Tips to Make SOLIDWORKS Easier to See


Written by: Joseph Richter, Application Engineer

There are many reasons for improving visibility in SOLIDWORKS. For example, if you wear glasses or if you’re giving a presentation in SOLIDWORKS.

There was a recent, ala 2016, major adjustment to the SOLIDWORKS interface. The Icons were vectorized to allow for the scaling necessary for display on 4K monitors, so interface elements could be seen clearly. Another adjustment at the same time was the colors to the interface (based on enhancement requests to accommodate color blind users, which if this affects you check out

In order to adjust the icon colors and background brightness, please see this tip on Classic colors return. As a Certified SOLIDWORKS Instructor, I use the following settings in my classroom that I am recommending to you.

My recommended SOLIDWORKS settings are:

  1. Set larger icons for easier identification under Tools/Customize/Toolbar Tab, select the Large icons.Customize SOLIDWORKS Interface
  2. Make your previews pop on screen, as the default yellow can be hard to see, from Tools/Options/Colors> Temporary graphics, and ‘Temporary graphics, shaded’, select the color:
    SOLIDWORKS Icon Color Customization
  3. When using “Shaded with Edges” display mode, know at a glance if the faces of a model are tangent by adjusting Tools/Options/Display/Selection: Part/Assembly tangent edge display, select the option As Phantom.


My recommended Windows 10 Settings:

  1. From a Right Click on the Windows Desktop, you can select ‘Display Settings’, and the resolution can be adjusted to your preference. However, more importantly on this same dialog, there is another option called ‘Scale and layout’; that allows you to adjust the scale of the screen fonts. So, for Windows and every program in Windows, all text fonts shown larger for menus and pull downs regardless of your screen resolution.
    Windows 10 Display Settings for SOLIDWORKS
  2. To make your mouse cursor stand out, I recommend making it large and choosing the black color. Find this setting from the Mouse Properties Pointers Tab; also adjust the Mouse Pointer options to ‘Show Mouse Cursor when you hit control’.
    Mouse Cursor Properties for SOLIDWORKS

There are a few color settings for Windows 7 that I recommend for you to change: the colors for the current Selection, and ‘3D Objects’ for the parent selection.

Windows 7 Settings

However, in more modern Windows*(8&10), these setting are no longer available. So, you only have a few options.

Classic Color Panel

In order to use the Classic Control Panel, colorclassic.exe, you will need permissions or rights to run *.exe files on your computer (make sure you download the correct one from that website at the bottom of the page).

Classic Colors in Windows

Also, you will need to know which interface element you want to change (Button Face) and the RGB value for the color if you want to match something specific (I recommend Color Cop and Adobe Color CC.

This same RGB formula information is necessary for editing the Registry, however please note that editing the registry is dangerous and should only be done by qualified individuals.

WARNING: Be extremely careful in this registry editor; if you delete or change something you can corrupt your computer. Make certain you know keys you are editing. If you are not sure about how to proceed, please call technical support or contact your IT department.


Color panel

Disclaimer: I have used registry keys in the past to adjust this color for Windows 8&10, however the colors do not seem to remain persistent as when my computer hibernates or goes into screen saver, the color changes to the ‘Button Face’ are reverted to windows default(grey). Therefore, I recommend saving a custom Windows theme and applying it when needed for using SOLIDWORKS or when giving a presentation. Otherwise, you may have to keep adjusting these colors over and over again in order to use them.


One Response to Tips to Make SOLIDWORKS Easier to See

  1. Mostly helpful. Still see some menues and features overlap but very minimal.

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