Enable This Setting in SOLIDWORKS 2024: Sketch Dimension Previews

Article by Sarah Taylor updated April 17, 2024


With each major release of SOLIDWORKS, there are new and improved capabilities within the software that can completely change the user experience. One of the most exciting enhancements in SOLIDWORKS 2024 was the introduction of SOLIDWORKS Sketch Dimension Previews.

This new capability combines the power of Smart Dimensions with context-sensitive selections in the sketching environment. Sketch Dimension Previews aim to streamline the sketching process by providing users with real-time feedback and visual cues as they create and modify dimensions within sketches.

Watch the video to learn why and how to turn on Sketch Dimension Previews in your System Options in SOLIDWORKS 2024.

What are SOLIDWORKS Sketch Dimension Previews?

As shown in the quick clip above, the new Sketch Dimension Previews allow you to view and dimensions on the fly just by selecting sketch entities with your mouse. No need to activate the Smart Dimension tool! The workflow for adding dimensions via the dimension previews looks like this:

  1. Click on a sketch entity (or CTRL + select multiple entities to dimension between them)
  2. View the Dimension Preview that appears
  3. To make the dimension permanent within the sketch, just click on the preview value, enter a value in the Modify box, and hit Enter or click OK.
Sketch Dimension Preview

Sketch Dimension Preview

How to Enable Sketch Dimension Previews

This is not a default setting in SOLIDWORKS as of 2024. This setting will need to be turned on in the System Options. To enable sketch dimension previews, click Tools Options System Options > Sketch and select “Preview sketch dimension when selected“.

SOLIDWORKS Sketch Options

SOLIDWORKS Sketch Options

Related Settings

By default, the color of the Preview Dimension is light grey. This color can be customized in Tools > Options > System Options > Colors. Under Color scheme settings, select “Dimensions, Preview” and choose a custom color.

Another related setting that has been around since SOLIDWORKS 2013, is Tools > Options > System Options > Sketch > “Enable on-screen numeric input on entity creation“. With this setting enabled, dimensions can be added on the fly if a value is typed while a new sketch entity is being drawn. This option only applies to the creation of new entities.

More of What’s New in SOLIDWORKS 2024

With each new major release, SOLIDWORKS introduces new capabilities and improvements to the user experience. Learn more about the many enhancements and innovations introduced in SOLIDWORKS 2024 »

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Sarah Taylor

Sarah is an Solutions Consultant at TriMech with 6+ years of experience using various CAD software including SOLIDWORKS, Creo and AutoCAD. She has previous experience in the biopharmaceutical industry as well as HVAC project management. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland where she received her B.S. in Bioengineering.