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How to Customise SOLIDWORKS Toolbars

Wednesday August 16, 2023 at 8:00am

SOLIDWORKS toolbars are easily customisable and can be adjusted to suit your needs and workflows.

There are several areas within the SOLIDWORKS user interface that can be modified. The Command Manager, toolbars, shortcut bars, menus, keyboard shortcuts, and mouse gestures can all be customised.

Generally, we do not recommend customising menus, so this blog will focus on how to customise the toolbars available in SOLIDWORKS.


Toolbars are sets of commands grouped around a specific function and can be switched off or on in SOLIDWORKS as you desire.

We can modify the commands in each group and choose their position around the screen.

Toolbars can be modified through the Customize menu by right clicking the Command Manager and choosing Customize from the bottom of the list.

Alternatively, you can use the Tools menu with Customize near the bottom or drop down next to the Options cog.

Toolbars can then be turned on and off with the checkboxes, and commands added to, repositioned, or removed from toolbars.

Drag and drop commands to reposition them or drag them off the toolbar into the viewport to remove them. Commands are added via the Commands tab of the Customize window by dragging and dropping them onto toolbars.


The Command Manager is your main toolbar that runs across the top. You can modify this in three ways:

  • Position
  • Tabs
  • Commands

The SOLIDWORKS Command Manager can be dragged anywhere on the screen. While we typically recommend leaving it at the top of the screen as is default, you can also dock the Command Manager on the left or right sides of the interface too.

Simply drag the Command Manager by any of its tabs to un-dock it. Release the mouse when hovering over the arrow icons to dock it again.

Help! My Command Manager has vanished! Check out this video to learn how to find a missing Command Manager.


Right click anywhere on the Command Manager and open the Tabs drop-down menu.

Tabs with a tick are active and visible on the Command Manager. Clicking on a tab in this list will activate or deactivate it.

We recommend keeping your Command Manager simple and deactivating unused tabs regularly; if you are working on a sheet metal design, you probably won’t need your Mold Tools tab turned on.

It is worth, however, enabling the Direct Editing tab so it is always visible.


Similarly to the toolbars, right click on the Command Manager and select Customize.

The Commands tab houses all of the different commands in SOLIDWORKS. Once you have found the one you want, left click and drag the icon from the Customize window to your Command Manager.

You can also search for commands and drag the results onto the Command Manager.

Remove commands by dragging and dropping them from the Command Manager onto the viewport while the Customize window is open.

Did you know? Commands can be grouped! While customising the Command Manager, right click on a command and select Begin a Group. This will add a divider to the left of the selected command.


The Shortcut Bars tab allow you to customise the icons that you see when pushing the S key on the keyboard.

Commands can be added to shortcut bars by dragging and dropping them onto the appropriate shortcut bar while this window is open.

Since SOLIDWORKS 2022, the search menu has been integrated into shortcut bars. Learn how to use the search effectively with the SOLIDWORKS Cloud Services.


Mouse Gestures are shortcuts to commands that can be accessed by holding down the right mouse button and moving the mouse in a given direction.

Mouse gestures can be set in part, sketch, assembly, and drawing environments.

Under the Customize menu, mouse gestures can be modified by dragging and dropping commands onto the gesture wheel.

We recommend having no more than 8 gestures on the wheel as it can be difficult to be precise with 12.

You can also modify the default keyboard shortcuts and create your own. The drop down can be changed to only show commands with shortcuts assigned, so you can see what shortcuts already exist.

Watch to find out what our recommended settings for SOLIDWORKS are.

Take the Next Steps...

Now that you’ve modified your settings, it’s a great idea to save them or make a copy of them to use on another computer.

Watch this short tutorial to learn how to copy your settings and find out why we recommend making a backup.

If you want to enhance your SOLIDWORKS skills, then sign up to our CPD-accredited training courses.

Whether you’re a beginner or are intimately familiar with CAD, our friendly and expert trainers are ready to help you get the most out of SOLIDWORKS, either online or in a classroom local to you.

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