73 Replies Latest reply on Sep 15, 2011 12:29 PM by Tom Smith

    Hidden Commands

    Scott Baugh

      On the Eng-tips Forum I started a thread looking for a Document on Hidden Commands. Since no one was aware of such a Document, I started my own and I want to share it with everyone out here as well.

       

      Link

       

      If anyone has anything they would like to add please let me know... I am looking for hidden commands, things you would not normally find in the help, released notes or the Tutorials.

       

      Thanks,

      Scott Baugh, CSWP

        • Re: Hidden Commands
          Edson Gebo

          Awesome Scott...we should think of more to add to this.  This would be a nice document to share with our user groups too...yes?

            • Re: Hidden Commands
              Scott Baugh

              Ed,

               

              I would like to make this a far larger document if there are more commands to add to this, depending on the command in question. Also to answer your other question -  I would be willing to share this to the User Groups around the country, that is not a problem. I just want to make sure the credit is presented accurately to other users and User Groups.

               

              Cheers,

              Scott

            • Re: Hidden Commands
              Troy Peterson

              Here are a couple more;

               

              Power Trim, Corner and Trim To Closest command can also extend. Select the line you want to extend and keep the LMB held down, now move the icon to the line you want to extend to, the lines do not need to physically cross, and the line will extend to where the lines would meet.

               

              If you have "Single Command Per Pick" selected in your options you can make commands act as a multiple command by double clicking the icon 

                • Re: Hidden Commands
                  Matthew Lorono

                  Just to help focus the discussion, Scott's list is for undocumented (or under-documented) functions, aka Hidden Commands.

                    • Re: Hidden Commands
                      Wayne Tiffany

                      Which then brings up the question as to whether some that are already in this doc should be pulled out, such as the S key.  It is well documented in the SW Help under Shortcut Bars.  Not complaining, just asking the question about stuff in the list that is documented already.

                       

                      Scott, do I have a ruling here?  :-)

                       

                        WT

                        • Re: Hidden Commands
                          Jim Wilkinson

                          Actually, to Wayne's point, I took a quick look through the list and I can say that the majority of these, if not all of them are documented in the help. It is definitely true that they are not all used in the tutorials but, tutorials don't cover every aspect of the software.

                           

                          So, perhaps what you mean by Hidden is that they don't have visible user interface on the screen to tell you that the function is there?

                           

                          Thanks,

                          Jim

                          • Re: Hidden Commands
                            Scott Baugh

                            WT,

                             

                            I agree some of the "Hidden Commands" are not as hidden as I would have liked, but they are not very well known either... so there is fine line between the two and I have been making the choice, between adding it or not.

                             

                            Since its a fine line I consider the suggestions and I test it out to see if it works as the user explains. Then I think about how obsure it is and make the final decision. I would like to have nothing but Hidden commands, but it some degree its hard to do. Also in regards to the help, a lot of Newbies will not know how to search the help to find the answer or the shortcut key. So this is also something I have to take into consideration when I add something to the Document.

                             

                            I hope this helps explain my reasoning to add some of the items to the document.

                            Cheers,

                            Scott

                              • Re: Hidden Commands
                                Jim Wilkinson

                                Hi Scott,


                                I think the document is a great idea for the more obscure, but useful functionality/features. I would just recommend you change the introduction to the document to indicate that these may not be things users readily find our encounter in the documentation. It may be really useful to put links from each of the items to the web help topic(s) that relate to those items since the topics often give more details and/or link to other topics with more details.

                                 

                                I can help identify help topics for each one if that would be useful.

                                 

                                Thanks,
                                Jim

                            • Re: Hidden Commands
                              Scott Baugh

                              Matthew,

                               

                              You are correct, hidden or under-Documented commands is what I am looking for... and anything that rides the line as I listed to WT below.

                          • Re: Hidden Commands
                            Scott McFadden

                            Scott, that is an awesome job.  I know the ones I was thinking of

                            you already listed.  Forgive me but did you list the "S" key?

                             

                            If I think of others I will certainly let you know.

                              • Re: Hidden Commands
                                Scott Baugh

                                Yes I did list the "S" Key:

                                 

                                • Click "S" key for a shortcut menu at your mouse pointer:

                                 

                                  

                                  • Re: Hidden Commands
                                    Matthew Lorono

                                    I'm actually surprized by how many SolidWorks users don't know about the S key.

                                      • Re: Hidden Commands
                                        Scott Baugh

                                        I know alot of people here think its common knowledge and its not. I keep showing users here at Berry and all of them always tell me they never knew about that shortcut, and that it can be customized.

                                         

                                        As an ER, it might be a good idea that when you go to Tools\Customize that single toolbar shows up in the graphics area. At least then people would start questioning, what is that toolbar that shows up when I ....

                                    • Re: Hidden Commands
                                      Edson Gebo

                                      View/Show Dimension names is now in the heads up view as an icon option...removed from the system options.  Wasn't documented in 2010...well John Matrishon and myself couldn't find it back a few months ago.

                                        • Re: Hidden Commands
                                          Jim Wilkinson

                                          Hi Ed,

                                           

                                          It is here in the SolidWorks 2010 What's New:

                                          http://help.solidworks.com/2010/English/solidworks/whatsnew/allcontent/solidworks/core/detailing/wn_2010/c_wn_2010_dimension_names.html

                                           

                                          It is also in the regular help (not What's New) in a this topic:

                                          http://help.solidworks.com/2010/English/solidworks/sldworks/legacyhelp/sldworks/detailing/dimensions_overview.htm

                                           

                                          It should also be listed in the topic below, but is not there. There are other newer buttons that should also be listed in this topic, but are not, so I have reported this to our documentation staff to resolve.

                                          http://help.solidworks.com/2010/English/solidworks/sldworks/legacyhelp/sldworks/display/view.htm

                                           

                                          Thanks,

                                          Jim

                                            • Re: Hidden Commands
                                              Scott Baugh

                                              Jim W.

                                               

                                              Please review the reply I gave to WT above to help explain my reasoning for adding some of the commands.

                                               

                                              As for your other reply to Ed and sending links to the help is great, but it does not help that new user in finding the information if he is not sure how to search the help or the terminology to search by. Having something like this Document will help new users and even some Veteran users that get used to the way the model and do not try and use the new functionality as it comes out... For example Mouse Geatures... I don't have a reason to want to use this yet... I don't see a benefit personally, but I know others do.

                                                • Re: Hidden Commands
                                                  Jim Wilkinson

                                                  Hi Scott,

                                                   

                                                  I don't disagree that it is an excellent document to put together and I applaud you for doing so. I also don't disagree with the title of the document; I actually think it is a very good name for it.

                                                   

                                                  My only constructive criticism is that I would just caution having the line in it that says "Those commands are not in the help..." since the majority, if not all of them are. I don't say this to defend the documentation in any way, but rather to try to help the users even more. If you say it is not in the documentation, then the users will assume it isn't and won't look there for more information. Having links from the small blurb in the document to the actual documentation will let them learn even more about the command, learn about other related commands and let them know that is is actually in the help. It will also hopefully let them better learn the structure of the help and where to find things in it (since when going to the page, it will show where the information is in the table of contents).


                                                  Of course if anyone has suggestions on how we can improve the help so that these things are not as obscure or hard to find, I am all ears!

                                                   

                                                  Thanks,

                                                  Jim

                                                    • Re: Hidden Commands
                                                      Scott Baugh

                                                      Thanks Jim!

                                                       

                                                      You make a strong point about adding the links to the help topics and I will look at changing the comment in the documentation. I know when I first started this document, I wanted only those that were truly hidden, but as it matured, it became hard to draw the line at all hidden commands.

                                                       

                                                      If you can provide links to everything in the document, I would rather get that in an email so I can post this in the document as I find the time.

                                                       

                                                      Not to hijack my thread - but in regards to making the help easier.

                                                       

                                                      Something that I know AutoCAD to SW users run into alot is terminology from one CAD system to another (its not just AutoCAD). Working for a VAR for 8 years allowed me to see how hard some users have had making the switch... as an example:

                                                       

                                                      AutoCAD users refer to a "Circular Pattern" as an 'Array". If you search "Array" in the SW help... the result is the 2D emulator "Array"... do we really want to have old AutoCAD users using this functionality? I think not... this is a bad add-in in SW and causes tons of issues when using it. I think they should be turned away from it entirely.

                                                       

                                                      I think the help should have some further intelligence to know that an Array in SW could also mean "Circular Pattern" and that should be an option when the HTML search is used. Tagging terminology between CAD systems I think this would termendously help new users to find a more accurate help topics in SW, and will help them make the Terminology switch over to Solidworks.

                                                       

                                                      Just my opinion... I think this should go into a new thread though.

                                                        • Re: Hidden Commands
                                                          Wayne Tiffany

                                                          I like Jim's ideas about linking to the Help.  That accomplishes the small goal of giving people a leg up on obscure topics & tips and also helping them with the larger goal of learning how to help themselves.

                                                           

                                                            WT

                                                          • Re: Hidden Commands
                                                            Matthew Lorono

                                                            Jim,

                                                             

                                                            I concur with Scott's sentiments!  From my discussions with SW staff, it seems you guys are aware of the name confusion issue, but it doesn't seem like much has been done about it over the past few years.  The online Help is a step in the right direction, but seems to have reverted back into old bad habits.  There's still a lot of under-documented items.  Its still hard to find something unless you know the exact SolidWorksese term.  Scott's example on Array is a classic.

                                                             

                                                            I would also point to "Virtual Sharps" (aka Point Locations in ASME, and a host of other names).  Without knowing that SolidWorks picked the term Virtual Sharp, there isn't much hope of finding information about how to create them (or that Point Locations are even supported in SolidWorks).  Additionally, the help file doesn't even mention that Virtual Sharps can be created on drawing views.  It only mentions sketches and 3D sketches.  (http://help.solidworks.com/2010/english/solidworks/sldworks/legacyhelp/sldworks/sw_sketch/virtual_sharp.htm)

                                                             

                                                            (One additional point, once you found Virtual Sharps in the help, you are faced with a very counter-intuitive workflow to create them.  Why not just have Virtual Sharps be it's own annotation like dimensions for chamfers, without piggy-backing on to the point sketch element.)

                                                              • Re: Hidden Commands
                                                                Jim Wilkinson

                                                                Hi Matt,

                                                                 

                                                                We do actually try to do a lot with the terminology in our help system to help users relate terms from other systems, common language, or common technical terms to the terms we use in SolidWorks. In some cases, we've even changed terms in the interface to better relate to terms in other systems (for example, we changed "favorites" to "styles" for annotations). Of course, I'll be the first to admit that there is always more that we can do and I'm open to suggestions. I am curious as to what you mean by "The online Help is a step in the right direction, but seems to have reverted back into old bad habits" in your posting. What do you see as the bad habits that you thought might have gone away but are back?

                                                                 

                                                                For the specific example of array, if you do a search for array in the web help system, you get a number of hits. Yes, the first one is for the 2D Emulator, but I would argue that should be the first hit since it is an exact match of the help topic title to the term.

                                                                 

                                                                The second hit is the one that Kieran refers to which is a specific topic designed to help with this exact issue where we document that the AutoCAD term is array and the SolidWorks term is pattern:

                                                                http://help.solidworks.com/2010/english/solidworks/acadhelp/legacyhelp/moving_from_2d_to_3d/terminology.htm

                                                                 

                                                                The third hit is a similar type of topic where we relate the AutoCAD commands to the related SolidWorks commands:

                                                                http://help.solidworks.com/2010/english/solidworks/acadhelp/legacyhelp/moving_from_2d_to_3d/command_map/modify_toolbar.htm

                                                                 

                                                                There are a couple more hits for 2D Emulator where the actual ARRAY command is referenced and then there is the general overview of patterns and mirrors where we specifically have used the term "array" in the topic so users searching for that term can more easily find the information on patterns:

                                                                http://help.solidworks.com/2010/english/solidworks/sldworks/legacyhelp/sldworks/features/pattern_and_mirror_overview.htm

                                                                 

                                                                The next hit is the Glossary in the help where we again specifically use array in the definition of pattern so users can more easily find that pattern is the term used in SolidWorks.

                                                                http://help.solidworks.com/2010/english/solidworks/sldworks/legacyhelp/sldworks/features/pattern_and_mirror_overview.htm

                                                                Once you go to that resulting page, you then really have to do a text search on the page (Ctrl-F) to find the word array and I admit that could be improved to bring you right to the result in the page or highlight the matching word in some way.

                                                                 

                                                                So, in the case of array, I think we have done a pretty good job, but I would like to hear how users think we could improve the situtation.


                                                                Here are ideas I have on the subject:

                                                                1. Do some sort of crowdsourcing project so we can find out from the community more of the "synonyms" that they use to refer to things in SolidWorks. For instance, I and probably the writers writing the documentation don't know the term Point Locations, therefore, it simply isn't refered to anywhere. We already can start working on something like this internally by looking at the terms that users use to search the web help. From this we can also look at terms where users don't get any search results. Before we had the web help, we couldn't actually do this since the Microsoft *.chm local help viewer has no ability for us to capture what terms users search on. Once we know more of these terms, then we can use some of the approaches listed below to help the user more easily make the relationship to the SolidWorks terms.
                                                                2. In the glossary, expand the number of terms that we have so more "synonyms" are refered to in the definitions.
                                                                3. Adjust the glossary so the synonyms themselves are also listed as terms instead of just referencing the synonyms in the definitions of the SolidWorks terms. For instance, make it so not only is "pattern" a term that is defined, but "array" is also listed in the glossary as a term and its definition is something like "see pattern".
                                                                4. Make more use of the synonym mechanism of the web help search engine. It does have a synonym functionality built into it. For instance, if you do a search for BOM, it actually looks for BOM but also automatically looks for bill of material and bill of materials. You can tell this by looking at the results of the BOM search; notice that bill of material(s) is also highlighted in bold since it is automatically searching on those synonym terms. We have over 1000 synonyms defined already, but obviously "array" is not defined as a synonym of "pattern" in this system since you get 20 pages of results for pattern and only 1 for array. If they were synonyms, you'd get all 21 pages when searching for array. We'd need to do some experimentation with this approach first since it could have some adverse affects; users might not want us automatically associating array with pattern and giving 21 pages of results since it makes it harder to find the cases where just the word array is referenced. You might just say "let the user choose", but unfortunately the search engine is not totally customizable and I am not sure if we could give the user the control of including searching by synonyms or not (this ability may be built into the indexing system, not into the run time search algorithm).
                                                                5. Similar to the glossary, define more topics listing synonyms like we have for the specific AutoCAD topics. While we could perhaps do this for some other common CAD systems or other categories of terms, I think the glossary approach is probably sufficient to handle most cases.
                                                                6. Use the "synonym" terms more often in the help topics like we have used "array" in the pattern help topic. While this approach is fine for very common synonyms or terms that are used in common language like "array", if we go overboard with it, it will make the topics very hard to read if we have to reference one or more synonyms each time we refer to a SolidWorks term. Also, it is not very maintainable or easy to do across all help topics and therefore would lead to inconsistencies in the documentation. Therefore, I am more in favor of approaches 2-4 as the best approaches for dealing with synonyms.

                                                                 

                                                                I'd very much like to hear thoughts that users may have on this whole synonym/terms topic and additional ideas to what I list above.

                                                                 

                                                                On the virtual sharps subject, I just did searches and I totally agree this is under-documented in the help. It does not indicate that they can be used in drawings nor is the topic of virtual sharps listed in the table of contents or referenced well by other help topics. So, besides happening upon the table of contents entry for the setting to control the appearance of them, the only way to find it is by searching, and as you said, you need to know the term. When you encounter these cases I highly recommend you take a brief moment and use the "Feedback on this Topic" link in the upper right corner of the help topic and send the feedback in there. This goes directly to our documentation staff and they very actively review the feedback and integrate changes to the help to fix issues such as this. You don't have to do it on this particular case as I just did do it for this particular subject (this is how I myself give feedback to our documentation team for improvements on individual topics...I use the same mechanism users have available to them).

                                                                 

                                                                Finally, I agree about the implementation of virtual sharps. It was implemented long ago before we had a usability/user experience group or very detailed specifications from our product definition team (it may have even been implemented before we even had specifications!). Unfortunately a developer thought they were being clever by re-using the point command for it. It is definitely something we should clean up from a UI perspective at some point.

                                                                 

                                                                Thanks,
                                                                Jim

                                                                  • Re: Hidden Commands
                                                                    Scott Baugh

                                                                    Thanks for the reply Jim... you make many good points. But the hardest thing I think every one faces is trying to think like a new user. I find it hard sometimes to put myself in their position. When working as a Support Rep for 8 years I had my moments when I gave the user the "DUH" comment, and made them feel stupid. Mind you it was not intentional, but I did do it. I try not to do the same thing being the CAD Admin at Berry, but some times I find it hard not to... been pretty good about it thus far.

                                                                     

                                                                    I know the "Array" example was far simple and classic... and that is why I used it. I know there are plenty of other instances outside of Virtual Sharps that people are searching for and can't find.

                                                                     

                                                                    Here is an example that is always hard to find even still today.

                                                                    http://help.solidworks.com/2011/english/solidworks/sldworks/legacyhelp/sldworks/impexp/importing_exporting_solidworks_documents.htm

                                                                     

                                                                    If I didn't know what to type in I would not find it. "Export" doesn't work, "Import" doesn't work but if you type Export\Import its the 8th one in the list... if you type Import\Export, its the top selection... it took me a long time to find that in the old style, and if I wouldn't have taken time out of day to search long and hard at this, and because I knew it was in there, I would have given up if I was new user.

                                                                     

                                                                    One question I have does the help work like the KB? I know the KB base works as 1, 2 word search, not and actual message or sentence... I assume from my tests the help works nearly the same way...

                                                                     

                                                                     

                                                                    If you want to hear from people, you need to survey some veteran users, but you need to focus on new users, they are the ones that are probably doing more searching than we do. Even though I still need to look at some things, I at least know where to find it if its a general problem.

                                                                     

                                                                    Regards,

                                                                    Scott

                                                                    • Re: Hidden Commands
                                                                      Matthew Lorono

                                                                      Jim,

                                                                       

                                                                      Just let me start by saying thank you for giving this topic the attention it deserves.  I think that Scott has better articulated some points where the help file could be improved, so I'll defer to is comments at this point.

                                                                       

                                                                      Matt Lorono

                                                                  • Re: Hidden Commands
                                                                    Kieran Choy

                                                                    Scott, are you aware that there is a whole section of the Help file devoted to transitioning from 2D to 3D?

                                                                     

                                                                    Here is one helpful terminology page, containing links to all relevant help pages:

                                                                     

                                                                    http://help.solidworks.com/2011/english/SolidWorks/acadhelp/LegacyHelp/Moving_from_2D_to_3D/Terminology.htm?id=0d2fe467c6274e979e892772d0cdb07a#Pg0

                                                                      • Re: Hidden Commands
                                                                        Scott Baugh

                                                                        I was not trying to Hijack my own thread, but I guess its to late now...

                                                                         

                                                                         

                                                                        I tested your search in the help link Jim sent me earlier and when I type in "Array", you "Terminology" page does come up as an option, but when I see the bold word "Array" I really don't see anything else other than that. On top of that I think "Circular Pattern" should also be in the list of links when you type in "Array"... it will help the user help himself even more, instead of having them wonder through the help aimlessly. We are trying to make the help better for everyone, instead of when most of us used it years ago and had to fight to find anything. Its much easier today,but still needs some work.

                                                                         

                                                                        Regards,

                                                                • Re: Hidden Commands
                                                                  Edson Gebo

                                                                  Hi Jim...ya...I found it help after I posted...didn't know it was in the Whats new and I swear John and I looked for it (say back in Nov-Dec) and it wasn't anywhere.  Anyhow...I still like this whole thread.  Undocumented or Obscure...it's all good to know stuff that I would like to share with my group.  Nice job Mr Baugh!

                                                            • Re: Hidden Commands
                                                              Wayne Tiffany

                                                              How about this.

                                                               

                                                              When you have SW BOM in a drawing, and the title of the column comes in as QTY. and some config name, and you want it to just say QTY., you find that it reverts back to it's own name.  The key is to leave the period off - just put in QTY.

                                                               

                                                              Does that fit with what you wish to compile?

                                                               

                                                                WT

                                                              • Re: Hidden Commands
                                                                Scott Baugh

                                                                Most people do not read the "What's New" page by page. They only search what is relevant to them and their company. This is why people can use the software for years and not know about the "S" key or where to search the help for example. When the next major release is out that same user will repeat what he\she did the year before and miss even more functionality and if he\she does decide to read more into the "What's New" he\she will have missed the year before "What's New" and will actually not be aware of the those changes. Sometimes people miss entire versions, and that is really hard on the users then.

                                                                 

                                                                This is something that happens here at our company in regards to the "What's New". Since the position I have here is a new position for Berry, I have a lot to prove to them, but I have a lot to offer as well. Since there is not a single company or VAR that provides "Updated Training". I will be having a presentation for the users here at Berry called "Updated Training" before we release SW 2011 to the users to use. I will also use this as an opportunity to present new functionality and show how it can benefit us as a Plastics company that also does some of its own Tooling and Automation as well as Product Design and Engineering.

                                                                 

                                                                The Documents I have written and the Challenges I have sent the users here at Berry Plastics has been a tremendous help to challenge the users here into thinking of new ways to create their designs more efficiently and with proper Design Intent. Now I have to show them the new functionality and how it's going to benefit us as a whole. This is something all companies should take the time to do, since the Software companies and the Resellers are not taking the time to train everyone. This is one reason why Technical Support lines are tied up more often than not when a new release is released.

                                                                 

                                                                Anyway this document is to help everyone find obscured commands that are not documented or under-documented... or even potentially hard to find in the help. I am still happy with the name of the Document and I really don't want to change it, because in the end it's still accurate.

                                                                 

                                                                I hope we can make this a larger Document for the users around the world.

                                                                 

                                                                Sorry for the long winded reply.

                                                                Thanks

                                                                Scott

                                                                  • Re: Hidden Commands
                                                                    Daen Hendrickson

                                                                    I am using SW2010 with SP4.

                                                                     

                                                                    I posted on this a while back in another thread. I couldn't find a reference to this in help. But then again, the search capability in SW help rarely seems to find what I am looking.

                                                                     

                                                                    You can refresh your property tab after modifying the Property Tab Builder definition without restarting SW. Click on the top part of the Property Tab (I click where it says "custom properties") . Then press the F5 key and it will refresh - just like Window Explorer. This usually saves an exit and restart of SW. But you have to have things set up and working first.

                                                                     

                                                                    Daen

                                                                      • Re: Hidden Commands
                                                                        Scott Baugh

                                                                        Daen,

                                                                         

                                                                        Can you provide me with some images to explain your process? You can send them to me through my email on my profile.

                                                                         

                                                                        After you provide me some images to where I can understand your process, then I will consider adding your suggestion.

                                                                         

                                                                        Thanks,

                                                                        Scott

                                                                    • Re: Hidden Commands
                                                                      Wayne Tiffany

                                                                      'Nuther one.  (This was a surprise when I showed it to the User Interface folks at SW - kind of fun.)

                                                                       

                                                                      If you are in a drawing and you select a dim and the dim palette pops up and by accident you move your cursor far enough away to have it go away but you really do want it up, you don't have to reselect the dim to get it back.  Just hit the Ctrl key and release it - the palette will reappear.

                                                                       

                                                                      I don't believe I have seen that one documented other than here.

                                                                       

                                                                      WT

                                                                      • Re: Hidden Commands
                                                                        Charles Culp

                                                                        Well, great conversation and all, but let me add a few things to the list!

                                                                         

                                                                        First off, when Phil Sluder's "What's Old With SolidWorks 2011" Presentation from SWW becomes available, it should be ripe with examples.

                                                                         

                                                                        Here are a couple that are my biggest ones:

                                                                        Your first page first comment shows clicking Normal-to Twice.

                                                                        You can also Click on two seperate faces (90° from each other) to orient normal to a face, and also orient the up direction. First click is normal to, CTRL-click for the second face, that is up.

                                                                         

                                                                        Create a spline that touches the edge of a space. Now select all three of the line, the edge, and the face. This gives you the option to create a "tangent to face" constraint. This is the most robust way to make a spline tangent to any existing geometry.

                                                                        • Re: Hidden Commands
                                                                          Markku Lehtola
                                                                          Hi,

                                                                          here's the REAL hidden stuff..the only one I know. You can start SW with /d option and and have some extra tools to work with HoleWizard geometry. Guide:

                                                                          http://www.markkulehtola.net/SWHW-own_geometry.pdf

                                                                          br
                                                                          Markku
                                                                          www.sloworks.fi
                                                                          • Re: Hidden Commands
                                                                            Troy Peterson

                                                                            Here is another that is hard to figure out from the help;

                                                                             

                                                                            http://help.solidworks.com/2010/english/solidworks/sldworks/legacyhelp/sldworks/detailing/annotation_tables.htm

                                                                            merge.jpg

                                                                             

                                                                            If you control or shift select the cells you do not get the option to merge. To get it to work you need to sweep select the cells in one continuous motion. How do you know that from select cells?

                                                                              • Re: Hidden Commands
                                                                                Wayne Tiffany

                                                                                Didn't know that one either  - excellent.

                                                                                 

                                                                                WT

                                                                                • Re: Hidden Commands
                                                                                  Scott Baugh

                                                                                  Troy,

                                                                                   

                                                                                  I tested your complaints out "Ctrl" and "Shift" select cells. "Ctrl" select did not give me the option to Merge the Cells, but "Shift" select did give me the option to Merge cells.

                                                                                   

                                                                                  I can understand why "Ctrl-Select" would not, because same in Excel, if I Ctrl-Select, it does not know if the Cells are close together or not. So "Ctrl-Select" should not work, but "Shift-Select" should work and from my tests here it does.

                                                                                   

                                                                                  But the help topic on how to accomplish this leaves a lot to be desired! Just assuming users know how to use Excel, is not how someone should write their help about a feature in their software.

                                                                                   

                                                                                  I will add this to the "Hidden Commands" Document, but only on how to select and merge cells.

                                                                                   

                                                                                  Best Regards,

                                                                                  Scott Baugh.

                                                                                • Re: Hidden Commands
                                                                                  Edson Gebo

                                                                                  Hi Jim...one of the things I notice quite a bit is how the search is performed in the help file.  Looking for a way to turn on my SW desktop scroll bars leaves me empty handed.  Searching for "Scroll" gives me many options to look at but none that tell me how to actually do it.  Well...out of 25 results I couldn't quickly find it.  Some folks need instant gratification and will stop here.  Oddly enough...a search for "Scrollbar" is blanco.  Searching "Bar" finds too many results but a quick walk thru the Narrow Settings option at the left didn't reveal the info I was seeking for either.  Most would give up at this point so you have lost the attention of the user.

                                                                                   

                                                                                  Finally..."display scrollbars in graphics view" and then bang!  I got it...but I had to know that word for word...which I got from the tools/option/display-selection option.  But if I got that far...I didn't need the help file to give me the info.  Perhaps there is another way to find that info but these were the steps I took to get the answer.

                                                                                   

                                                                                  Be mindful...I'm not ripping on the help file at all.  You know I support anything you or your group does.  I think it's a great tool and I tell everyone to use it like it's your best friend along with these forum posts.  There are things that need to be fixed / improved to make it an even better tool.  Ya...ok...scrollbars are a low level problem.  I haven't used them  since...well...never!  This was merely an example that might not apply  to all things in the help file but gave me the opportunity to voice an opinion.  Most if not all of the folks on this thread know what there talking about so I take special note when they speak...observe and learn!

                                                                                   

                                                                                  So hidden command...maybe not.  Oblivious to the user seeking that specific info...for sure.

                                                                                   

                                                                                  Thanks Scott and thanks Jim...I hope this was helpful.

                                                                                    • Re: Hidden Commands
                                                                                      Jim Wilkinson

                                                                                      Hi Ed,

                                                                                       

                                                                                      Yeah...great example. This is one of those cases where we may be able to tweak the search engine a bit to give better results or use the synonym list to solve the problem. If you had searched for "scrollbars" you would have found what you are looking for. We need to see if the search engine can be tweaked so it automatically handles plurals (so scrollbar would find scrollbars) and perhaps to handle partial words (so "scroll" or "bar" would also help in this case). Of course these sorts of tweaks can have the adverse affect of giving even more results to weed through, so we need to be careful and perhaps even provide a user interface to allow it (like wildcard symbols on search strings - if the search engine even supports that).

                                                                                       

                                                                                      So again, thanks for the great example. I'll likely start another thread asking for examples to stop this hijack, but I do suggest to anyone reading this that when you do get frustrated searching for something in the help, and do eventually find what you are looking for; please use the "feedback on the topic" link to send in information about what seach strings you tried to use to find the topic, but failed.

                                                                                       

                                                                                      Thanks,
                                                                                      Jim

                                                                                        • Re: Hidden Commands
                                                                                          Christian Chu

                                                                                          I found the link including some good tips and have a question about modifying dimension

                                                                                          hold the ctrl key and roll MMB will cause the spin increment inc/dec 100 mmm (we are using metric for the design) and 10mm for Alt+MMB

                                                                                          I'm just wondering if I can change the setup somewhere

                                                                                          Thx, Chris

                                                                                           

                                                                                          NEVER MIND GROUP ! I FOUND IT - IT'S IN THE SPIN BOX INCREMENTS (DOCUMENT PROPERTIES)

                                                                                          • Re: Hidden Commands
                                                                                            Scott Baugh

                                                                                            JIm,

                                                                                             

                                                                                            If you do start a new thread, please post the link here so we can refer to it.

                                                                                             

                                                                                            Also if you want to talk offline please contact me via my email in my profile. - thanks

                                                                                             

                                                                                             

                                                                                             

                                                                                            Now I have to sift through this thread to find the Hidden Commands people posted. - For those that posted something on Hidden Commands,Thank you I will review them this weekend or some evening and update the Hidden Commands Document for everyone to use.

                                                                                             

                                                                                            Thanks,

                                                                                            Scott

                                                                                              • Re: Hidden Commands
                                                                                                Ajay Dhiman

                                                                                                Hi,

                                                                                                Click any Linear face ,plane in a model and hit L key on keyboard to open new sketch and line command ready to sketch..

                                                                                                Thanks..

                                                                                                  • Re: Hidden Commands
                                                                                                    Walter Fetsch

                                                                                                    No way!  That's AWESOME!

                                                                                                    • Re: Hidden Commands
                                                                                                      Kelvin Lamport

                                                                                                      That works with any Sketch Entity shortcut key.

                                                                                                      • Re: Hidden Commands
                                                                                                        Wayne Tiffany

                                                                                                        I also have C set to sketch circle and it works for that.  So I presume that any hotkey set to create sketch geometry will let you skip the explicit step of first opening a 2D sketch.  Obviously won't help if you need a 3D sketch, but for the 98% of the time that I need a 2D sketch,  this will save a step.

                                                                                                         

                                                                                                        But wait, there's more.  It's not the fact of having a hotkey invoked, it's the action of picking a sketch entity.  To see this action, pick a face or plane and in the CommandManager sketch area, pick a spline or ellipse or slot.  The 2D sketch opens with pretty much any of the entities up there.

                                                                                                         

                                                                                                        So then I wonder if this is documented, and sure enough, it is - here is the short version.

                                                                                                         

                                                                                                        "Select the planar model face on which you want to sketch.

                                                                                                        Click a sketch tool on the Sketch toolbar, click Sketch art\EDITMODL.gif, or click Insert, Sketch."

                                                                                                         

                                                                                                        So, right there you have it - they beat us to it and even told us about it.  Guess it doesn't really matter, though  - it's fun to now find it.  :-)

                                                                                                         

                                                                                                          WT

                                                                                                  • Re: Hidden Commands
                                                                                                    Michael Duncan

                                                                                                    Thanks Ed,

                                                                                                    I though the scrollbars had been totally removed but reading your post pointed me in the right direction to have them switched on again

                                                                                                     

                                                                                                    Michael

                                                                                                  • Re: Hidden Commands
                                                                                                    Scott Stuart

                                                                                                    Here's one I happened to stumble upon just this week (in SW2007). It's not in the help, and I've never seen it on any tips'n'tricks presentation or anything like that.

                                                                                                     

                                                                                                    Shortcut for creating equation: With the modify dimension box open, press the up or down arrow key. The add equation dailog box will open up, ready for you to enter an equation for that dimension.

                                                                                                     

                                                                                                    Scott

                                                                                                    • Re: Hidden Commands
                                                                                                      Ajay Dhiman

                                                                                                      Sketch Relation By Keyboard shortcuts:

                                                                                                      For an example draw a line on any odd angle and then select it and hit ALT+H to make it horizontal or ALT+V to make it vertical.

                                                                                                      The logic behind the shortcuts is defined in Attached file

                                                                                                      And for Converting Construction Line from line or vice versa you can use ALT+C.

                                                                                                      Cheers !

                                                                                                      Ajay Dhiman

                                                                                                        • Re: Hidden Commands
                                                                                                          Scott Baugh

                                                                                                          What version are you using Ajay? I am in SW 2010, and when I select on my sketches I do no see the underlined letters... I think this would be a great addition to my Document, but if they have removed the Underlined letters in more recent versions, then I can't, and would argue that they need to be re-added to the software.

                                                                                                           

                                                                                                          Or is their an option I am not aware of?

                                                                                                           

                                                                                                           

                                                                                                          Anyone else seeing this?

                                                                                                           

                                                                                                          Regards,

                                                                                                          Scott

                                                                                                            • Re: Hidden Commands
                                                                                                              Wayne Tiffany

                                                                                                              Hit the Alt key to have the underlines for the letters show up.  Those are Windows QuickKeys and they are not always the same.  Notice that there might be a difference depending on whether you pick one entity or more than one.  There are also cases where there is a duplication of letters, as in you might have a drop-down menu with an underlined "d" up toward the top, and then another one later in the list.  I generally don't depend on them because of these issues.  But if you have a workflow where they are handy and consistent, by all means, use them.

                                                                                                               

                                                                                                              WT

                                                                                                                • Re: Hidden Commands
                                                                                                                  Scott Baugh

                                                                                                                  Unfortunately this does not work for me Wayne. I am using Windows 7, not sure if that is why I am not seeing this work properly.

                                                                                                                   

                                                                                                                  Thanks for the suggestion!

                                                                                                                  Scott

                                                                                                                    • Re: Hidden Commands
                                                                                                                      Wayne Tiffany

                                                                                                                      Just to try something, go to "Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Ease of Access Center\Make the keyboard easier to use " and check the box for the Underline.  This should show them all the time.  I am on Win 7 and I do not have that box checked and I still see the underlines when I press and release the Alt key.

                                                                                                                       

                                                                                                                        WT

                                                                                                                  • Re: Hidden Commands
                                                                                                                    Ajay Dhiman

                                                                                                                    As WT says after selecting specified entities you have to press ALT key to then underlines will display in relation texts.

                                                                                                                    i check it on Win 7 it works.

                                                                                                                      • Re: Hidden Commands
                                                                                                                        Scott Baugh

                                                                                                                        The Underlined Letters showed up under Mates, but not under Relationships... the option given to me by Wayne, didn't work either, not sure what else would be causing this. I will keep looking into it and once I find the problem, then I will add your suggestion to the Document. Some users my get the same result as I am and will need a fix for it.

                                                                                                                         

                                                                                                                        Regards,

                                                                                                                  • Re: Hidden Commands
                                                                                                                    Scott Baugh

                                                                                                                    Here is the updated version of the "Hidden Commands" Document. I never got any help links from Jim, so I did not add them to the Document.

                                                                                                                     

                                                                                                                    I am glad everyone enjoyed this Document and I hope to continue to add things as I get them.

                                                                                                                     

                                                                                                                    Cheers,

                                                                                                                    Scott Baugh, CSWP

                                                                                                                      • Re: Hidden Commands
                                                                                                                        Wayne Tiffany

                                                                                                                        "To Collapse the tree select the "File name" in the very top of the tree and select "Shift+C" to collapse everything in the tree."

                                                                                                                         

                                                                                                                        Points of clarification.  You don't have to select anything in the tree pane - just make sure you don't have anything selected.  And the Shift-C hotkey only works in the primary pane, not the secondary pane.

                                                                                                                         

                                                                                                                          WT

                                                                                                                      • Re: Hidden Commands
                                                                                                                        Lee Bazalgette

                                                                                                                        One thing I always do is ensure that the menus are showing all their commands. You set this up by going to 'customize' for the menus, and in the 'options' tab select 'show all' for 'shortcut' and 'menu' customisation. When I was studying for CSWP this was a great way to see ALL the commands available - what you might call 'hidden' commands!

                                                                                                                        • Re: Hidden Commands
                                                                                                                          Dominik Kirschner

                                                                                                                          here's another cool hidden feature: http://blog.cad.at/?p=566

                                                                                                                          that hidden feature allows you to uninstall Solidworks 2010 and Solidworks 2011 and includes a Current-User Clean Up.

                                                                                                                          be aware: if you have both main-releases installed it will clean-up the 2010 and 2011 solidworks registry folder(!).

                                                                                                                           

                                                                                                                          I just could see, that I only included the german-UI in th video:
                                                                                                                          Here's an description for you folks:

                                                                                                                          1) uninstall SolidWorks as usual - using "add/remove programs"

                                                                                                                          2) uninstall SolidWorks 2010 or 2011

                                                                                                                          3) right mouse click - the title-bar and select "full uninstall (remove all user-settings)"

                                                                                                                           

                                                                                                                           

                                                                                                                          That Hidden Command will be an timesaver to clean up a system completly.

                                                                                                                          In SoldiWorks 2012 of course there will be a new feature available that even cleans-up all the folders and temporary files(hopefully) but I think SolidWorks should even place that RMB-command in the Administrator/Installation Guide.

                                                                                                                           

                                                                                                                          What do you think?

                                                                                                                          • Re: Hidden Commands
                                                                                                                            Edson Gebo

                                                                                                                            Scott,

                                                                                                                             

                                                                                                                            Using the Thumb, Wheel, or Thumb Wheel thingy in the modify dimension dialog box (BTW...none of those name work in help...so perhaps it's not called that) isn't documented or could not be found.  I also couldn't find anything clear and evident about how you can override the Spin Box feature in the Modify dimension dialog box. Add to that using CTL & ALT keys to manipulate the increment on the fly.  Once again...low level problem but good info to have.

                                                                                                                             

                                                                                                                            Anyway...I'll send you an e-mail later...I'm sure you can add this to your document.  Perhaps you added it or know about it already.

                                                                                                                             

                                                                                                                            Per Jim's advice I sent off a mesage via the Help file (feedback about this topic) top right corner.  We'll see what kicks back.

                                                                                                                             

                                                                                                                            Just a suggestion (and maybe it's not needed) would it be best to start a new thread?  Of course...add a link to the old one (this one) if so.

                                                                                                                              • Re: Hidden Commands
                                                                                                                                Scott Baugh

                                                                                                                                Jim sent me an updated copy with help links to most of the items in my Doc. I plan to update that soon... not sure about this weekend, was informed I have to do drywall and paint this weekend... I hate household projects. I just want to work on my Camaro.

                                                                                                                                 

                                                                                                                                I think the help links will help you and others that review this doc. The links do kind of change that whole the Title of the Doc, but I am still going to keep it for now.

                                                                                                                                 

                                                                                                                                Email though we can talk about some other things offline.

                                                                                                                                 

                                                                                                                                Cheers Ed!

                                                                                                                                Scott

                                                                                                                              • Re: Hidden Commands
                                                                                                                                Scott Stuart

                                                                                                                                This isn't a hidden command, so much as an undocumented shortcut. I've gotten a lot of use out of it since a coworker discovered it recently.

                                                                                                                                 

                                                                                                                                If you want to delete a bunch of items from a drawing you can, after selecting and deleting the first one, keep the delete key pressed while you continue to select the other items. No need to select, delete, select, delete, select, delete, etc. Handy for deleting a bunch of dangling dimensions, centermarks, etc.

                                                                                                                                 

                                                                                                                                Scott

                                                                                                                                • Re: Hidden Commands
                                                                                                                                  Wayne Tiffany

                                                                                                                                  I ran across something that I had not noticed before.

                                                                                                                                   

                                                                                                                                  I have an assy open with a couple automotive bodies in it.  SW is currently consuming about 5 GB of RAM so it gives you an idea about the size of this assy.  I already knew that something like an imported car body brings in a ton of edges and that turning off edge display will allow things to move a fair bit faster.  But what I just found was that if I select it in the tree so it all turns the same color, it almost seems like the body isn't really even there as far as rotating everything.

                                                                                                                                   

                                                                                                                                  Amazing what you can discover by accident!  :-)

                                                                                                                                   

                                                                                                                                    WT

                                                                                                                                  • Re: Hidden Commands
                                                                                                                                    Deepak Gupta

                                                                                                                                    Multiple section views from the same section line, a nice trick by David: https://forum.solidworks.com/message/214552#214552

                                                                                                                                    • Re: Hidden Commands
                                                                                                                                      Scott Baugh

                                                                                                                                      I updated the Hidden Command Doc with Jim Wilkinson's links to the Help topics for the Hidden Command. There was notes made by Jim, indicating that there is going to be some changes made to include some of these commands to the help topics.

                                                                                                                                       

                                                                                                                                      Thanks for all your suggestions everyone and the link \ suggestions for the Document Jim!

                                                                                                                                       

                                                                                                                                      Scott

                                                                                                                                      • Re: Hidden Commands
                                                                                                                                        Tom Smith

                                                                                                                                        Discovered a new one:  Double-click the MMB to 'zoom to fit'.   It's not in the MMB help.

                                                                                                                                         

                                                                                                                                        Apparently AutoCAD folks are used to this. 

                                                                                                                                        • Re: Hidden Commands
                                                                                                                                          Tom Smith

                                                                                                                                          On a roll today, here's another:

                                                                                                                                           

                                                                                                                                          You mention in your doc that when editing a dimension you can hit Up or Down arrow to start the equation editor.

                                                                                                                                           

                                                                                                                                          You can also hit Page Up to get to equations, but Page Down shows the Link Values box.  The pulldown menu (next to the up/down arrows) also has these choices.  The help mentions link value and equations but not the keys that can get you there.