You may think that breadcrumbs have two purposes:  breading for fried meat and causing ducks to dance with joy. SOLIDWORKS, however, is adding a third reason to get excited about breadcrumbs.

Among the many UI enhancements being offered in SOLIDWORKS 2016 is a new tool called "Selection Breadcrumbs".  In short, this is a significant expansion on the Context Toolbars that have been around for a while now. In parts and assemblies, when you make a selection in the graphics window, you will be greeted with a host of items that will pop up above your cursor:


Breadcrumbs With Context ToolbarThe icons represent the hierarchical chain of entities from the item you selected up through the top-level document. With minimal effort, you can access a wide range of features.

In the example to the right, a component in an assembly was selected, which allows the user to access such disparate features as the mate definitions and the details used to define the revolve feature.

This puts more information in your graphics area than ever before and that's a very good thing.

For example, here are two screenshots that were taken from a SOLIDWORKS tester doing two identical sets of operations in an assembly, once in SOLIDWORKS 2015 and once in SOLIDWORKS 2016, using Breadcrumb Selection and a few other handy new techniques:

Mouse travel in solidworksBreadcrumb Selection is a major contributing factor to the differences in those pictures, particularly when you notice the difference in the mapped mouse movement. Notice how much less the user needs to refocus their eyes (eye fatigue is a thing), and can instead focus on the model itself.  Very cool!