As a long term SOLIDWORKS user I recently took on the task of learning SOLIDWORKS Composer. Here are 5 things I learned along the way that I wish I would have known from the start!
- Double Click background to “Zoom Fit All”. Unlike SoildWorks there is no easy hot key (F in SOLIDWORKS) that will let you quickly Zoom the model to fit the screen. Instead you need to locate the “Zoom Fit All” icon on the Home toolbar or remember that CTRL+ALT+F will do the deed. However I found an easier way! Double Click the graphics area!
- Verify/Change Mode using Icon in the top left of the display window. There are 2 modes in Composer, Animation Mode and View Mode. It can be hard to tell which mode you are currently in. However I found that the Icon in the Top Left of your graphics window is the key. Not only does it show which mode you are in but you can click on it to toggle to the opposite mode!
- Mouse movements: File -> Properties -> Navigation “Set as SOLIDWORKS”. As a SOLIDWORKS user the most frustrating thing about Composer is the default mouse controls. They are nothing like the mouse controls in SOLIDWORKS. That is until you make a simple change. Go to File -> Properties -> Navigation and click the “Set as SOLIDWORKS” button. All will be right in your world again.
- Create Custom Orientation: File -> Properties -> Views to create custom camera views. In SOLIDWORKS you can create Custom Orientations on the fly by using the View Orientaion Window. In Composer it took some digging but I found the answer. You will need to go to Fill -> Properties and choose which location you want to add these new Views.
- Document Properties adds it to the currently open Document
- Default Document Properties will add it to any new Document that is created.
Then go into the Viewport and create “Custom Camera Views”. You can create up to 4 views and give them names.
- To Zoom the Paper and not just the Model hold CTRL Key. In Composer if you zoom in and out it will only zoom the model in the view and the paper will remain the same size (note: you can turn the paper on and off via the “Status Toolbar”). However if you hold the CTRL Key you can zoom both the Model and the Paper at the same time!