Why SOLIDWORKS Link Values is better than a Global Variable

Article by Joe Medeiros, CSWE updated April 30, 2020


Back with the release of SOLIDWORKS 2010, SOLIDWORKS introduced Global Variables. A nice little utility, to define a constant that can be used to drive multiple dimensions.

Equations, Global Variables and Dimensions

Equations, Global Variables and Dimensions

And for many situations this works well but the one downside is that a Global Variable has to be applied to each dimension individually. This can be tedious, when many dimensions need to be linked.

Applying a Global Variable

Prior to Global Variables, dimensions were made equal by using Link Values.

The main advantage of SOLIDWORKS Link Values, is that it can be applied to multiple dimensions at once.

How to Link Values

All that is required is selecting the dimensions that need to be linked, by using either Ctrl-select or Window select. After all the dimensions are selected, it’s simply a matter of right-clicking and selecting Link Values from the shortcut menu:


Linking Values


In the Shared Values dialog box, a Name is entered for the Linked Values.

Shared Values

Linked dimensions are denoted with a link (not infinity) icon.

SOLIDWORKS Linked Values

Linked Values (denoted by red link icon)

Linking Values does require selecting all dimensions to be linked. In a situation where these dimensions may belong to different features, not all the dimensions will be visible. This can addressed by right-clicking on Annotations in The FeatureManager and selecting Show Feature Dimensions.

Show Feature Dimensions

Show Feature Dimensions

Modifying Linked Values

The Link icon will also appear in the Modify Dimension dialog box and modifying any one of the Linked dimension, will update all Linked dimensions

Modify Dimension

Modify Dimension

Unlink Values

Linked dimensions can be unlinked by selecting one or more Linked dimensions, right-clicking and choosing Unlink Value.

Unlink Value

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Joe Medeiros, CSWE

Joe Medeiros is a SOLIDWORKS and PDM Certified Expert. He has been helping SOLIDWORKS users with training, mentoring and implementations since 1998. He combines industry experience with a thorough understanding of SOLIDWORKS products to assist customers in being successful. He shares his experience and expertise through blogs; one of which has been incorporated into the SOLIDWORKS Essentials training manual.