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Solidworks only does this on the first sketch. After that it let you choose your orientation. I do not believe this can be changed.
Yeah, Inventor is the same way and you can set it to do either normal to or not.
After using it for a month SW is better overall though
You do have the keyboard shortcut. Before you sketch click on the surface or plane then hit ctrl-8. If it's 180 deg backwards, hit ctrl-8 again and it will spin 180.
it helps if you have a multiple button mouse and have ctrl mapped to one of the extra buttons
the normal to tool icon is also on the rmb menu after you select a face/plane
Also, if you're working on a 2D Sketch, you can engage the NormalTo command without selecting a plane or surface. SolidWorks automatically orients the view normal to your sketch. Another option is to replace your sketch command with a macro that starts/stops a sketch just like the regular button, but also changes to the NormalTo named view.
Okay, after playing with it for a while, here's the most efficient way, and it's at least as efficient as any program that goes normal to on sketch.
right or left click on the desired face or plane and select the "normal to" icon from the context menu, or hit "ctrl-8".
now immediately select whatever you're going to start your sketch with, say "line" or "circle" icons. I have the keyboard shortcuts mapped to L for line and C for circle, it's quicker than the icons.
SW automatically starts the sketch. So instead of going normal to on sketch, it essentially sketches on normal to.
so it's 3 clicks to go normal to, select the sketch drawing tool, and start the sketch. Same as Inventor, no more, no less.