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Introducing SolidWorks

Online User’s Guide

The Online User’s Guide is the traditional Help file. You can use either the Index or Search capabilities to find what you are looking for. The Online User’s Guide contains screen captures and animations, sample files, and even a separate API (programming) help file. Frankly, it is not incredibly detailed, and often skips over important facts like what you might use a certain function for, or what the interface looks like, or even where you might find the command in the first place. The SolidWorks documentation is set to get some upgrades, so it remains to be seen if this is really an improvement or not. Meanwhile, this SolidWorks Bible fills in most of the gaps in information about the standard version of the software.

Tip of the Day

SolidWorks Tip of the Day is displayed at the bottom of the SolidWorks Resources tab of the Task Pane. Cycling though a few of these or using them to quiz coworkers can be a useful skills-building exercise.

Hardcopy documentation

Hardcopy documentation has regrettably dwindled from all software companies. Software manu- facturers often claim that keeping up with the changes in print is too much work and inefficient. Still many users prefer to have a physical book in their hands, to spread out on the desk next to them; to earmark, highlight, and mark with post-its; and take notes in, as evidenced by you hold- ing this book at this moment. Hardcopy documentation has an important role to play in the dis- semination of information, even in a highly dynamic electronic age. The following items are still provided in hardcopy format.

n The Quick Start pamphlet acts as a rough outline for issues from installation to getting help. It is approximately ten pages and contains information that complete new users need to know.

n The Quick Reference Guide is a fold-out card that has reminders of some of the symbols displayed in the FeatureManager and other locations, as well as some of the default hot- keys and customization options.

Identifying SolidWorks Documents

SolidWorks has three main data type files. However, there are additional supporting types that you may want to know if you are concerned with customization and creating implementation standards. Table 1.1 outlines the document types.

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