50 Replies Latest reply on Oct 27, 2017 10:37 AM by Justin Lee

    2016 smart dimension settings

    Justin Lee

      Heya guys.

       

      Seeing several improvements in 2016, but one thing is really bugging me and my partners at work.

       

      The default behavior of the smart dimension tool in 2016 is rather different from the default settings in 2015,14, etc.

       

      e.g.  in 2016.. if a line or arc is selected in a sketch and i hit the smart dimension, the tool automatically tries to dimension the  pre-selected object.

       

      In 2015 this behavior was not present by default.  Regardless of the pre-selected item, the 2015 smart dimension tool would not try to automatically create a dimension for that item. Once activated the smart dimension tool would wait for my input for which items to dimension, regardless of any items selected at the time the tool was activated.

       

       

      The issue is that we often have items pre-selected that we do not wish to dimension..  We may have simply finished a task on the pre-selected item and wish to dimension something else in the sketch.  The 2016 default behavior often forces me to have to escape out, deselect any selected items, then reactivate the smart dimension tool to dimension the object I actually intended to select.

       

      I am certain there is some check box to disable this 'automatically dimension pre-selected objects' feature of the smart dimension tool.  I just want to go back to the 2015 method of dimensioning, which, for me, entailed far fewer escape presses and mouse clicks than under the 2016 default regime.

       

      Any guidance is appreciated.  Thanks!

        • Re: 2016 smart dimension settings
          Jeff Mirisola

          I'd say this is a question for Matthew Lorono.

          • Re: 2016 smart dimension settings
            Justin Lee

            Just to follow up.. a really good example of the 2016 smart dimensions slowing me down is this..

             

            2016 Default Behavior:

            -Create a new sketch.

            -Create two unconnected lines.

            -Select both lines and create a parallel relation. (Both lines remain selected after creating this relation.)

            -Activate smart dimension tool, with the intention of dimensioning the length of ONE line.

                      (However, 2016 automatically attempts to create a distance dimension between the two pre-selected parallel lines)

            -Hit escape twice to cancel the Smart Dimension tool, as well as deselect the 2 parallel lines.

            -Activate smart dimension tool again, and select the line I wish to dimension.

             

            2015 Default Behavior (Preferred):

            -Create a new sketch.

            -Create two unconnected lines.

            -Select both lines and create a parallel relation. (Both lines remain selected after creating this relation.)

            -Activate smart dimension tool, with the intention of dimensioning the length of ONE line.

                 (Here, 2015 does not attempt to create a dimension object based on the existiing pre-selection. 2015 waits for user input)

            -Click the one line I wish to dimension, and add the dimension.

             

             

            So, in the 2015 workflow, I can accomplish the identical task with   3 fewer clicks and 2 fewer escape button presses than in the 2016 workflow.

            This is a common issue I encounter, and its getting on my nerves.

             

            I'm certain this setting can be disabled but not seeing how. 

             

            If the 2016 Smart Dimension workflow cannot be changed, I've got to say that's pretty disappointing...

             

            Apple & Microsoft, in poor taste, do things like moving commonly used items around, hiding them, changing the workflow of long established users, etc.  Hopefully this isn't the path SW has chosen!

             

            Thanks again!

            • Re: 2016 smart dimension settings
              Glenn Schroeder

              I couldn't find anything about it in the What's New website, but there is some information at this blog post from Alin Vargatu: http://www.javelin-tech.com/blog/2015/11/solidworks-2016-dimensioning-pre-selected-entities-tutorial/ .

              • Re: 2016 smart dimension settings
                Ravi Shrivastava

                Hi Justin,

                 

                Unfortunately we do not have any option to disable automatic attachment of dimension on preselected sketch entities.

                 

                In SOLIDWORKS 2016 we introduced the new behavior to respect pre-selection of sketch entities which are selected for dimensioning. In  SOLIDWORKS 2015 we dismiss these pre-selections  and user had to reselect them after activating smart dimension command, however it’s a good suggestion to control this behavior through an option which will let user choose his/her preferences based on their modeling practices.

                 

                In this case, the workflow of adding sketch relation between two line by preselecting two sketch entities and the workflow for creating a dimension by preselecting two sketch entities is common which is creating this problem.

                 

                I noticed ER reported by Alin, which we are processing and will keep monitoring how many hits we get for this request to make further decision of incorporating this option.

                 

                Thanks Ravi

                • Re: 2016 smart dimension settings
                  Roy Ford

                  Hi Guys, A single left hand mouse click will de select items

                  • Re: 2016 smart dimension settings
                    Roy Ford

                    Not saying its right, just how it is

                    • Re: 2016 smart dimension settings
                      Danny Sosa

                      Months later,

                       

                      I recently made the switch from 2014 to 2017.  The inescapable inclusion of pre-selected sketch entities in smart dimensions is a smelly tumor in my workflow.  I am afraid I missed the boat to give meaningful feedback since this "feature" (read: grain of sand under the eyelid) was introduced a whole version ago, but it is so frustrating and so pervasive that I am compelled to speak out.

                       

                      My workaround is to continue to be moderately inconvenienced and very frustrated about this minor issue, and to periodically search the internet for a fix or registry hack, only to end up back at this thread.

                        • Re: 2016 smart dimension settings
                          John Christensen

                          Setting up a hot key to the following has somewhat reduced the frustration with the pre-select feature.

                          No more hacking away at the esc key to get rid of the pre-select, so a dimension can be applied the entity(s) at hand.

                           

                          'to circumvent smart dimension preselect
                          '
                          Option Explicit
                          Dim swApp As SldWorks.SldWorks
                          Dim swModel As SldWorks.ModelDoc2
                          Dim swModelDocExt As SldWorks.ModelDocExtension

                          Sub main()

                          Set swApp = Application.SldWorks
                          Set swModel = swApp.ActiveDoc
                          Set swModelDocExt = swModel.Extension
                          swModel.ClearSelection2 True
                          swModelDocExt.RunCommand swCommands_SmartDimension, ""

                          End Sub

                            • Re: 2016 smart dimension settings
                              Danny Sosa

                              Hi John,

                               

                              Thank you for what looks like a promising solution!  Unfortunately I do not know what to do with this code.  I do not want to hijack the thread with questions whose answers might be obvious to more technical Solidworks users, but would you please give me a hint about where to start with the code?  I am happy to search the forum for specific information but I don't know what I am looking for.

                               

                              Thanks again!

                                • Re: 2016 smart dimension settings
                                  Justin Lee

                                  For any newcomers to this thread, the ER number is 1-9721846623,and the SPR  (Software Performance Request) reported for this ER is 927745.

                                   

                                  Even though this is getting to be an old bug, it's still worth voting on SPR 927745..  Its never going to get attention from development if there isn't clear evidence of user impact.

                                   

                                  Also, call your VAR and demand this "feature" get a checkbox in options to disable.

                                  Thanks

                                    • Re: 2016 smart dimension settings
                                      Eric Salvo

                                      I found SPR 927745 in the Knowledge Base, but how do you vote for it? This so called "enhancement" of pre-selection for dimensioning that cannot be turned off needs to go before the escape key on my keyboard wears out. It's very annoying and disruptive to the work flow. Actually, no such enhancements that cannot be dismissed should be implemented.

                              • Re: 2016 smart dimension settings
                                Dan Dunst

                                I'm pretty sure this menace is gone in 2017

                                No where have I ever seen any explanation of this behavior being added in 2016 or going away in 2017.

                                 

                                I found it to be one of the greatest time wasters ever.

                                It was useful about 10% of the time and caused 3 or so additional steps 80% of the time.

                                  • Re: 2016 smart dimension settings
                                    Justin Lee

                                    Dan,

                                     

                                    This "Menace" is STILL present.

                                     

                                    e.g.

                                    -Create a new sketch.

                                    -Create two unconnected lines.

                                    -Select both lines and create a parallel relation. (Both lines remain selected after creating this relation.)

                                    -Activate smart dimension tool, with the intention of dimensioning the length of ONE line.

                                              (However, 2016 automatically attempts to create a distance dimension between the two pre-selected parallel lines)

                                    -Hit escape twice to cancel the Smart Dimension tool, as well as deselect the 2 parallel lines.

                                    -Activate smart dimension tool again, and select the line I wish to dimension.

                                     

                                    If a sketch entity is pre-selected then the smart dimension tool is activated, SW automatically tries to attach dimensions to the pre-selected entity, forcing me to hit escape.   The issue and workflow I outlined in my initial post is unchanged in 2017.

                                     

                                    Unless there is some toggle or switch to disable this behavior, its unchanged from 2016 to 2017.

                                     

                                    If anyone knows how to turn this nonsense off, please post here.. It would be much appreciated as my escape key is worn out and I am in need of a new keyboard!

                                      • Re: 2016 smart dimension settings
                                        Eric Salvo

                                        Yes it is still there for me and menace is a good way to describe it. If I draw 2 circles, select both, use my keyboard shortcut for equals then hit dimension it gives me the distance between the two. The chances that I wanted it to do that are roughly zero. However repeat the same process with many circles instead of two and it functions properly. Hitting dimension in that case allows me to set the diameter of the circles without beating up on my poor escape key.

                                         

                                        Dan, if you found a way to disable this please enlighten us.

                                        • Re: 2016 smart dimension settings
                                          Alex Lachance

                                          Hi Justin,

                                           

                                          A tip I learned in school was to always press escape when finishing a command, this way you would be sure not to have something you don't want to carry over to the next command.

                                           

                                          I believe if you pressed escape before pressing the smart dimensions, your problem would be solved.

                                            • Re: 2016 smart dimension settings
                                              Justin Lee

                                              Alex,

                                               

                                              The issue is, we are required to take additional steps to use workflows that were unaffected in sw2015 and earlier.

                                               

                                              No matter what, now we have to hit escape (whether before or after one step or another).  This "feature" (also read "menace") forces us to use the escape key much more often than in previous versions.

                                               

                                              The posts here all make it pretty clear that we dont want to hit escape a million times a day.  If we went back to the 2015 system, or had an option to enable/disable this "feature" then we'd be fine. 

                                               

                                              Sadly, no one in dev or mgmt has taken notice.. so our suffering continues.

                                              vote yes on SPR 927745, then call your VAR and demand a solution!

                                               

                                              EDIT: A solution has been implemented in SW2018... YAY!

                                              • Re: 2016 smart dimension settings
                                                John Christensen

                                                I could honestly say, my fondest memory of working with A-Cad was "to hit escape a million times a day".  At the time - how refreshing to get to SW and eliminate most of those requirements.

                                                  • Re: 2016 smart dimension settings
                                                    Alex Lachance

                                                    That is exactly where I got that from, AutoCAD. They did tell us to not lose the habit because it would be required(not as often) in SolidWorks too. Besides, having to press escape shouldn't be a burden, it should be seen as a break point between 2 distinct commands, or at least that's how I was tought. Glad to see though that there was an easy fix that they could do as mentionned above because to me, that sounded like perfect executionning of the command.

                                                      • Re: 2016 smart dimension settings
                                                        Justin Lee

                                                        If Acad requires you to hit escape a million times a day, I'm glad I'm not using that software.

                                                         

                                                        Wasted keystrokes are wasteful.

                                                         

                                                        My beef, concerning this SW bug, has always been with the implementation of a non-configurable "feature", that added numerous steps to long established user workflows, wasting time & money, & infuriating paying customers.  

                                                         

                                                        Very glad to see others have had the same complaints and that a solution will be implemented in SW2018.

                                                          • Re: 2016 smart dimension settings
                                                            Eric Salvo

                                                            Justin Lee wrote:

                                                             

                                                            If Acad requires you to hit escape a million times a day, I'm glad I'm not using that software.

                                                             

                                                            Wasted keystrokes are wasteful.

                                                             

                                                            My beef, concerning this SW bug, has always been with the implementation of a non-configurable "feature", that added numerous steps to long established user workflows, wasting time & money, & infuriating paying customers.

                                                             

                                                            Very glad to see others have had the same complaints and that a solution will be implemented in SW2018.

                                                             

                                                            My thoughts exactly.

                                                             

                                                            "Enhancements" should not require more steps to complete the same old task. Or at the very least they should be easily disabled by the user if they do.

                                                            • Re: 2016 smart dimension settings
                                                              Glenn Schroeder

                                                              Justin Lee wrote:

                                                              My beef, concerning this SW bug, has always been with the implementation of a non-configurable "feature", that added numerous steps to long established user workflows, wasting time & money, & infuriating paying customers.

                                                               

                                                               

                                                              To be fair, while I know the dimension tool with pre-selected entities may be an exception, in recent years the folks at SW have gotten much better about giving us a way to turn off new enhancements.

                                                              • Re: 2016 smart dimension settings
                                                                Alex Lachance

                                                                It doesn't require you to hit the escape key a million times a day, it generally does it's own breaks in between commands, but there are commands that are meant to carry on to other commands because certain people use it in that particular manner. It's a tip given to people to use it in order to break their commands in between.

                                                                 

                                                                We all have different methods of working and sometimes, the way the command is set-up might seem impractical to you, but it might be practical to most of the users, that was my original point.

                                                                  • Re: 2016 smart dimension settings
                                                                    Justin Lee

                                                                    I appreciate the input & I'm sure Acad is great, but the way in which other softwares behave is not really the topic of this thread.

                                                                     

                                                                    The issue at hand, SPR 927745, was resolved and will be implemented in 2018.  That proves that it was not only myself who found this "enhancement" impractical.  A great number of other users were affected, as the replies in this thread, and the resolution of SPR 927745 clearly indicate.

                                                                     

                                                                    Seems like I cant state this clearly enough...

                                                                    I'm not opposed to hitting escape once in a while.. that is compulsory & unavoidable.

                                                                    The issue has always been mucking with & adding steps to long established workflows -- its bad practice, period.

                                                      • Re: 2016 smart dimension settings
                                                        Andrew Kelly

                                                        This is still driving me nuts.  Does anyone know the status of SPR 927745?  I can't seem to find any information about it.

                                                        • Re: 2016 smart dimension settings
                                                          Jeff Parker

                                                          Justin,

                                                           

                                                          This has been resolved in 2018 SP0.1 via SPR#927745.  Here is the section from the What's New explaining how this now works in 2018.

                                                           

                                                          Smart Dimension on the Context Toolbar

                                                          You can dimension certain entities from the Auto Insert Dimension tool on the context toolbar.

                                                           

                                                          Previously, you could only pre-select entities and then use the Smart Dimension

                                                          tool to dimension entities.

                                                           

                                                          The Smart Dimension tool on the context menu no longer supports pre-selection.

                                                           

                                                          If you want to add a dimension to your selection, use the Auto Insert Dimension on

                                                          the context menu.

                                                           

                                                          The Auto Insert Dimension tool automatically inserts the most appropriate dimensions

                                                          for sketch entities.

                                                           

                                                          The entities supported by the dimensioning tools on the context menu are:

                                                           

                                                          • Line: Linear dimension

                                                          • Arc: Radial dimension

                                                          • Circle: Diameter dimension

                                                          • Two lines at an angle: Angular dimension between entities

                                                          • Two parallel lines: Linear dimension between entities

                                                          • Arc or circle, and line: Linear dimension between line and center point

                                                          • Point and line: Linear dimension between line and point

                                                          • Arc or circle, and point: Linear dimension between point and center point

                                                          • Arc/Arc or Circle/Circle or a combination thereof: Linear dimension between center

                                                          points.

                                                           

                                                          Regards,

                                                          Jeff Parker

                                                          SOLIDWORKS Elite AE | Senior Tech Support Engineer

                                                          GoEngineer