SOLIDWORKS, 3D CAD, Tech Tips

Tips for Customizing Your SOLIDWORKS Interface

By Stephen Petrock on August 20, 2020

If you want to get more time to design, then you need to look at how to design faster. The easiest way to do that is to make SOLIDWORKS work for you. Yes, SOLIDWORKS is incredibly powerful, but it’s also very flexible. In other words, you can make SOLIDWORKS work your way by customizing it. In this week’s Video Tech Tip, we look at our favorite way to customize SOLIDWORKS and how you can save those settings to take with you to load up your customizations anywhere.


In SOLIDWORKS, there’s a row of buttons right in the graphics area that are static. They don’t change and are always there. It’s called the heads up display. It’s our favorite place to customize SOLIDWORKS because it’s always close by and accessible.

Heads up bar

This is important because it minimizes mouse movement. Yes it’s not the closest thing to your mouse. That would be mouse gestures or even the S-key shortcut bars, but those are sensitive to your modeling context. It looks different if you're sketching or editing a feature, but the heads up display is permanent. It’s always there and always looks the same. So you can develop a quick muscle memory for easy access to commands. That’s why it’s our favorite place to add some useful commands. Some of the favorites of TriMech Application Engineers is to have commands like Measure right there. 

SOLIDWORKS CommandsNow that you’ve customized it, you’ll want to save your customizations so you can load them up if you travel, change machines or if you upgrade your system. This is done through the Copy settings wizard which is accessible through the Options menu. Click the drop-down next to the gear icon and choose Save or Restore settings. This will launch the application to capture your customizations. They will be saved to a file which you can store anywhere. It’s best to put it in a place you’ll always have access to like DropBox or a USB stick.

If you want to save time and customize SOLIDWORKS make sure you don’t overlook the heads up display. It’s a great place to add some useful commands. Everyone, it seems, has their favorite keyboard shortcuts or mouse gestures, but don’t ignore this useful bar that’s always visible and figuratively constantly staring at you while you design.

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