Applying colors to parts and assemblies in SolidWorks is not a difficult task, but one must be aware of the many levels at which color can be applied as well as what feature colors ‘overrule’ one another.
Colors can be applied to a part as a whole, or to many items within that part including FACES, FEATURES, BODIES and SKETCHES.
A part set to a specific color can also be overridden by the color setting for that part in any top level assembly that contains that part. This includes not only setting a part color in an assembly file different from the part color itself, but the assembly may also have a color setting that applies to ALL the parts within that assembly.
To access the Appearance Menu, right-click on any face of a part and select the Appearances icon. You can also click in the Appearances column in the Display Pane next to the feature you want to set or change.
** To apply a color to a SKETCH, right-click the sketch and select “SKETCH COLOR.”
You will see a hierarchy from top to bottom of FACE, FEATURE, BODY and PART. In an assembly, there is an additional top setting for PART COLOR IN THE ASSEMBLY.
*** This order from top to bottom is the ‘Overrule’ order.
Example: Color applied to a face overrules color applied to the whole feature containing that face.
Part Color Settings
Using the Display Pane, you can visualize where all of the colors are applied, as well as edit or remove the appearances.
In the part file shown below, the third column of the display pane is the Appearances. It visually shows where each color has been applied to the Part file.
• The Part is BLUE
• The Cylindrical Body is RED
• Sketch1 is GREEN
• The Boss, Extrude4 is ORANGE
• One face of Extrude4 is MAGENTA
Assembly Color Settings
In the image below, the same part is now shown in an assembly. Here, the color of the part is set to YELLOW as indicated by the triangle in the upper left corner of the Appearance next to the Part Name.
The Sketch Colors, if shown, are NOT overruled and remain the same throughout the file structure.
All Face, Feature, Body and Part Colors are overridden by the Assembly Color.
Right-click, CLEAR ALL TOP LEVEL OVERRIDES will NOT clear the assembly color setting from the Display Pane.
It will clear ALL Hide/Show Overrides, Part Color Overrides and Display Mode Overrides.
Hope you find this useful. Until next time,
Darin J. Grosser
Engineer – CSWE – Elite AE
DASI Solutions, LLC