I'm not sure I can help, but I'll give it a shot. I rarely, if ever, use the "View mates" command (but I don't think there's a way to do what you want). Instead I just expand the Mates folder under the component name in the tree.
In most cases when I want to edit one of them I'll just right-click on it and choose the "Edit" icon, which (as you said), takes me to the Mates property manager where I can edit as needed. However, you mentioned Distance mates. If all I need to do is change the value of a Distance mate it's much simpler. After expanding the mates folder I click on the Distance mate. Since I keep Instant 3d turned on, clicking on the Mate displays the mate value in the graphics area.
I can single-click on to get a simple text box.
I enter the new value, and as soon as I click away the value changes and the Assembly updates to reflect the new value.
S, You can't do exactly what you want to.
However, with nothing selected, you can hold down CTRL and select several parts. Right click and select Isolate.
Once in Isolate you can right click on a single part and choose Edit Mates.
This will keep all of your isolated parts on screen.
I hope this helps.
Couple of questions:
Are you selecting the component and then selecting "view Mates"?
Because, when you select this, then only that component and any components it is directly mated to will show up. Might this be what you are talking about?
I rarely use this to modify mates (although it is very useful when I do use it).
What I generally do is find the mate that I want to edit in the tree (under the component) and select "Edit Feature".
Did you know that you can change the display of your tree to show mates only and not features of a component? This might be easier and faster to modify mates for you. Try it out:
Dan, yes that "View mates" is exactly what I am talking about.
The way it turns everything else off when hitting "View mates" is part of the problem.
The underlying issues is finding the easiest way (Fewest clicks) to edit mates of parts. Say I have a basic part at the origin mated to the three base plates. Then I want to move the part from the origin by editing the mate distances. During this process, I want to see the starting and edited placement of the mates in relation to everything else in the model. So nothing can turn off during the process.
I just came from Solid edge, where when you select an object, it's mates are listed and editable on the screen without any edits to the way everything in the assembly looks. Back there it was easy. Select part, Select mate, Edit the value of the mate.
The step that bothers me is that I must open the entire mate window to edit the value.
The only way I have found to avoid using the entire edit mate menu is to use view mates, then I can edit the dimension on the screen, but I don't want everything else to turn off at that time.
Trying to find the closest procedure in Solid Works.
After reading through all of this thread again. Glen hit the target. By turning on mates in the tree, having instant 3D on, and clicking a distance mate, the mate can be edited on the screen. Thank you, path of least resistance found!