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Where is that Command again....?

Saturday March 8, 2014 at 2:26pm
If you're new to SOLIDWORKS, or even if you are not, you are always learning about new features and functions that hopefully make your life easier and products even better. The more commands you use, the tougher it is to keep track of them, and the busier your toolbars will be if you keep adding them again and again.
Many users have I’m sure encountered the frustration of knowing what tool they need to use but the exact location escapes them, this poor man seems to have had such issues. 
Back in SOLIDWORKS 2012, the product developers introduced the "Command Search" a fantastic additon to the user interface- where you simply need to recall the name (or first few letters) of the command and type it in a search box, and you'll find it in the upper right hand corner of the screen.
From the drop down menu there are a few optionsallowing you to search various resources- some online websites, and some local directories for files and models.
The one we are really interested in however is the Command Search option - this allows users to type in the name of the tool or function that we require and it allows us to click in the automatic drop down to activate the tool, or if we click on the glasses icon it shows where in the menu’s section that command or tool is found. this is really clever as the system goes into an autopilot mode and magically menus and toolbars are brought into view highlighting the feature.
Sometimes the command is greyed out and unavailable to use, this will be because you are in a status that the tool cannot function within. An example would be if you search for a sketch tool whilst not being in sketch mode, the sketch tool will be greyed out from the search bar.
If there are specific tools that are used with a lot of frequency it is probably worth having the tool on the command manager permanently, the command search allows us to do this very easily.
With the command in the drop down it is just a case of clicking and dragging the command from the dropdown menu to the command manager and it will be saved permanently in that location.
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. Any changes you make to your UI is retained each and every time you reopen and launch the software. You can also save you UI customisation through the Copy Settings Wizard. You can find this through your start menu (again search for is in the Windows Search Bar) or in SOLIDWORKS 2014 you can get there from the Options pull down button.
For further resource, check out Solid Solutions TV for a short video on menu and UI customisation.
By Chris Morrogh
Applications Engineer


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