All Uppercase, or how I learned to stop worrying about CAPS LOCK in SOLIDWORKS

SOLIDWORKS 2014 introduced the All Uppercase option for Note Annotations. Forgetting to use CAPS LOCK is no longer something to fear.

There was a dark time when one had to remember to turn on CAPS LOCK keyboard toggle while they created engineering drawing notes. This was problematic because if you forgot, you’d have to retype everything. If you were creating your general notes, that was a lot of retyping. Even if you remembered to use CAPS LOCK, you’d still have to find workarounds for file properties and certain custom properties that displayed the raw system value, where capitalization wasn’t possible. A light shined upon the world in 2013. That year, SOLIDWORKS 2014 introduced the All Uppercase option for Note Annotations.

All Uppercase turned off
All Uppercase turned on

However, unlike word processor applications, SOLIDWORKS is smart about how it capitalizes text.

  • Original text is preserved, so if you turn the setting off, your text returns to its original state.
  • The setting recognizes the value of file and custom properties and capitalizes these as well.
  • Where you would want the “mm” in the word “dimmer” to capitalize as “DIMMER”, you wouldn’t want the “mm” in “10 mm” to capitalize. So, along with the new functionality, SOLIDWORKS is smart enough to know the difference by using its Exclusion list.
Exclusion list

There is the ability to use the capitalization setting as a Document Property, meaning that any note you create will automatically use the All Uppercase setting. You still have local control for each note, of course.

All Uppercase Document Property
All Uppercase in PropertyManager

SOLIDWORKS 2018 introduced this functionality for Tables in SOLIDWORKS. You can change the setting for an entire table, a range of cells or individual cells.

All Uppercase in 2018

Finally, SOLIDWORKS 2020 introduced this functionality for Dimensions (including Hole Callouts).

All Uppercase in 2020

You have the ability to set All Uppercase document defaults differently for Notes, Tables and Dimensions, so if you want to automatically capitalize your notes, but not your dimensions or tables, you have that choice.

One more point; a tip:

  1. Select a note.
  2. Hold down SHIFT and press F3.
  3. While holding SHIFT, each time you press F3, you will toggle All Uppercase on and off for the selected note.
  4. This is the same keystroke as MS Word for switching between casing options.
SHIFT-F3 to toggle

3DEXPERIENCE WORLD 2020, a non-comprehensive look

So, technically and actually, everyone that attended 3DEXPERIENCE World 2020 has attended every 3DEXPERIENCE World conference! Isn’t that awesome? A fresh start! Or is it? SOLIDWORKS World‘s new skin, or something more?

What really changed? There is still a very heavy SOLIDWORKS focus, the 21st Model Mania, and the SOLIDWORKS Top Ten. The Partner Pavilion is now a bit different with a new name, 3DEXPERIENCE Playground. The number of breakout sessions continues to expand, including new 30 minute format (in addition to 60 and 90 minutes). General Sessions have returned to the morning to include product announcements, keynote speakers, SWUGN community updates, amazing customer stories, etc. Sunday had its Certification testing, SOLIDWORKS CAD Manager’s Boot Camp, and Reception. Monday saw yet another CSWE Event. Tuesday had the Special Offsite Event on Broadway in Downtown Nashville, complete with several live music acts. Even the unsanctioned CAD Monkey dinner roared to record attendance on Saturday.

My Presentations

As usual, I have two (or more) presentations. My breakout session on Monday called MBD and Me was actually standing-room only attendance. There was a lot of interest in Model Based Definition. My other session was a Hands-on session for new and improved tools for Drawing Views in the past 7 years. As per the usual when I presented similar sessions on the past, attendees would yell out in amazement after being shown one or more new tools or enhancements that have been implemented years ago that they somehow missed. I love those moments, but also slightly sadden that well-established SOLIDWORKS users aren’t catching everything they need from each year’s What’s New documents.

Nashville

Nashville may have been unusually chilly (even for winter), but that didn’t stop it from being beautiful and interesting.

SOLIDWORKS World Drawings Top Ten implementation to-date (2011-2013)

SOLIDWORKS World Top Ten list for drawings – review for 2011 thorugh 2013; including implemetnatation rates and release years.

A few years ago, I reviewed SOLIDWORKS World Top Ten lists specifically for Drawing ideas. These articles not only showed a unique view of the Top Ten that is typically unavailable, but it also provided implementation status (implemented or not). It’s time to update those statuses.

2011

  1. Ability to Filter BOMs
  2. Print Selection – make it more like cropping a picture
  3. On drawings: add function to allow users to apply capitalization of text, implemented in SW2014 for notes and SW2018 for tables.
  4. Assign watermark function to drawing sheets, implemented in SW2013.
  5. Allow Multiple Exploded Views per Configuration, implemented in SW2013.
  6. More control over angle dimensions, implemented in SW2015.
  7. On drawings: Allow option for resizing of drawing view outline
  8. Directly editing notes with properties in Drawing, implemented before SW2013.
  9. Broken-out Section in Section, Detail and Alternate Positions Views, implemented in SW2018.
  10. Better line selection in drawings, implemented in SW2014 .

2012

  1. Address Shaded with Edges Bleed Thru issue, implemented in SW2014 for parts, assemblies and drawings.
  2. Dimensions should stay where you place them, existing behavior in SOLIDWORKS. See previous article for additional information.
  3. Don’t show hidden lines in section views and broken-out sections, half implemented in SW2013. See previous article for additional information.
  4. Don’t re-size center marks with scale of drawing view or sheet, implemented in SW2016.
  5. Allow multiple exploded views per configuration, implemented in SolidWorks 2013.
  6. Drawings: make intersection selectable when dimensioning drawings, implemented in SOLIDWORKS 2014.
  7. Ability to create a “purchased” component BOM and “manufactured” component BOM 
  8. Drawings: Revision Cloud, implemented in SolidWorks 2013.
  9. Dashes should not be allowed at the end of a line
  10. Parts as references in drawing views; see previous article for additional information.

2013

  1. Create auxiliary line for dimensioning angles, implemented in SW2015.
  2. Perimeter Dimension or Total Length Dimension
  3. Allow mirroring of drawing views in the drawing, implemented in SW2017.
  4. Isometric view break, implemented in SW2016 (via Model Break View shown on drawings in the same fashion as Exploded Views).
  5. Ability to create half dimensions (Option to change any dimension line to foreshortened), implemented in SW2016.
  6. On drawings, zoom to fit should ignore view bounding boxes, implemented in SW2015 with Zoom to Sheet tool.
  7. Don’t re-size center marks with scale of drawing view or sheet, implemented in SW2016.
  8. Ability to create Alternate position view on sectioned/broken-out section view, implemented in SW2018.
  9. Make an easy interface to modify format of hole callouts (without having to edit calloutformat.txt)
  10. Projected view of a break view should have option ‘align breaks with parent’ enabled by default, implemented prior to SW2018.

In looking at these Drawings Top Ten idea lists, there’s about 75% implementation rate for the years 2011 thru 2013 as of SW2019. As time allows, Top Tens from later years may be shown in future articles.

Presentations at SOLIDWORKS World 2017

SWW2017 banner

Normally, members of the Product Definition team at DS SolidWorks Corp give two presentations at each SOLIDWORKS World.  Presentations can be either Hands-on or Breakout.  Hands-on sessions involve attendee participation at desktop computers provided for the conference.  Attendees typically follow and repeat steps shown by the presenter.  Breakout sessions are essentially talks with demonstrations of functionality in SOLIDWORKS products.

Sometimes our team gives extra presentations.  There are cases where our hands-on sessions are very popular, so we add an extra hands-on session of the same material for the overflow.  Other times, we give the multiple breakout sessions on various topics.

My Presentations

At SOLIDWORKS World 2017, I gave three presentations and a panel discussion.  It almost never fails that I give a presentation right after the General Session on Monday of the conference.  This year, my Monday presentation was a hands-on session about new functionality that’s been added to SOLIDWORKS over the past 5 years.  The session was Streamline Drawing Creation with Newer SOLIDWORKS Drawing Tools.  In this session, attendees got to try out newer drawing tools that they may have missed before, such as

  • User Interface improvements
  • Drawing Zones, Location Label and Automatic Border tool
  • All uppercase setting for notes
  • Angle Dimension enhancements
  • Model Break View
  • Balloon improvements and more

If you’d like to check out this session’s materials, please feel free to download:

Streamline Drawing Creation with Newer SOLIDWORKS Drawing Tools (6MB+)

On Tuesday, I gave two breakout sessions.  The first one was planned and well-prepared about MBD called Model-Based Definition using SOLIDWORKS MBD.  This session covered very general overview of  MBD, ways to implement settings in SOLIDWORKS for the best MBD experience, SOLIDWORKS MBD tools (3D Views, 3D PDF Publisher, etc), and DimXpert.  A lot of people attended this session.  Though, I didn’t pack the house to the wall.

Filling in the room to talk about MBD

The Powerpoint for this session is downloadable here (SOLIDWORKS files not included):

Model Base Definition using SolidWorks-2017 (4MB)

The second Tuesday breakout session,  I presented on BOM’s, called Building SOLIDWORKS BOMs.  Due to a cancellation by the original speaker, I had to step to not only cover the empty slot in the schedule, but also talk about BOMs without a prepared Powerpoint slide deck or file set.  Since there were no materials for me to work from, I had to skip the Tuesday General Session to give myself time to pull together a session plan and file set.  Given the circumstances, I believe I did well.  I was able to cover many basics about BOMs, and also more advanced capabilities.

  • BOM table display options
  • BOM Type (Top Level, Parts Only and Indented)
  • Options for displaying configurations of the same part
  • Keep Missing Item settings
  • BOM Anchor
  • BOM Template
  • Virtual Parts
  • Document Properties
  • Sorting
  • etc.

Unfortunately, because the session was off-the-cuff, there is no Powerpoint outline to provide.  The session was recorded, so it should be available as a video while the SOLIDWORKS Proceedings are available (soon).

On Wednesday, I was part of the panel discussion about MBD.  Five speakers participated in an engagement with attendees who are interested in MBD.  This session was called SOLIDWORKS World 2017 MBD Learning Path Panel Discussion.  Attendees asked about many MBD related topics, including STEP, real world implications, specific use cases, vendor adoption, etc.

My unorganized #SOLIDWORKS User Group tour – #swugn

This year, I’ve been on a kind of unorganized SOLIDWORKS User Group tour.  I’ve presented at user groups in Tulsa, OK, Denver, CO and Seattle, WA.  The diversity of meeting locations never ceases to surprize me: hotel conference rooms, high school machine shops, college meeting rooms, libraries.  BTW, I’m not pictured in any of the photos below, as I was the one who took these photos of other speakers at these events.

In Tulsa and Denver, I presented on Drawing Views.  As simple as this topic may seem for many, even experienced users have told me they learn something new when I talk about Drawing Views.

In Seattle, I presented on SOLIDWORKS drawing functionality that has been added since SOLIDWORKS 2013.  Even though most of the capabilities I discussed were available since SOLIDWORKS 2014 and 2015, even seasoned users of SOLIDWORKS 2016 jumped up with excitement as they found out about “new” functionality.

Tulsa SOLIDWORKS User Group

Tusla, OK


99737188_743266755773042_2056106797_n

Northern Denver, CO


990632251_1198495710162966_282110580_n

Southern Denver, CO


993129432_631483707008428_964762744_n

Seattle, WA

New Drawings capabilities in SOLIDWORKS 2016 [Videos] Part 2

Watermarking models (and drawings)

Change drawing scale on-the-fly

Preselection for Dimensions