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Keyboard shortcuts in the Solid Edge Interface


Keyboard shortcuts in the Solid Edge interface are a great way for experienced users to speed up getting through common tasks. When you’re able to use shortcuts, you can drastically simplify your on-screen interface, and save more space for graphics. The over-use of shortcuts, however, can be a hinderance for new users learning the software. This is one of the great things about Solid Edge – the software gives you a lot of options , and the interface definitely goes the distance in that respect.


shortcuts on mouse pad.png

I’ve mentioned before that as I was learning the software, I chose to use a customized theme, with the Pathfinder and CommandBar on the left, and the Prompt Bar across the bottom. interface.jpgPeople who are learning like me need more direct clues about the tools. But people like you who are already experts in the interface, well, you should be taking advantage of keyboard shortcuts in the Solid Edge Interface. And guys like me, well, we just try to learn all of this.


Keyboard shortcuts are so handy that reseller partner Ally PLM handed out mouse pads covered with Solid Edge shortcuts one year at Solid Edge University. I’ve still got this gem on my desk.

Where do you start with shortcuts? Well, all the standard Windows keys work in most situations:

  • Ctrl+S (save)
  • Ctrl+X (cut)
  • Ctrl+C (copy)
  • Ctrl+V (paste)
  • Ctrl+Z (undo)
  • Ctrl+Y (redo)
  • Ctrl+P (print)

View Manipulation:

  • Ctrl+T (top)
  • Ctrl+B (bottom)
  • Ctrl+R (right)
  • Ctrl+L (left)
  • Ctrl+F (front)
  • Ctrl+K (back)
  • Ctrl+I (isometric)
  • Ctrl+J (dimetric)
  • Ctrl+M (trimetric)

Mouse-based View Manipulation:

  • MMB or RMB+Ctrl+Drag (zoom)
  • MMB or RMB+Alt+Drag (zoom area)
  • MMB+double click or RMB+Alt (fit window)
  • MMB+Shift+drag or RMB+Ctrl+Shift+Drag (pan)

Keypoint selection – Hovering on a line segment and pressing one of the following shortcuts will jump the cursor to the nearest selection. This saves time and aids in accuracy (used when sketching):

  • M (midpoint)
  • I (intersection)
  • C (center)
  • E (endpoint)

For advanced Synchronous Edits, those of you using Live Rules might be familiar with the following shortcuts:live rules.jpg

  • R – Restore. Restores the default settings.
  • C – Maintain Concentric Faces
  • T – Maintain Tangent Faces
  • P – Maintain Coplanar Faces
  • S – Maintain Symmetry about Base Planes
  • X – Maintain Symmetry about XY Plane
  • Y – Maintain Symmetry about YZ Plane
  • Z – Maintain Symmetry about ZX Plane
  • Ctrl+Y – Local Symmetry
  • Ctrl+Shift+Q – Consider Reference Planes
  • Ctrl+Shift+W – Consider Sketch Planes
  • Ctrl+Shift+E – Consider Reference Systems
  • B – Lock to Base Reference
  • U – Suspend Live Rules
  • J – Relax Dimensions
  • V – Solution Manager

Second Row:

  • F – Save Relationships
  • L – Maintain Parallel Faces
  • G – Tangent Touching
  • D – Maintain Perpendicular Faces
  • A – Maintain Coplanar Axes
  • Q – Maintain Coplanar Axes in XY
  • W – Maintain Coplanar Axes in YZ
  • E – Maintain Coplanar Axes in ZX
  • Ctrl+A – Maintain Canted Coplanar Axes
  • M – Same Radius if Possible
  • O – Keep Orthogonal to Base
  • N – Relax Persistent Relationships

For these Live Rules, they are just like other tools in Solid Edge. You’re probably not going to need all of them, and you’re just going to remember the keyboard shortcuts for the ones you use. Start simple, and build. You might consider printing out this page, trimming the lists down and taping them to the sides of your monitor. Keeping them handy will help you memorize them.


As you use the software more and more, and become more and more expert, you will learn more and more keyboard shortcuts, and thus become much faster. A lot of people like the radial menus, but for speed, there is nothing as fast as keyboard shortcuts. I know, it’s a very 1980s type of interface design, but in this case it's one of those things that just works. It’s not immediately intuitive, but with familiarity comes efficiency, and it does save a lot of screen space and work time.


I have  an AllyPLM mouse pad and it's great, but Ctrl+D is wrong. Ctrl+J is dimetric and Ctrl+M is Trimetric. Look in the Views menu under the View tab and it will tell you. I use these all the time as a basis for an exploded view.


Whoa! you're right. I'll make the correction...

Siemens Phenom

Should have referenced the GTAC Newsletter article "Solid Edge Default Keyboard Assignments" which includes a handy dandy Excel spreadsheet listing *all* the keyboard assignments by environments Smiley Tongue



Gears Honored Contributor

1980s type of interface design - Matt, I'd say KB shortcuts are timeless and would never be out of fashion. They worked like charm when people anyway used the keyboard more than a mouse and KB shortcuts would be as much useful in future too when we would perhaps mostly be working with virtual keyboards.




Mouse in the right hand and left hand on the keyboard gives the best way to accomplish modeling faster. In the mid 1990s I was fortunate to have people like my first CAD instructor who 'taught' us how and where to place each finger of the hand on the keyboard and the mouse and made us literally practice these. He would move from desk to desk and made sure we got our posture with hands right before we learnt any modeling skills.


The Keyboard+Mouse is a killer combination and a natural extension to keyboard-only shortcuts. One of my favourite in Solid Edge is Alt + Right Click for Zoom Fit, the ultimate time-saver.


The document uk_dave mentions is by David C. Merritt and shows steps to list all currently assigned KB shortcuts environment-wise. Within the Word Doc is an embedded Excel that has all Solid Edge KB shortcuts listed for easy reference. Wow! thanks for the list.

However, Solid Edge these days also comes with a Print button on the customize dialog so you can print these and stick near your workstation for easy look-up.


Assigning new KB shortcuts in Solid Edge is just as easy in this Quick Video Tip


Gears Esteemed Contributor

@Tushar ,


Just an FYI..... @uk_dave is David C. Merritt.

Nice blog post & video by the way. 

Gears Honored Contributor

Ah, interesting ! Thanks Sean.


and equally interesting is why my full name, website, email, biography, etc. stays hidden from the community, tucked away under my profile. I anyway know most of this information and don't need a CAD community personal page to store it. There should at least be a preference switch so I can allow visibility to all or part of it.


Interesting post, many thanks.


Nonetheles I am still missing a short-cut to close the current file such as CTRL+Q and another one to update drawing views CTRL+U. I think that would help.


Sorry for my post, I should have read Tushar's post before.



Nice demo, many thanks that'll help.



is there a keystorke for "fit" other than double-click?