SolidWorks is talking to the Internet

SolidWorks communicate to the internet all the time.  Most users may not even realize just how often this happens.  There is a Community heading under the SolidWorks Resources tab in the task pane.   This area has links to the Customer Portal, User Groups, SolidWorks forum.  It also has an RSS feed labelled Technical Alerts & News.  I’m not sure how often this feed is refreshed by SolidWorks.  There is an option to turn it off if it happens to be unwanted or generating errors (due to the lack of Internet access).

Click to see System Options window

In Tools pulldown>Options>System Options>General there is a toggle setting labelled Show latest news feed in task pane.  Simply uncheck its box to turn off SolidWorks’ RSS feed reader.

Another similar option that some may wish to turn off is just underneath the RSS reader toggle, labelled Enable performance feedback.  This feature is needed once in awhile to help SolidWorks Corp understand why SolidWorks crashes.  However, I think most users would rather just have this turned off.

Unless a computer has serious limitations, neither of these settings should cause performance or stability issues if turned on.

(Thanks to Charles Culp for bring identifying these settings in a recent SolidWorks Forum discussion.)

SolidWorks Labs: Tagger

SolidWorks LabSolidWorks LabThe ability to tag features within a solid model was added with the release of SolidWorks 2008.  This sometimes under-utilized capability may go unnoticed by many.  After all, the function to add tags is a tiny little icon in the far right corner of the status bar.  SolidWorks Labs has developed an improved user interface for tagging in the form of an add-in called Tagger.   Within its own task pane, it allows the user to see all of the tags used within the open SolidWorks document.  Users can even select specific tags as favorites that can be easily applied to a feature at any time.  To use the tags, simply click on the term in the Tagger task pane.  This will highlight the the associated features within the FeatureManager.  This add-in from SoildWorks Labs adds new functionality that makes tags all the more useful.