Tuesday, October 1, 2013

SOLIDWORKS TECH TIP: Expanding What You Know About ‘Select All’

I like to post information about things I see people struggle with, or questions that I get from people I'm trying to help. One such struggle involved someone who was trying to select all (or most of) the part files in his assembly. He would use the Ctrl key to select them individually, or the Shift key to select the components in groups.


So naturally, I told him how he could 'Select All' and then deselect the couple of items he didn't want/need selected (Inverse Selection would be another tip, but then I wouldn't be able to tell you about Select All). I then proceeded to show him all the different ways to use this Windows program function so that he would have more options for selecting items in both parts and assemblies.

In an assembly, the Select All option allows a person to select all the parts and subassemblies within that assembly. You can do this by using the Select All command from the Edit pull-down menu, or by using the shortcut key Ctrl+A.




I should also let you know that when using this command to select all, the parts from within the subassemblies will not be selected. Only the parts and the subassemblies at the top level are selected (see below).

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In a part, the Select All works a little differently, and can work in conjunction with the Selection Filter Toolbar. By default (without any filters turned on), Select All will select all edges in the model. This can be particularly useful when trying to select all the edges of a part to be filleted. However, if you select Filter Faces from the Selection Filter Toolbar, and then Select All (Ctrl+A), then only the faces are selected. And if you have the Vertices Filter selected and you Select All (Ctrl+A), then only the vertices are selected.


  
Furthermore, in a sketch of a part, I can use the Select All (Ctrl+A) to select ALL the sketch entities. This is particularly useful when trying to select all the entities for mirroring purposes.
  
And believe it or not, we can also use Select All (Ctrl+A) in a drawing. Before applying annotations, Select All can be used to select all of the views. This can be useful when trying to resize all the views to one particular scale. First you hit Ctrl+A, then select any view to bring up the Multiple Views property manager.




Otherwise, if you have applied annotations, you can use Select All (Ctrl+A) for selecting all of the annotations. NOTE: If you have many types of annotations, like notes, dimensions, and symbols, you can still make use of Select All. For example, if you wanted to change the tolerance on all your dimensions, you could first Select All, and then just click on one of the dimensions to activate the dimension property manager. Anything you change here will affect every dimension.


So as you can see, SolidWorks allows us to utilize our Windows knowledge and Windows commands to make life a little better and a little easier.


For more training and tutorials on the many 3D CAD Modeling solutions in the SolidWorks family of products and add-ons, please feel free to look through our Webcast Archive, register for an upcoming webcast or event, or look into our 3DU SolidWorks Training and Certification courses.

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