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How to Change Transparency of ALL Components or Bodies in SOLIDWORKS 2018

Article by Scott Durksen, CSWE created/updated December 18, 2017

You can now quickly change the transparency of the all components in an assembly or all bodies in a multibody part.  SOLIDWORKS 2018 has added a Transparency option that applies all components.  Right-click on the top level feature in the FeatureManager Design Tree and choose Top Level Transparency.

For components that were already set as transparent, they will remain transparent if this option is selected and deselected.  If the same component is set to opaque when the Top Level Transparency is applied, it will remain opaque when the assembly returns to opaque.

SOLIDWORKS 2018 Top Level Transparency

SOLIDWORKS 2018 Top Level Transparency

The transparency setting is shown in the Display Pane for each component, including each component within subassemblies (but only in this top level assembly).  This applies to both Shaded with Edges and Shaded modes.

SOLIDWORKS Top Level Transparency Applied

SOLIDWORKS Top Level Transparency Applied

This can be toggled off by returning to the in-context toolbar and deselecting Top Level Transparency.

Top Level Transparency Option Applied

Top Level Transparency Option Applied

You can modify individual component visibility while in the Transparency mode to have them highlighted.  This can help where you want most components transparent with a couple opaque.  In this case the overall Display Style is set to Shaded to avoid too many edges, and the bearings set to opaque and shaded with edges.

Individual Component Display Options

Individual Component Display Options

These display settings can be saved in a new Display State for future use.

Transparency Saved with Display State (shown in Exploded View)

Transparency Saved with Display State (shown in Exploded View)

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Scott Durksen, CSWE

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

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