solidworks tipsIt’s one thing to have a 24″ or 30″ monitor to spread your work across, but when you’re working on a smaller monitor the toolbars and sidebars can take up half the screen. This little tip can change that and make a big difference in how you work.

Quick Usability
I like quick ways to get more usability. This is about as easy as it gets. If you hit F11 when you’re in SolidWorks you can toggle between Full Screen mode. Now, by default your Toolbars, FeatureManager and Taskbar are showing. If you hit F9 and F10 you can hide the FeatureManager and Toolbars, respectively. To hide the Task Pane and get the maximum possible reach, hit Ctrl-F1.

By the way
Once you set which ones you want to show up, SolidWorks remembers this the next time you toggle to full screen. You can easily toggle out, but if you like you can also hit Alt-Tab to switch between other programs. Most other programs also have a Full Screen mode. F11 is a fairly standard quick key for this. If that doesn’t work, it’s usually located in the View menu.

In SolidWorks 2008, working in Full Screen mode is even better. They’ve added a pop-up toolbar (Shortcut bar) you can activate with a quick key. I currently am not using the typical toolbars in 2008 at all.

Fun ways to use this

  1. To get maximum real estate for working on stuff
  2. To use in SolidWorks demos
  3. To use in product or design reviews
  4. To play a trick on someone that doesn’t know about it

Quick keys for Instant Space
F9 – FeatureManager Toggle
F10 – Toolbar Toggle
F11 – Full Screen Toggle
Ctrl-F1 – Task Pane Toggle

Full Screen Toggled Off

Full Screen Toggled On


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.