SOLIDWORKS, 3D CAD, Tech Tips

SOLIDWORKS Sketching Shortcuts and Quick Tips

By Stephen Petrock on July 9, 2020

So, you want to model faster. Since the foundation of your model is the sketch, let’s look at one way to improve your sketching. In this week’s Video Tech Tip, we show you a little-known tip on how to speed up your sketching process.


This is the one pro move that will make sketching easier. It’s called auto-transition to arc, but it is much more than just that. Although the most common use for it is to transition between a line and an arc while sketching in the graphics area, you can do more than that by using the keyboard shortcut, pressing the A key.

The trick to get the auto transition functionality to work is to use the secret mouse movement to summon it. When sketching a line, you need to know the workflow steps listed below:

  1. Place the end point of a line segment
  2. Move your mouse away from that point
  3. Move your mouse back on top of that point
  4. You’ll now be sketching an arc tangent to that point

It’s quite simple if you know the steps to summon it. If you want to forego this mouse movement, you could just press the A key. This keyboard shortcut will dynamically switch the line from an arc. Either way, this makes it very easy and straightforward to sketch outlines that contain curved geometry.

When using the A key shortcut, you can toggle between entity types when sketching an entity such as a circle or rectangle. What this means is you can easily cycle through the types of rectangles like center point or corner rectangle. This makes it incredibly easy to sketch different entities so you can focus on your design instead of the interface.

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