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How do I emphasize one part in an assembly, when shown in a drawing view?

Question asked by Steven Fahey on Jul 18, 2019


Very new to Solidworks, but very experienced in many other CAD packages so my question is about doing things I know I  can do, just now in Solidworks instead of another environment like Inventor, Onshape, CATIA, Creo etc.  I may ask stupid questions because the workflow is different here and I just can't find things that you may think are obvious.  Apologies in advance.  My co-workers have only rudimentary CAD skills, themselves, so asking them doesn't help.


How do I emphasize specific parts in an assembly, when shown in a drawing view?

This can be done effortlessly in other CAD but the only method in SW is to select each individual part.

This could be tedious if my assembly has several 1000's of parts.


I am starting to believe this task is rarely done in SW.  I can't even figure out search terms that get a hit.  It seems rare for SW users to create multi-part assemblies and then detail all of them on a multi-sheet drawing (or is there a way to identify users who are adept at doing that?)


Below is a copy of the only SW screen-shot I have ever found that hints at what I'm talking about.

I found it on an unrelated post here:

Posted by Mattew Stafford @ Christian Chu on Jan 18, 2017 12:12 PM


I believe it is possible to select parts that need the emphasis from the feature tree and then change the COMPONENT LINE FONT to some LAYER that I can set up with darker lines.  Or do the opposite by selecting the part to de-emphasize and put it on a LAYER that is phantom-lines like the above example.


This is a very poor workflow, however, compared to other CAD packages.

On a complex assembly it could take a long time to select each part and change its line properties.


I was previously able to set a part as REFERENCE on the bill of materials, and the drawing would automatically remove the item from the BOM and make the part lines phantom.  In seconds.  Presto.  Can SW do this?