solidworks tipsA while back SolidNotes had a post that talked about the Select through transparency option. I thought it was interesting and didn’t have this blog up at the time, so I’d thought I’d write on it now. This tip will allow you to get some better performance and allow you to do some things you would otherwise not be able to do.

What to do…
If you’re use to selecting through things when they are transparent, I’m going to ask you to do something you may think is slightly insane. On the System Options Tab under Display/Selection there’s a tricky little checkbox guy called Enable selection through transparency. Yeah, turn that sucka OFF.

“But how will I select my edges and my vertices and my edges…and…and…!! Nooooo!!!”

Calm down.
The System Resources that option is using up might be getting to your head and that’s exactly what we’re trying to prevent. Ya see, that option is chewin’ on your computer resources like a teething Mastiff puppy. Look here.

solidworks transparency

“But… how will I select my edges and my vertices and my edges…and…and…!!!”
ok, my goodness. When you are working in SolidWorks and your making things transparent and need to select through it, all you need to do is…

  1. extend your hand toward the computer screen
  2. curl all but your index finger under your palm
  3. add some wrist twisting action for effect
  4. push down the SHIFT KEY

Yes, you’re not seeing things, the crowd is in awe as you have magically selected through whatever you’re over by simply holding down the Shift key.

So, Why is this good?

  • Consumes less resources
  • You can select transparent stuff
  • You can drop library features on transparent stuff
  • Editing top down is less cumbersome
  • You can listen to music and have your email open while working

Josh is founder and editor at, founder at Aimsift Inc., and co-founder of EvD Media. He is involved in engineering, design, visualization, the technology making it happen, and the content developed around it. He is a SolidWorks Certified Professional and excels at falling awkwardly.