- Do not try to do things in a test that you don’t do regularly in your job. Practice these until you are proficient.
- Force yourself to practice by going in “Jedi Training Mode”. This is done by pressing Ctrl F1 (hide Task Pane) : F9 (hide Feature Manager Tabs) : F10 (hide Command Manager).
- If you find yourself NOT using hot keys, due to testing pressure, take a deep breath and slow down. A zebra can outrun a lion, but lions feast on zebras by surrounding them and having them exhaust themselves by running in circles. Don’t let a few lion-like questions put you in a frantic “zebra” mental state.
- “s” (Shortcut-superman key) – this shortcut key is genius and situational. It will adjust depending on what type of file you are working on AND what you are doing in that files (for example: making a sketch in part mode is different from inserting a part in a drawing).
- Mouse gestures – also situational. I won’t lie, I’m better at using this in sketch mode than anywhere else. For those of you who don’t know how to activate this- hold your right mouse button down and drag. You will see a circle with 4 or 8 different icons in a ring surrounding your mouse cursor. Simply sweep the cursor to one of the icons.
- Ctrl-8 (orient normal to plane)- get away from using the view cube or the heads-up display. Both of those take multiple clicks.
- f (fit on screen)
- Ctrl-Tab (toggle between open files)
- Enter (repeat previous command)
- Right mouse button (situational)- this opens a good number of commands.
- Ctrl-1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 (orientation). These seem difficult to remember at first BUT it makes sense if you think about it. Control 1 TOP, Control 2 BOTTOM, Control 3 RIGHT, etc…
- “a” – This is great for toggling between an arc and a line in sketch mode OR different “types” in sketch mode (for instance- a center point rectangle vs a corner rectangle)
- Other window hotkeys (Ctrl-Z , Ctrl-C, Ctrl-V, Ctrl-N, Ctrl-O)
Best of luck getting this going. Let me know how it goes.
Jim is a CSWP and on the road to getting his CSWE. He works for HawkRidge Systems, an authorized reseller of SolidWorks. Jim also runs i-elf, a product development consulting company. He can be reached at Jim.Lucas@i-elf.com.