11 Replies Latest reply on Oct 31, 2011 12:58 PM by Anton Petrov

    sketch on a plane shortcut

    Anton Petrov

      Cad people,


      Let me first apologize if this topic has been either covered, or offensively silly.


      With that out of the way, i am annoyed with the fact that every time i need to make a sketch on one of the base planes (front/top/right) i have to scroll all the way to the top of the tree to select one of those planes. If i have a big model with lots of features it becomes time consuming.  Ideally, i would like an icon that i can place on the quick access toolbar thing (the one you get to by pressing s on the keyboard) for every plane... or rather for "sketch on a plane".  Or perhaps a keyboard shortcut? (which i can then map to a mouse gesture).  As of right now, in solidworks 2012, i see no way of doing that. In fact, i see no other alternative whatsover to scrolling to the top of the tree to get to those planes.


      Soo.... thoughts?  I can't be the only one that is bothered by this.  Thanks!!

        • Re: sketch on a plane shortcut
          Wayne Tiffany

          I don't know how intrusive it would be, but you could have those planes showing in the graphics area and just pick them there.  If they were too large, drag them smaller.



          • Re: sketch on a plane shortcut
            Dave Klimas

            I feel your pain, that annoys me too. Try this, it helps cut down on the scrolling. Instead of scrolling up in the model tree and right clicking on the plane to start a sketch, click the sketch tab and sketch first. Then the graphics area tree pops up and you can select the default plane from there without scrolling in the main tree. Not perfect, but now that I am in the habit of doing this it's a little better. I also have a 3D Connexion Space Pilot, so scrolling the feature tree is pretty fast.

              • Re: sketch on a plane shortcut
                Anton Petrov

                Ha, i suppose thats an option.  I'll give it a shot.  But its still not a clean solution....


                I guess i can also map the keyboard Home button to one of the gestures (i use StrokeIt instead of solidworks one cause its faster) that way the tree will be on the top already... Maybe i can try that as well. 


                Still though, its just a pitty that i can't put the three of those plane onto the display area or something.. like in the corner.  Or maybe buttons for the popup menu.  I work mostly with surfaces and symmetric parts, so i also use those datum planes for trimming and mirroring quite a bit... 


                Anyhow, thanks for the suggestion.

              • Re: sketch on a plane shortcut
                Kelvin Lamport



                Set the planes to Show in the FM, then assign a keyboard shortcut to toggle the Planes on & off. This has the same effect as the View > Planes option.

                • Re: sketch on a plane shortcut
                  Wayne Matus

                  Here are a couple of options.


                  Show the default planes and have them set to autosize. If you do not want to see them all the time, you can use the mouse gestures to toggle the display of them, View -> Planes.


                  Record three macros, one for selecting each plane. A macro can be assigned to a keyboard key.


                  Use the feature tree filter to filter planes.

                    • Re: sketch on a plane shortcut
                      Anton Petrov

                      Winner winner, chicken dinner.  I like your proposed option number 2.  I recorded a macro selecting a plane and assigned keyboard/gesture shortcut to it.  I had no idea that it was possible to assign shortcuts to individually recorded macros.  I think i am going to find more uses for that....  Thanks for the suggestion!

                    • Re: sketch on a plane shortcut
                      Dwight Livingston



                      This is not what you asked, but it works for me. Whenever I find the feature tree is so long that the main planes scroll off the page, I feel it is time to make folder. I group the features by function, place them in a folder, and give the folder a good name. The main planes show again at the top, and I find it much easier to work with the feature tree.