SOLIDWORKS 2019 – USER INTERFACE #SOLIDWORKS

SOLIDWORKS 2019 SP0 has been out for a few weeks now.  I’ve been dipping in and out of it since Beta was released late June.  I’ve committed and have installed for our production work.

The SOLIDWORKS 2019 What’s New website is live and covers the major new features. As with each new release there is more to it than just the major features.  It is normally these smaller enhancements that give the most returns for productivity.   So over a few posts, I’ll take a look at a few of things that I like about SOLIDWORKS 2019.

Let’s start with a enhancements & new features that relate around the User Interface.

Despite only being around since SOLIDWORKS 2016, Breadcrumbs quickly proved  to be a great productive tool.  Providing quick access to a range of features, in a pop up display, by simply selecting an entity in the graphic area or a feature in the FeatureManager.   The only negative was that the Breadcrumb displayed in the top left hand corner of the graphics area. I like to try and work around the centre of my screen to reduce my mouse travel.   I use a range of user setting and customised interface tools to try and maintain that workflow.  I did a post last year on how I set up my SOLIDWORKS

SOLIDWORKS 2019 introduces the ability to have the Breadcrumb appear at the mouse pointer as per the standard “S” & “D” settings.  This is set via System Options>Display>Show Breadcrumbs at Mouse Pointer

This simple enhancement may prove to be one of the most productive improvements with SOLIDWORKS 2019

For those who like to customise everything SOLIDWORKS 2019 now allows you to set what Tabs you require in the Task Pane.  Not only what Tabs but in what order you have those TabsCustomising is a simple procedure, with a Right Mouse selection in the header of the Task Pane, to bring up a dialogue box.  This then provides for the simple selection of what Tabs you may or may not require.  The order of those Tabs can then be set by dragging them to the required position.

Anyone who has been around SOLIDWORKS would have experienced the SOLIDWORKS Status Feedback dialogue box accompanied by the opaque white screen, giving you two options ….. wait or close!   This is the result of Windows not understand what was really going on.  As there was no feedback, you didn’t know what was going on.   Was SOLIDWORKS going through the process or was it really unresponsive!  Did you hope and wait?  Or just shut it down and suffer the consequences?  The enhancement to the Status dialogue box in SOLIDWORKS 2019 how provides additional feedback showing what process the software is running.  It’s a simple one but it will let you know that you need to be patience. Introduced last year with SOLIDWORKS 2018 was the Welcome Dialogue box, which allowed access to the Recent Open Document.  There is a simple enhancement which now sees the ability to specify the number of recent documents to display.

Accessed via the Systems Options>General these can be set to any number between one (1) and one hundred (100). There is also the ability to include documents opened from with-in other documents, as well the introduction of the Search filtering tools. These provide the ability to filter by file type or by a file name. SOLIDWORKS 2019 sees the introduction of the ability to add and show Markups.  A system setting, Systems Options>FeatureManager>Markups>Show, allows for a Markup folder to be added to the FeatureManager tree.Right Mouse Button selection on the Markup Folder, opens the Markup Toolbar.  The sketch tools allow for the creation of the Markup, in both Parts and Assemblies. These can be either a text note or for those with a touch enabled device, a hand-written note.  Once the Markup are created they can be found in the Markup folder.   Right Mouse Button selection on the note allows the note to be edited or exported.

The exported note can be saved in various image formats as well as a pdf,

Select link to open the Saved pdf – Cabinet Assembly – RH – Trakkaway 820_Markup10

An interesting note is that when I was trying with Beta the Pen Option was active, which allowed changes to the pen thickness and colour.  This function looks not to be active with SOLIDWORKS SP0.  I’m sure it will not be the last time that we see it! The ability to add notes direct in the SOLIDWORKS component is a significant feature added to SOLIDWORKS 2019.  Considering the ever-increasing range of touch screens and now this hand writing ability. The ability to add Markups direct into the model is set to change how designs are reviewed and notations are communicated.

SOLIDWORKS 2019 see’s a small but significant enhancement to the Measure tool.  The measure tool is now available for all SOLIDWORKS tools and can be used with parts, assemblies, and drawing files. More importantly is that it is now available even while other tools are active.

The User Interface can be underrated at times and at the other end of the spectrum can be highly contentious.  However with these enhancement to the SOLIDWORKS 2019 User Interface it shows that productive gains are easily achievable with some simple improvement to everyday features.

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