Utilize Touch Mode in SOLIDWORKS for Touchscreen Computers

Article by Ben Crisostomo, CSWE updated August 1, 2019


More and more, we run into touch screens. Laptops and monitors are starting to come standard with touch capability. I’ve had a touch screen on my computer, and for a while, it hadn’t occurred to me use it in SOLIDWORKS. So when I did, I found it intuitive and fun to use.

You could arguably do everything without using a mouse & keyboard after getting accustomed to the touch features. I also noticed that it was easier to work with people, as they could interact with the model without having to take turns with the mouse. It looks like we are getting one step closer to the VR reality system we see in all those Iron Man movies. So let’s go over the gestures and features that help users utilize Touch Mode in SOLIDWORKS.

Gestures in Touch Mode

All the gestures are integrated into SOLIDWORKS 2018 and up. If you’ve used a cellphone, some of these gestures will be second nature to you, but here is a list of them for review.

Gestures used in Touch Mode

Figure 1 List of Gestures Used in Solidworks 2018 & Up

Though you will have access to the majority of the functionality in SOLIDWORKS, with these gestures alone, making edits such as mating or dimensioning will still be challenging to do. That is is why SOLIDWORKS has introduced Touch Mode

Getting Started with SOLIDWORKS Touch Mode

To bridge that gap, SOLIDWORKS has introduced touch mode to bridge that gap when it comes to editing. To turn Touch Mode on, we would need to go to View > Touch Mode, as seen in the image below. Here a menu on the left will pop up with several buttons to assist you when using the touch screen.

Let’s review the buttons in the image above from top to bottom.

  1. The first icon has the same functionality as the Esc key, allowing you to exit a selection or tool.
  2. The second icon works like the S key, opening up your shortcut toolbar & running a search in the help if you type something.
  3. The third button allows you to select multiple items in the model space.
  4. The last button deletes the selected item.

There is another set of gestures worth mentioning. When you hold down your finger, a circle begins to get drawn like the one seen below.

Hold in Touch Mode

Figure 3 Hold Gesture in Touch Mode

If you let the image of the circle complete, the magnifying glass pops up, as seen in the image below in the right. If you move your finger outward before the circle closes, the mouse gesture wheel pops up.

Hold mode in Touch Mode

Figure 4 Mouse Gestures or Magnifying Glass in Touch Mode

With all these features in Touch mode, using SOLIDWORKS without a keyboard and mouse is possible, and can be faster once you get accustomed to the controls. It also allows for collaborative work in a group, as everyone can get quick access to the screen. These are some of the benefits of utilizing Touch Mode in SOLIDWORKS .  Touch Mode is an excellent addition to the user interface, and will only get better as SOLIDWORKS roles out updates!

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Ben Crisostomo

Ben is a SOLIDWORKS Technical Support Application Expert based in the Javelin Oakville head office