Mastering the Rotating Functions in SOLIDWORKS

Article by TriMech Solutions, LLC updated August 17, 2021


Here are a few tricks that every user should know about the rotate functions in SOLIDWORKS. We’ll take a look at steps to take that will help you be as efficient as possible when rotating your part and sketch text.

We’ll start by clicking and holding down the middle button to rotate an assembly, or part, and finish by taking a look at the rotating functions and formatting text within a design. Watch the tech tip video below to learn more:

Rotate a Part or Assembly

To start, the wheel acts as a button. If I highlight a face in my model with the wheel and click and drag the part, the model rotates about that face. I can do the same with an edge. Highlight an edge and click on the wheel, and now I’m able to make my model pivot on that selected edge. This is a great way to move an assembly to get the best possible viewing angle. Another hidden setting that can be turned on for parts and assemblies is called Rotate About the Scene Floor. This slightly changes the behavior of the rotate function and acts as a great presentation tool when showing a design.

Rotate Part with Edge

Rotate Part with Edge

Something I would like to point out that is not part of the rotate command is that, if I have a second part within an assembly and click and drag that part with the left mouse icon, I can move and drag that part within the assembly. If I click and hold down with the right mouse button, I can now rotate that part independently of the rest of the components in the assembly.

Rotate Second Part

Rotate Second Part

Rotate Text

Now let’s take a look at creating and rotating text in SOLIDWORKS. When working with a sketch, I want to first add a line or an arc. Next, I want to navigate to Tools > Sketch Entities > Text and enter the text that I want to create in the left panel. Next, I will select the line or arc where I want to place the text. I can then proceed to format the text. To format the text, I can center it, mirror the text and also have the text appear on the top or bottom of the sketch line. I can also increase the spacing as well as rotate the individual text.

Add Text to a Sketch Line

Add Text to a Sketch Line

If I’m in a drawing, on the other hand, and I have a note inside of my drawing, the rotation for a text in the note is found in the Note Property Manager, a convenient way to rotate text in a drawing.

Add text to a drawing

Add text to a drawing


Rotating your assembly should be easy and smooth without impeding your design. Adding text and formatting should be just as smooth. With just a few clicks you can easily master the rotation functions in SOLIDWORKS and have more control when navigating through 3D space.

Learn more about SOLIDWORKS Rotate functions in one of our live online training courses »

Related Links

Get Certified SOLIDWORKS Services from Javelin

Javelin Experts can help you to:

TriMech Solutions, LLC

TriMech provides thousands of engineering teams with 3D design and rapid prototyping solutions that work hand-in-hand, from sketch to manufacturing. Javelin became a subsidiary of TriMech Solutions LLC in 2021.