If you are using more than 10 different Hotkeys on a regular basis in Solidworks or Mastercam I would not blame you for speed reading through this blog post.
However if you are a Mastercam Hotkey user I would pay attention to the part 2 of this blog post. because I might just introduce you to a couple of Hotkeys that might just make your day.
If you do not use Hotkeys on a regular basis, then you might want to take 5 min. and continue reading.
Hotkeys are keyboard shortcuts, and most window based programs are capable of using standard Hotkeys. Windows XP has plenty, here is a list Windows Hotkeys.
So why should we pay attention to use them in the CAD/CAM world? There are 2 main reasons.
1) Speed, think about it, if you are one of those people who are “Aim, Point, mouse click” for every thing you do, then your left hand are in your lap while 104 keys on your keyboard are untouched.
2)Your health, if you have made it to a position where you use a computer more that 4 hours a day the statistic is that you are going to increase the use of a computer every year until retirement, you are going to put a lot of wear and tear on the mouse clicking hand.
Here is my trick, when I am working along and I think “Wow I just used that feature 2 sec ago” I know it is time to setup a Hotkey, and both Mastercam and Solidworks has some pretty easy tools to do this, the trick is when you setup a Hotkey to have a word document where you quickly can added the code, then you can print it out and tape it to the edge of the monitor, and maybe also take 30 sec to see if you could clear out some space by might delete an old Hotkey you have not use in a couple of weeks.
Lets start with Solidworks.
Go to customize.
1)Click tap for keyboard.
2)Make sure “Only show commands with shortcuts assigned” is NOT checked
3)Type in you new Hotkey
4) Just want to point out that you can have more than one Hotkey assigned for the same function.
I also want to point out that if you purchase something like a SpaceNavigator from 3DConnexion you will need to use Hotkeys to customize the programmable buttons.
Now this is a little different than Solidworks.
1)You need to pick your Category
2)Pick the function icon you want to add your Hotkey to.
3)Type in you new Hotkey
4)Also here like in Solidworks you can have more than one Hotkey assigned
5)And just make sure you save it, forget it and you have to do it over.
You really need to do yourself the favor and play around with Hotkey’s if you haven’t, its a little like learning a 7 year old what hand you hold the fork, it takes some practice, but down the road it will pay off big time.
Part 2 is coming up in a few hours.