Keyboard Shortcuts (hotkeys) in SOLIDWORKS

Article by John Lee, CSWE created/updated June 28, 2019

Are you using the same function so often in SOLIDWORKS that you wish you could make it happen faster and more easily?  Well, you can!  SOLIDWORKS Keyboard shortcuts (also known as hotkeys) are just one of several productivity tips available to you, and can be accessed thus:

  1. Open or create a SOLIDWORKS document
  2. Select Tools > Customize > Keyboard
  3. Use the Category or Search fields to find the command you want to hotkey
  4. In the Shorcut(s) column, enter a keystroke.  This can be just a single key, or can be a keystroke combination that includes Ctrl, Shift, or Alt.  If that key combination has already been assigned, you will be given the option whether to remap the assignment or choose some other key combination.

SOLIDWORKS keyboard shortcuts (hotkeys)

For example, while working in industry I was using Measure (on the Evaluate tab of the Command Manager, or Tools > Evaluate > Measure) so often that at one point that I tried to hotkey that to “M”, but was notified that “M” was previously assigned (likely by me) to “Mate”, and so I went with “R” instead.  Easy to remember, when considering how a pirate might pronounce it:  “measARRR!!”  😀

Once a command has been hotkeyed, whether by the user or in the default hotkey settings (and there are many), it should appear next to the command as a tool tip when mousing over the button.  This is SOLIDWORKS’ way of telling you which hotkey, if any, has already been assigned to that command, so that it’s ready to be used.

Line command icon

Tool tip confirms that “L” has been assigned

Here are some default keyboard shortcut assignments you’ll want to know about!

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John Lee, CSWE

John Lee is inherently lazy in that he prefers to work smarter - not harder. A CSWE with fifteen years of experience using SOLIDWORKS and a background in mechanical design, John has used SOLIDWORKS in various industries requiring design for injection molding, sheet metal, weldments and structural steel.