SOLIDWORKS 2019: System Options & Document Properties

Categories // What's New In SOLIDWORKS

What's New in SOLIDWORKS 2019

With every new release of SOLIDWORKS, changes are made to the System Options and Document Properties. This can range from an addition of a new setting, a simple change to an existing setting, or the complete removal of a setting. In this tech blog I will discuss the changes made to the System Options and Document Properties tabs in SOLIDWORKS 2019. Where possible I will provide a comparison between SOLIDWORKS 2018 and the new SOLIDWORKS 2019 release. I will give a brief explanation of what the option does, where applicable. I’ve also broken this down into two specific sections, one section for System Options and one for Document Properties, just to make the information easier to consume. It’s worth mentioning that System Options had quite a few more changes than Document Properties in this release.


System Options

The first area to discuss is the System Options > General, which can be seen in Figure 1 below, comparing SOLIDWORKS 2018 to SOLIDWORKS 2019 respectively.

New in SOLIDWORKS 2019 is the ability to have up to 100 documents shown in the recent documents tab, and to customize a specific number of recent documents the user wants to see. There has also been a checkbox to “include documents opened from other documents”. For example, if the user opens a part (.sldprt) from an assembly (.sldasm), then that part will appear in the recent documents instead of just the assembly. If this is important then the user can check this box, but it will further clutter up the recent tab. The final addition to this section is the option to allow cosmetic threads for upgrade. This option must be turned on to allow the ability to manually upgrade the threads in the model. The user must still go to the legacy model and right-click the top item in the Feature Manager design tree and select the option to upgrade cosmetic thread features.


Figure 1: SOLIDWORKS 2018 vs. 2019 System Options - General


Second, in SOLIDWORKS 2019, there has been an addition of a System Option for Model Based Definition (MBD) (Figure 2). The option that has been added allows the editing of templates for 3D PDFs that are used to create the 3D PDF files for showcasing the MDB Product Manufacturing Information (PMI).


Figure 2: SOLIDWORKS 2019 System Options – MBD


Next,the System Options Display tab has had three new additions as shown below in Figure 3.

Two of the options are to enable the display of scroll bars in parts, assemblies, and drawings. When these are checked the user will see scroll bars on the side and bottom of the screen like how Microsoft Word operates. 

The option to show breadcrumbs at the mouse pointer is a big one in my opinion. When the user selects an item, the breadcrumbs appear right at your mouse pointer whereas, previously, they would appear up in the left corner of the view window. This is huge time-saver when it comes to mouse travel. I will be turning this option on immediately.


Figure 3: SOLIDWORKS 2019 System Options – Display


Next, the performance tab where the option for “no preview during open” has been removed. Shown in Figure 4 below you can see the option is now removed from SOLIDWORKS 2019.  


Figure 4: SOLIDWORKS 2018 vs. 2019 System Options – Performance


Another addition in the external references section is the option to include subfolders for drawings in a Pack and Go (Figure 5). If this option is cleared, the software limits its search to the folders of the packaged models and folders that have been specified in the referenced documents section.


Figure 5: SOLIDWORKS 2019 System Options – External References


There has been a new addition to the dropdown of the file locations menu: Default Save Folder. I really like this one because now you can specify a default folder to use when working on a project, so you don’t have to browse to find the folder that is needed. When a user saves a new file, it automatically goes into the default save folder specified. I’ve created a folder named “default save folder for SOLIDWORKS” (shown in Figure 6). If the user leaves this unspecified, then the default folder varies based on the last used folder.     


Figure 6: SOLIDWORKS 2019 System Options – File Locations


The Feature Manager section (Figure 7has also had a few additions, specifically “Edit name with slow double-click” and a section for a Markups dropdown list

The option to edit name with a slow double-click is giving the option to remove a capability that has been in SOLIDWORKS. When this box is unchecked, the ability to rename with the double-click method is removed, but F2 can still be used to rename features. 

The markups dropdown has the options the show markups automatically, hide them, or show them. The markups can be created for parts and assemblies using sketching tools.  


Figure 7: SOLIDWORKS 2019 System Options – FeatureManager


The Touch section of the system options has a new option added in 2019: “Automatically pop up selection tool while hunting for precise location” (Figure 8). This section of the system options pertains to using SOLIDWORKS with touch enabled devices. This option is straightforward, while sketching an entity, if the user holds their finger on the screen around an area for some time, the selection tool appears around their finger.  


Figure 8: SOLIDWORKS 2019 System Options – Touch


An option to “Lock rotation of new concentric mates to toolbox components has been added to the Hole Wizard/Toolbox section of the system options (Figure 9). When this box is checked and new toolbox hardware is added, the concentric mate will automatically lock the rotation. The option to lock the rotation of concentric mates was available before, but this option is specific to toolbox components. This can also still be done manually by right-clicking and selecting the lock concentric rotation option in the FeatureManager design tree.  


Figure 9: SOLIDWORKS 2019 System Options – Hole Wizard/Toolbox


A few new file types have been added to the file format drop down of the Export section. In SOLIDWORKS 2019, the option to export to the PLY format has been added along with the customization options shown in Figure 10. This file format was not previously available in past releases for export.  


Figure 10: SOLIDWORKS 2019 System Options – Export: PLY


Also in the Export tab, a new option called “SLDPRT from assembly” has been added. This option allows for specific export settings to be determined by the user when saving an assembly as a part. The options available for this method are visibility threshold, bounding box volume less than, fastener components, and mass properties as shown in Figure 11.    


Figure 11: SOLIDWORKS 2019 System Options – Export: SLDPRT from assembly


While users were previously able to export to an SMG format, which is the format that SOLIDWORKS Composer uses, two new options have been added to that existing capability, shown in Figure 12. The option to “Export the SOLIDWORKS assembly envelope” - if the assembly contains envelopes - has been added. Tying more products to MBD, now SMG files can be exported with the PMI using the checkbox to “Export SOLIDWOKS PMI.  


Figure 12: SOLIDWORKS 2019 System Options – Export: SMG


As you can see, significant changes have been made to the system options and it’s good to be aware of these changes. If you get used to an option in an old release and it’s removed from future releases, that is good to know. It’s also advantageous to know when more capability is added to something that gets used frequently in your organization.  


Document Properties 

The System Options control the overall settings for SOLIDWORKS, but the Document Properties control options specific to the files themselves. It is worth noting that the user must have a file open within SOLIDWORKS to access the Document Properties, whereas the System Options can be accessed without any files open.  

In SOLIDWORKS 2019, there are a few changes to the Document Properties that you should be aware of.

First, the Tables > Bill of Materials section has removed the options “Do not add QTY next to configuration name” and “Do not copy QTY column name from template”. These options have been replaced by extra options in the three sections for “Top level only BOM”, “Parts only BOM”, and “Indented BOM”. Two options have been added to each of these categories, “Show custom text in BOM header” and “Show configuration in BOM header”. If these options are checked, the Quantity column of the BOM is replaced with user-specified custom text and/or an additional configuration names added to the header of the Quantity column.

The difference between SOLIDWORKS 2018 and 2019 is shown in Figure 1. 


Figure 1: SOLIDWORKS 2018 vs. 2019 Document Properties – Tables>BOM


A new option to “Combine cut list items in BOM regardless to profile when lengths are changed to be same” has been added to the BOM section as well. This option controls how cut list items are grouped in the BOM when the user changes their lengths to be the same.  If the box is checked, SOLIDWORKS combines the same length cut list items even if they have different profiles, which is what was done in previous releases. If the checkbox is cleared, SOLIDWORKS combines only those same length cut list items with identical profiles and the cut list items with different profiles remain separate, even if their lengths are changed to be the same.  

A new Sheet Metal MBD section has also been added to the Document Properties. In this section, the user can control color, line type, and other various options for sheet metal items. The new section in its entirety is shown in Figure 2 below.


Figure 2: SOLIDWORKS 2019 Document Properties – Sheet Metal MBD


The Sheet Metal section has a new addition called “Use sheet metal parameters from material”. This option specifies whether new sheet metal bodies inherit sheet metal parameters defined in the material applied to existing sheet metal bodies. This new option location is shown in Figure 3 below.  


Figure 3: SOLIDWORKS 2019 Document Properties – Sheet Metal


Like the System Options, there have been some changes to the Document Properties that may or may not be important to your specific use cases. It’s good to be aware of these changes so you know where to change things if they are moved or if something that now benefits you has been added.