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How to Search for Commands in SOLIDWORKS

Monday August 21, 2023 at 8:00am

In our experience, there are only two types of people:

Those who have a strict itemised shed inventory, and those who just chuck any old tools in there and hope for the best.

If you’re the latter person, then we know this helpful trick will be of use to you.


SOLIDWORKS can be like those sheds.

You either know exactly where your tools are at any given moment, or you have to spend a bit more time searching through toolbars, the odd spider’s nest, and far too many buckets for the average human to find your Combine tool.

Regardless of whether you are a SOLIDWORKS minimalist or a toolbar enthusiast, searching for commands in SOLIDWORKS is a brilliant time-saver.

Since SOLIDWORKS 2022, the command search bar has been integrated into the shortcut toolbar, so now there are two places you can search from:

  • SOLIDWORKS Title Bar
  • Shortcut Toolbar

The title bar search contains a drop-down search menu where you can search through commands, the SOLIDWORKS help files, your own PC for files, or the MySOLIDWORKS website.

Whenever you are searching for commands, you want to make sure the black command prompt icon is visible before you start searching another resource. Hit W on the keyboard to activate this without having to access the drop down.

If you’re using SOLIDWORKS 2022 or later, then you can hit S on your keyboard to open the shortcut toolbar and activate the command search.

Whichever way you choose to search, when using the keyboard shortcuts, you can start typing straight away to find any command.

You’ll see a full list of commands matching the criteria. Clicking the command activates the tool, while clicking the eye will show you where the tool is located within the menu and highlight it.


You may have explored our tutorial for how to add commands to toolbars in SOLIDWORKS already, however, there is another way to add commands from the search bar.

From the search in the title bar, drag a command onto the Command Manager or HUD toolbar to add it.

When using the shortcut toolbar search, clicking the + icon will add the command to the shortcut bar for quick access.

If a command is greyed out and unavailable to use, then you’ll be in an environment where the tool cannot function.

E.g. When searching for a sketch tool whilst not editing a sketch, the sketch tool will be greyed out within the search bar.

We cannot stress enough how important it is to lay out the user interface and toolbars in a way that is best for you.

Knowing where the common commands are is a huge way of increasing your efficiency and productivity in the software and as such is worth the time investment up front.

Don’t forget that any change you make to your UI is retained each time you launch the software.


Mouse gestures are a great way to speed up your workflow and reduce the distance your hand must travel to access commands.

A hidden gem within SOLIDWORKS is that you can add the shortcut toolbar to your mouse gestures!

Assign it to the area that feels most natural, and you’ll have a search bar closer than your fingertips.

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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