Mastering the Rotating Functions in SOLIDWORKS

By Matt Kokoski on

Here are a few tricks that every engineer should know about the rotation functions in SOLIDWORKS. We’ll take a look at steps to take that will help you be as efficient as possible when handling your model in 3D space. We’ll start by clicking and holding down the middle button to rotate an assembly, or part, and finish by taking a look at the rotating functions and formatting text within a design.

Rotate a Part or Assembly


rotate-part-with-edgeTo start, the wheel acts as a button. If I highlight a face in my model with the wheel and click and drag the part, the model rotates about that face. I can do the same with an edge. Highlight an edge and click on the wheel, and now I’m able to make my model pivot on that selected edge. This is a great way to move an assembly to get the best possible viewing angle. Another hidden setting that can be turned on for parts and assemblies is called Rotate About the Scene Floor. This slightly changes the behavior of the rotate function and acts as a great presentation tool when showing a design.

rotate-second-partSomething I would like to point out that is not part of the rotate command is that, if I have a second part within an assembly and click and drag that part with the left mouse icon, I can move and drag that part within the assembly. If I click and hold down with the right mouse button, I can now rotate that part independently of the rest of the components in the assembly.

Rotate Text

Now let’s take a look at creating and rotating text in SOLIDWORKS. When working with a sketch, I want to first add a line or an arc. Next, I want to navigate to Tools > Sketch Entities >Text and enter the text that I want to create in the left panel. Next, I will select the line or arc where I want to place the text. I can then proceed to format the text. To format the text, I can center it, mirror the text and also have the text appear on the top or bottom of the sketch line. I can also increase the spacing as well as rotate the individual text.


If I’m in a drawing, on the other hand, and I have a note inside of my drawing, the rotation for a text in the note is found in the Note Property Manager, a convenient way to rotate text in a drawing.


Rotating your assembly should be easy and smooth without impeding your design. Adding text and formatting should be just as smooth. With just a few clicks you can easily master the rotation functions in SOLIDWORKS and have more control when navigating through 3D space.


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