If you overslept or forgot to feed your hairless cat the past couple weeks, you may have missed the newest SolidWorks Service Pack (SP) that not only fix’z a bit o’ broke stuff, but also give you a handy new feature. In fact it was #4 Enhancement Request from users this year.

Charles Culp discovered it and posted in the SolidWorks forums about it. What is it? The ability to rename your Configurations… while it’s reference by an open assembly.

Ya like? Here’s what you’ll see.

When you change a SolidWorks Configurations name…
You’ll see this, when you smile, switch back to the assembly, and GASP…


Don’t worry. You usually see this when a Config is deleted or prior to SP2.0, renamed when any referencing assembly was closed, then opened. Fortunately, since you’ve only renamed it, the same Config will be used. See, no worries.

Does it work with Configs driven by Design Table?
Absolutely. These work a little different anyway. When you change a Config name in a design table and close the table, it creates a new Config. Your old one is still there. This actually brings up another question….

Can you delete a Config that is referenced by an open assembly?
If you can change the name, you should be able to delete it, yeah? Nope, not really. This is a good thing, I would think. Although, I could see the logic of wanting to delete configs and have them automatically reassign to the next Config. Regardless, you can’t delete the Config, only rename it.

Another Configuration Feature
Perhaps another feature that’s been there since 2005, but when you select an inactive Config, you can activate it with the Enter key. I don’t remember it that way prior to 08. I’ve never been a big ‘Enter’ type user either.

Whatcha think? SolidWorks seems to be aware of what users are asking for. The 3 enhancements above this one?

  1. Increase program stability
  2. Clear memory when file is closed
  3. Backwards compatibility

What do you want to see next? I imagine there’s at least one more SP in the works for 2009.


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.