If you’ve been using SolidWorks 2008 for any length of time, you’ll notice that the RealView setting, along with other view settings, are front and center on that dang on-screen toolbar.

Do you like that toolbar?
I know there’s lots of opinions both ways about it. I actually don’t mind it too much. For one, It’s never once been in the way of my work, and two, I have it completely turned off… except for the Apply Scene button for RealView. Looks a bit silly, but I can’t find a flyout anywhere to add to my shortcut bar (S).

I’m lovin’ the Glow
If I remember correctly, RealView is on and has the Light Cards scene applied by default. Real View is what makes faces and edges glow really pretty like when you select them (thanks for the correction Brian). I have no idea what the term light card means, but I like that scene the best. I don’t have the best graphics card, but using RealView makes my job easier in ways I really like… and people… it makes things glow. Glowing stuff = cool… or something you catch on a warm summer night and smear across the wall. (poor lightning bugs. you’re so mean.) Here’s a RealView quick tip and a bit more.

Real View Glowing Quick Tip
To change the color of your glow, or Dynamic Highlighting, go to Tools, Options, System Options, Colors. Pick Selected Item 1 from the list and choose your favorite color. That controls the color of the glow and the amount of oohs and ahhhs you will get from the crowd forming around you.

Ways you can use that Real View Glow
I’m eager to hear how you use it or scenes in general to make your work life an absolute dream. Here’s some of the things I use it for.

  • Training
    Really useful to help get use to 3D space and your selections just show up better on screen.
  • Design Review
    Can save A LOT of explaining. You can show how items overlap or where wires, pipes or tangent faces run.
  • Alignment
    Makes it easier to see if hardware is lined up or if holes and edges are located where they need to be.
  • Top-down design
    External faces glow when you click them. That is real handy. It’s just plain easier to pick and convert.

So, these are just a few things. There’s probably even more useful ways to use this and if you haven’t tried it, give it a go.


Josh is founder and editor at SolidSmack.com, 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.