SOLIDWORKS Electrical Time Saver Tips: Part 1

Part 1: Schematic 

Throughout my time training and implementing SOLIDWORKS Electrical with thousands of users at hundreds of companies, I’m always surprised to uncover new finds that I add to my toolbelt of timesaving tricks.  Check out some of my latest discoveries, as well as a few old favorite features you may not have known. 

1. Insert Connector or Connection Label Multi-Pin Select 

When using the Dynamic Connector or Dynamic Connection Label insertion you can choose multiple pins in the panel by using “CTRL” + Click, or by clicking and dragging your mouse over a series of pins in the list.  My preferred area to select is where the terminal number is listed and then drag up or down.  This saves time when selecting or unselecting a large number of pins to draw or hide.

2. Translate 

If you are needing multiple languages in a project, and need to provide your project texts to a translator, you can export a giant spreadsheet of all of your project’s texts, send the Excel file for population, then import it back in with the languages filled in. Now that your texts have the additional translated texts filled in, you can customize your reports or attributes to display. 

3. Open-Ended Wires 

If you use Wire Cabling Order or Nodal Indicators to set your wire origin destination information for an accurate wire list or 3D routing, removing a symbol from a wire used to reset the background wire list.  By Selecting “allow open ended wires” the wires keep their flow, saving you time by cutting down on rework.

4. Paste Library Data to Spreadsheet 

If you’ve wanted a way to get your library data like part, cable, symbol or other information into a spreadsheet, this quick video shows how simple it can be. 

Check out this video

5. Black Box Terminals 

If you are unfamiliar with black boxes, they are a quick and easy way to dynamically add symbols with connections into your project.    

Check out this blog

There are additional customizations available, you can include a wide range of attributes at each of your Black Box connection points by visiting and defining the vertical or horizontal Black box terminals in your Project Configuration’s “Text” tab. 

6. Keyboard Shortcuts  

Setting up your own keyboard shortcuts is often missed but easy to do.  When you’re doing some heavy duty drawing work, a few of your favorite commands bound to your keystrokes can save lots of time.  

Check out this video

7. Symbol Palette   

The Symbol Palette still gets overlooked as one of THE greatest time savers that new and long time users can take advantage of. Simply pick your favorite symbols to populate your palette.  Once there, either drag and drop or double click to place that symbol type. Double clicking is my preference as it allows the reorientation as I’m placing a symbol.  

Remember you can name your own symbol groupings in the panel and fill them up with thumbnails of your favorites. Also don’t forget, a symbol drawn on your pages can be added to the palette. Simply drag and drop onto your open panel. 

Finally, you can use the “Find” option to search and place your symbols as well if you prefer that to the traditional “Insert Symbol” command.   

Check out this video

8. OD Arrow Attributes   

In addition to the Origin Destination Arrow’s formula text, several attributes can be added to your “arrow” symbols to give your Origin Destination symbols more connection detail, making your drawings easier to interpret.  

Check out this video

 9. Component marking preference 

If you use Page/Row information when marking your components, you’ve noticed that the page you place your FIRST symbol for takes precedence when marking the component automatically.  If a different page has that same component illustrated at a later time, this may then require remarking the component in a method similar to this: 

Cut down on the amount of project mark reprocessing or individual component remarking by preferring the Schematic (Multiwire) symbol’s Page for marking over Line Diagram or vice versa.  Now when placing your symbol and reprocessing/updating the marks, if the Component tag refers to the page number, it will ONLY use the first on the proper page type.   

Check out Part 2 of this blog, here


Meet the Author

Evan Stanek

Evan has over 10 years of experience as an Electrical Applications Engineer. Prior to GSC, he worked as an engineer in the broadcasting field designing panel layouts and schematics/installations for transmitter control systems, as well as network and control layouts for radio studios. Evan is a certified SOLIDWORKS Electrical Trainer and Electrical Applications Engineer (CSWE).

view all posts by Evan Stanek

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