How to change SOLIDWORKS Background Color or apply an Image

Article by TriMech Solutions, LLC updated December 5, 2022


Ever wonder why some files have fancy-colored backgrounds, and sometimes they are just white? The reason is someone used a SOLIDWORKS background color or scene when saving the file. The color background can be saved with the file. If you want to set your SOLIDWORKS to use a specific color for new files, you can set it in your System Settings.  Let’s go over how to do that.

Make the change in the Colors section in your System Options. In your options dialog, you want to look at the ‘Colors’ section. If you are not sure where to find it, search it!

Open file with colour options and a list of text

Open file with color options and a list of text

Setting the SOLIDWORKS background color for a file is handled in the ‘Background appearance’ section sometimes in conjunction with the ‘Color scheme settings’.

With the color scheme settings, any color that can be changed in SOLIDWORKS can be found and changed here. We are focusing on the background colors, so to determine which color to change under color scheme settings, first we need to decide on what we want for our Background Appearance, because some settings don’t use the colors at all. Instead, they call on scenes or even images.

‘Use document scene background’ will use the Default scene chosen just above the radio buttons:

Use document scene background

Use document scene background

To set the default scene, pick the scene you like in your Task Pane under Appearances, then use the right-click options to set the desired scene as your default.

If you prefer a simple solid colored background, in your Settings, change the background appearance to ‘Plain’ and it will set your background color to the color called ‘Viewport Background’ from the Color scheme settings list.

For a gradient background, use ‘Gradient’ instead. The viewport will blend from Top Gradient Color to Bottom Gradient Color, both of which you can set yourself!

And lastly, if you have an image file you would like to use for your graphics viewport, you can set it by choosing the image option:

Using an image file for the background

Using an image file for the background

Conveniently, the default image provided by SOLIDWORKS, which is called “smoke.png,” is a very nice dynamic, yet subtle looking background that makes the default colors for highlighting, spline handles, and other temporary colors easy to see, so it’s actually my favorite setting.

Image file applied to background

Image file applied to background

What setting will you customize your SOLIDWORKS background environment to use?

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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.