A common occurrence in SOLIDWORKS is the need to select entities that are hidden behind other entities. Rotating the model is always an option but sometimes it can be laborious and time-consuming. We have two ways to easily hide the faces that are in the way.
Select Other Command
One is the Select Other command. This command works in parts and assemblies. Hover over a face in the graphics area that is hiding other entities, right-click and choose Select Other. That face is now hidden. If there are other faces still in the way, continue hovering over the faces and right-clicking.
For example, this sketched slot needs to be cut into the part. The depth is inconsequential. What’s important is that there’s a specific amount of stock to be left from the bottom of the slot to the bottom of the part. Extrude a cut with the Offset from Surface option, right-click on a face we want to hide (I’ll select the front face), choose Select Other from the menu and then pick the bottom face.
Keyboard Shortcut: Alt Key
In addition to the Select Other command there’s a keyboard shortcut (the Alt key) that has been pre-defined to hide faces when mating parts in an assembly. It’s only available when in the mate command.
For example, I want the bottom of the rectangular part to be coincident to the highlighted face. After starting the mate command, hover over one of the faces that are in the way (I’ll hover over the right end), hit the Alt key, and then pick the bottom face.
When you get used to either Select Other or using the Alt key when mating, it will make selecting hidden faces much easier and faster.