Use the SOLIDWORKS Spin Box to Increase/Decrease Dimensions in Increments

Article by Scott Durksen, CSWE updated October 17, 2017

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The SOLIDWORKS Spin Box is the small thumbwheel at the bottom of the Modify dialog box.  This can be used to incrementally increase or decrease a dimension value.  If the dimension is bounded (i.e. an angle between 0 and 90deg) you may see a slider bar instead.

SOLIDWORKS Spin Box

SOLIDWORKS Spin Box – Thumbwheel or Slider

When you click and drag the thumbwheel left and right, it will increase or decrease the dimension by a set increment.  You can also use the Up or Down arrow keys.

SOLIDWORKS Spin Box Thumbwheel

SOLIDWORKS Spin Box Thumbwheel

An even easier way to trigger the increment change is to place the mouse cursor in the dimension field, then use the middle mouse wheel to go up or down.

SOLIDWORKS Spin Box with Middle Mouse Wheel

The increments are set in the System Options.  Choose the Spin Box Increments section to see the set values for English/Metric lengths and Angles.  Time would be used more in animations.

SOLIDWORKS Spin Box Increment Options

SOLIDWORKS Spin Box Increment Options

Another helpful tip is holding Alt and Ctrl keys when using the Spin Box:

  • Ctrl + (arrow/thumbwheel/mouse wheel):   Multiplies increments by 10
  • Alt + (arrow/thumbwheel/mouse wheel):   Divides increments by 10

For example with the options above, the default Metric increment is 10mm each time.  It would be 100mm if you hold Ctrl, and 1mm when you hold Alt.

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Scott Durksen, CSWE

Scott is a SOLIDWORKS Elite Applications Engineer and is based in our Dartmouth, Nova Scotia office.