4 Replies Latest reply on Apr 11, 2008 4:37 PM by Mark Matthews

    Keyboard Constraints

    Mark Matthews
      This is probably a dumb question, but when setting geometric relation in a sketch and trying to do it via the keyboard, I press the ALT key and then the shortcuts get underlined under the corrosponding constraints in property manager; except they don't work. If I go under Tools: Customize: Keyboard, and list all the keys that have something assigned, none of the sketcher restraints show as listed. But the Equals relation will work, Concentric will not ( showing as ALT-n when the ALT key is pressed). Is there some obvious setting I'm missing?
        • Keyboard Constraints
          Charles Culp
          The "alt" shortcut keys are menu shortcuts, while the Tools>Customize>Keyboard Shortcuts are general shortcut keys.

          The "alt" shotcuts herald back to a previous time, before Mice. Back in the day, PC-DOS (et al) based programs would have menu systems, and they were controlled with the Alt key. This funtionality still exists in most programs, so you can use the menus without using a mouse.

          For example, have nothing selected, then try this:
          Press alt, then F, and the file menu will pop open, then press P and the print menu will come up. Ofcourse, Alt+F when you have a sketch open, and two lines selected, will create a fixed relation. Thus it is all menu specific.

          This funtionality with the "alt" key is just an extension of this. A way to choose from all the command buttons on the screen without using a mouse.

          The keyboard shortcuts, on the other hand, are globally assigned, and are not menu specific. This is why I created my own keyboard shortcuts for my constraints, that way I can grab two lines/arcs/points, and know exactly what they will do. I use CTRL+SHFT+C for coincedent, and similar shortcuts from there.

          Best of Luck with your own shortcuts.
            • Keyboard Constraints
              Mark Matthews
              Yes Charles, I understand the concept; it's just that they don't work and I'm trying to figure out why. Why does the Equals shortcut work, but the Concentric does not? According to the customize keyboard dialouge there is nothing assigned to ALT-n (the concentric shortcut revealed in the constraints menu).
            • Keyboard Constraints
              Matt Lombard
              Mark,

              There's a difference between SolidWorks hotkeys and Microsoft accelerator keys. The Alt-keys are a Microsoft function that SW supports, where a letter of a command is underlined. I don't believe that these accelerator keys are customizable. The SW hotkeys (shortcuts - so much duplicated terminology!) can use Alt, but don't involve any underlines, and are customizable.

              That raises a question about when accelerators conflict with hotkeys. I have assigned Alt-F to Feature Statistics. Alt-F is also the accelerator for the File menu. When I use it, it defaults to the SW hotkey function assigned, Feature Statistics.

              I don't know of a way to change the override, except to remove any hotkeys with that Alt combination. For any accelerator that doesn't have a conflicting hotkey, the Alt combination seems to work ok for me.