Solid DNA blog

Blog about stuff on Solid Edge CAD software

Interface +

In the last article about the interface, I didn’t cover everything and some things have been covered quickly.

Some of the sttuff is basic to SE users or at least for those who use their two hands. For those who do not use SE it will be a nice introduction to the ergonomics placed inside the software that do not catch the eyes at first glance.

The first ones I would like to review are the visualization Tools.

Visualisation Tool

3D rotate

Using the combination of SHIFT+ RMB drag, users can initiate the 3D rotation around the center of the screen. This command is transparent/on top of the active feature, so it can be launched at any time while you design. No need to move the mouse to catch an icon.

If the 3D rotation lost the center of the screen as the focus, using the Zoom window should help reposition the focus at the center of the screen.

Dynamic zoom Dynanic zoom

This time we use the CTRL + RMB drag. The place where you click with the mouse is the focus of the zoom. This is useful when we want to get closer to the corner of a part.

Pan Pan

SHIFT + CTRL + RMB drag, helps you reposition the working area inside the working zone.

Zoom fit Zoom fit

ALT + RMB click allow user to fit the visual portion of the design inside the working zone.

Zoom area (windows) zoom windows

ALT + RMB +  Drag allows users to choose a section of their design and make it fit in the working zone.


Around the mouse cursor, there is a zone that can be  set by the user


Cursor – Locate zone

Define the size around the mouse cursor that will recognize objects. Size ranges from 3 to 12 pixels

intent size

Cursor – Intent zone

Area used by the designers to indicate their intentions. Mostly used when a arc is placed along or at the end of a line.

Intent zone


The Quickpick tool allows you to select an object located under the mouse that falls in the located zone.

It allows you to scroll from the top of the pile to the bottom.

To activate the quickpick, hover the mouse over a certain location and wait for few milliseconds.

Quickpick prompt 

The prompt will invite you to click the RMB.

From the result list you can select one element of the pile.

Quickpick 2D qp part

QuickPick – Options

QP option

QuickPick – Timer

The timer allows you to adjust the reaction time, I used to say when giving training:

If you’re the coffee type who drinks 6-12 cups of coffee per day, place the timer at 200 milliseconds.

If you’re hot chocolate type, place it at 1200 milliseconds.

QuickPick – Height

The number of items to see in the list, if more a scrolling bar will be available.

QuickPick – Width

Specify the width of the QuickPick toolbar list.

QuickPick mouse button

Quickpick prompt  mouse Right

You can choose to set the right or left mouse button to trigger the Quicpick.

QuickPick – Assembly

qp asm

QuickPick in an assembly has another interesting feature, to display the name of the container. In the example on the side, «allenscrew» is use in many subassemblies, to make sure we select the right one, at the bottom of the list a prompt makes it easier to identify the right one.

This goes the same way when you create in place. When you project a line from another part, the prompt helps to make sure you project from the right part.

Educate yourself by using the QuickPick more frequently. This will help you break free from the Partfinder or at least help you cut the travel to the side of the screen to conduct actions. Using the QuickPick will also help you to avoid rotating the model or hiding the parts or both..


Using the arrow on the keyboard allows a certain degree of freedom to navigate along a static XYZ axis. X being the horizontal of the screen, Y being the vertical of the screen, Z being perpendicular of the screen. Each press on the key equals 15 deg rotations.

Left and Right arrow turn around the Y axis

Up and Down arrow around the X

Shift + with any of the key rotate along Z

CTRL + up/Left arrow zoom in

CTRL + Down/Right  arrow zoom out


Spreading visualization functionalities among two hands allows a good workflow and helps to prevent too much load on a single hand/finger. Unless you need to extend keyboard functionalities by adding a 3D controller with shortcut key,  you will be able to make a nice travel using the ergonomy build inside SE.

Video for visualization tool is not the most thrilling of all but it will give you an idea.

Visualization video

QuickPick video

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