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SolidWorks is a configurable environment, so if your tool bars don't look exactly the same as mine or one of your coworkers, don't worry. Almost all the tools in solid works are available in multiple ways. At the very top of the screen, you can see we have what's called the ribbon bar. The ribbon bar stores most of your most common tools that you're going to be working with. We also have these little tabs at the bottom of the screen here or the bottom of the ribbon at least called feature, sketch and if I click on the next little tab, it'll change the ribbon to the available tools in that pallet. So notice I've got sheet metal, evaluate, office products and I can have a lot more.
First off, what I can do if I right click on them. Any one of these tabs. These little fly-up window will pop up and it'll show me all the available tool pallets that I can actually have in a ribbon. So notice if I turn on services, it's just going to add one more little tab at the bottom. Right click again, mole tools. It's just going to add mole tools. If you don't want those, go ahead and, just go ahead and turn those off. And so we don't see them. I don't really want to have a ton of different pallets open or tabs open because it's just going to make it more complicated, and a lot of these things we really don't need. So let's go on here and turn office products off, and we'll turn off sheet metal as well.
So all we really need is features, sketch, and evaluate. The 3 most common tool pallets we're going to be using and it makes it really simple to use. If you're getting better in SolidWorks, you want more, just go ahead and turn them on. Okay. Also at the top, the ribbon, we can dock. One really common error for new users of Solidworks is to accidentally undock the ribbon bar. This is done by clicking anywhere up here and dragging it off of the top of the screen and notice it becomes this floating menu that's going to be placed anywhere in the screen. If I click on it and I move my curser around, you'll notice I get these 3 different icons.
One on the right, one on the top, and one on the left which are places where I can redock that tool bar too. . So if I click over here, I can dock the ribbon on the left. If I want to drag it back out, just click and drag I can dock it over here on the right. Again click, drag, again you can drag it back out and I can drag it right back out up to the top of the screen So, any of those places are completely fine. Place to put the ribbon. You can even put it on a separate screen if you have that. Anyway you want to work, it's really okay. Next, let's take a look at how we can modify the ribbon bar to put the tools in the pallets we'd really like to use the most.
We're going to always start most of our drawings with sketches, so let's go ahead and take a look at what's available in there right now. And if I want to change this, right click, come down here to Customize Command Manager. Inside the customized command manager, I've got the various tool bars I can turn on, I've got shortcut bars, I've got commands, and that's what we're looking for here, is commands. Notice there's a ton of different commands all in different categories. I'm going to come down to Sketch, and these are all the available sketch tools which I can place into the sketch pallet. Notice, there's quite a few more tools here than there are up here in the pallet.
One of the most common tools I use is this center line tool, and notice I already have it up here. But if I didn't want that, just click on it and drag it back over to the pallet. It takes it out. If you want to add that back in, grab the center line tool, drag it over to where you'd like to place it, and let go. Just places it into the tool pallet and it's available from then on. Also take a look at some of these other really neat tools that are available only in this tool pallet. And if you want to use them in the future, like for instance the sketch picture, grab it, drag it up here, and it'll be in that tool pallet from then on. When you're happy with what you have, go ahead and click OK.
And, we're back to the environment. I also want to point out how to turn on individual tool pallets. If I right click anywhere in the gray area up here. Notice, I get all the different tool pallets I can turn on. One of the most common ones, I like to use is the one called Tools. Click on Tools. It shows up to the tool pallet. And again, that can be docked at the top of the screen. The right side of the screen. The bottom of the screen. Or the right side of the screen, or, just let it float around. Notice the tool pallet's actually very similar to the evaluate pallet, so really I don't need it quite as much now. So, I'm going to go ahead and turn that off.
But, if you find some pallets you are going to be using, and you want quick access to those tools, go ahead, turn 'em on, dock 'em, or place 'em somewhere in your environment that makes it really easy to get at those tools in the future. When you're happy with it, you can also close these down, and back to the user environment. The ribbon bar is a very helpful interface for getting tools quickly and with less clutter on your desktop. You can modify it with your favorite tools and dock it in one of the 3 locations to suit your layout needs.
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