7 Tips for Faster SolidWorks Modeling

1. When adding a dimension to a sketch you can hold down SHIFT while choosing an arc to dimension to the tangent point.

Standard Dimension
SHIFT to dimension arc
2. Holding down CONTROL while drawing a sketch entity will turn off the automatic relations. This is very useful in complex sketches where SolidWorks might add a relation to another line that you did not intend.
3. In 3d sketching you can use the TAB key to change the active plane. The XYZ graphic shows you the current plane and updates each time you hit TAB.
4. Copying a sketch entity is much simpler than doing the copy – paste dance, simply hold down CTRL and drag the entities you need to the new location. This also works with Planes, you can CTRL drag the plane out and set the new location you need.
CTRL to copy Entity
Right Click to Confirm

5. Instead of moving the cursor away from your work area to finish a sketch or feature you can Right-click to finalize your command. Look for this confirm action graphic when finishing a command to know when this option is available.

6. Use the mouse Gestures – Even if you only use the 4 position gesture wheel updating these settings to commands you use commonly can save you a substantial amount of time over the course of a week.

7. Extrude Up To – Many times when creating an extrude or cut command you want the feature to extend up to an existing point, face, or plane. Rather than going to the dialog and selecting the “Extrude To” drop down you can simply double click the face or plane you want to extend to, and SolidWorks will handle the rest.