How to optimize your SOLIDWORKS Settings for a Certification Exam

Article by Jorge Villacres updated March 21, 2024


Prior to taking a Design/Engineering SOLIDWORKS Certification Exam you should optimize your SOLIDWORKS settings as that can play a pivotal role in determining your success.

While the default configurations in SOLIDWORKS provide a solid foundation, fine-tuning additional settings can significantly enhance your efficiency and streamline your design workflow. In this blog, we will delve into these critical adjustments, ensuring you’re fully prepared to excel in your certification assessments.

Accessing SOLIDWORKS Settings

First, let’s navigate to where you can adjust your SOLIDWORKS settings. Located at the far right of your top toolbar is the gear icon, your gateway to customizing SOLIDWORKS to suit your preferences. A click on this icon reveals two distinct settings tabs: the System Settings, which allows you to configure global preferences applicable across all SOLIDWORKS files, and the Document Properties Tab, which becomes accessible once you open a file. It’s important to note that the options within this tab vary based on the type of file you’re working with.

SOLIDWORKS gear menu

SOLIDWORKS gear menu

Adjacent to the gear icon, you’ll find a drop-down menu that offers further customization options. This menu permits you to select which tabs you wish to have displayed on your tab bar, manage add-in activation (you can even choose to activate the add-ins upon SOLIDWORKS startup) and adjust the size of your toolbar icons to better fit your visual and operational needs.

Optimize your SOLIDWORKS Settings

Enable the following to optimize your SOLIDWORKS settings:

SOLIDWORKS OptionBenefit
General Options
Input dimension valueOpens the Modify dialog box when you insert a dimension. You want to have this option checked to open the smart dimension tool automatically and save time.
Single command per pickClears the sketch and dimension tools after each use. Have this option unchecked so you can perform continuous operations without having to select the feature tool every time you with to use it.
Enable Confirmation CornerDisplays the Confirmation Corner in the upper right corner of the graphics area to accept the current feature. If you are a seasoned SOLIDWORKS user you might want to uncheck this option to speed up your designs.
Enable Freeze barEnables Feature Freeze. You can use it in complex models to exclude features from rebuilds, reducing rebuild time, and to prevent unintentional changes to the model.
Enable on-screen numeric input on entity creationDisplays numeric input fields to specify sizes when creating sketch entities. To use this option, you can also right-click in a sketch and click Sketch Numeric Input.

This option is helpful for building design intent into sketches because you do not have to exit the sketch entity tool to dimension the entity.

Show breadcrumbs on selectionActivate to display breadcrumbs in the upper left corner of the graphics area . The breadcrumbs show related elements up and down the hierarchical tree. So it’s easier to choose the exact part o assembly you need
Show breadcrumbs at mouse pointerActivate to display the breadcrumbs in a semitransparent state at the pointer. You can also select multiple mates in the selection breadcrumbs.
Enhanced graphics performance (requires SOLIDWORKS restart)Have it activated to improve graphical performance.
Hardware accelerated silhouette edgesEnables the GPU hardware to improve the display of silhouette edges in HLR, HLV, and wireframe views.


SOLIDWORKS Document Properties

In order to fully optimize your SOLIDWORKS settings you should specify your unit system and decimal points in the Document Properties section.



Remember that by taking the time to tailor your environment to your specific needs, you not only optimize your workflow but also position yourself for success in your certification exams. The key to mastering SOLIDWORKS lies in the details, and these setting adjustments are your first step towards achieving excellence.

Learn more about SOLIDWORKS Certification

With a SOLIDWORKS Certification you can advance your career and prove that you are proficient with SOLIDWORKS software.

Standing out amongst SOLIDWORKS users from around the world can be challenging. Earning a SOLIDWORKS Certification can help you get a job, keep a job, or possibly move up in your current job. Be a part of the growing community of certified SOLIDWORKS users.

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Jorge Villacres

Jorge Villacres is a Certified SOLIDWORKS Expert and has been using SOLIDWORKS since 2010. He has eight years of experience in academic CAD/CAM research and has worked on novel research topics such as 4D printing and has reported in numerous journal publications.