

Chris has been educating and supporting Engineers, Designers and IT Personnel within the 3D CAD industry since 2002, and was adopted into the fantastic team of applications experts here at Javelin Technologies in early 2006 and migrated along with his team members to the TriMech Solutions team in 2021.  Chris enjoys the continuous learning driven by the ingenuity and challenges Designers bring forward. Innovation using 3D Printing, 3D CAD and other technologies, combined with a diverse background as a technologist, allows Chris to find solutions that accelerate Designers, and take Design Teams to new heights. Chris is currently being held at an undisclosed location, near Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.