Alternate Reality

altkeyThere’s a whole slew of stuff you can do with the Alt key in SolidWorks. I threatened one time to do a SolidWorks World presentation just on that one button. Someone somewhere didn’t think it was such a great idea, or maybe they thought I was showing off. Anyway, I don’t think it will ever really happen, so I’m just gonna do it here. Next best thing, I suppose.

So here’s my list. Please use the comments to add to it. I’m sure there’s tons of stuff I’ve missed.


  1. Alt-key accelerators (Alt-F for File – you know, those underlined accelerator keys)
  2. Alt-MMB or Alt-arrows – to roll view around screen center
  3. Ctrl-Alt-MMB – to roll an active camera
  4. in combo with the scroll wheel on modify dialog (divides increment by 10)
  5. alt drag a part in and assembly by an edge to get a smart mate
  6. alt-tab (switching windows within a windows application)
  7. modifier for custom hotkeys
  8. Alt-Drag – to move drawing views
  9. Alt-Drag to move a table in a drawing
  10. Alt-Drag on spline handles to drag handles symmetrically
  11. Alt-Drag a grouped annotation and the annotation moves independently from the group
  12. Alt-Drag the Triad ball when using Move With Triad to move a part. This moves the Triad freely. Also works for Triad in Explode.
  13. Alt-Drag an appearance from the Task Pane to the graphics window immediately edits the appearance or scene
  14. Alt-Drag when reordering parts in an assembly feature manager to prevent the part from getting put into a subassembly (goes after the subassy instead)
  15. Alt when dragging an Instant3D handle enables you to snap to a face

Which other ones do you use?

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