SOLIDWORKS 2021 – Collapsible CommandManager

Article by John Lee, CSWE updated October 14, 2020


The SOLIDWORKS CommandManager is undoubtedly a well-designed interface for finding what tools you need in SOLIDWORKS, and is now collapsible in SOLIDWORKS 2021.

After learning where SOLIDWORKS tools are, and also how to access them by shortcuts such as the “S” key, which also activates Command Search (so does the “w” key) we do not always need to see the CommandManager fully expanded.

How to collapse the CommandManager

How to collapse the CommandManager

One option is to hide it, but the ability to collapse or expand it, introduced in SOLIDWORKS 2021, takes fewer steps.  When collapsed, the CommandManager releases more of our viewing screen to other needs such as maximizing the size of the graphics area.

Noticeably more graphics area when CommandManager is collapsed!

Noticeably more graphics area when CommandManager is collapsed!

To use the CommandManager from its collapsed state, simply click on any of the tabs such as Features, Sketch, Evaluate, Assembly, etc.  It can also be returned permanently to its expanded state by pinning it:

Pinning the SOLIDWORKS 2021 CommandManager to keep it expanded

Pinning the CommandManager to keep it expanded

Training course for the SOLIDWORKS CommandManager

Although our SOLIDWORKS Essentials training aims to familiarize with the basics, like how to use the CommandManager, we also like to introduce time-saving techniques and productivity tricks such as how to work faster so you don’t need to mouse up to the CommandManager every time you need to launch a command.  Learn more about all of the tricks in our SOLIDWORKS Essentials course!

Are you a long-time user of SOLIDWORKS?  Learn about other new enhancements to SOLIDWORKS in our Advanced Update course!

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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.