Drag, Hints and Selection-Boxes

Many mouse actions in MechDesigner are different to those in your CAD software.


These terms are the same:  'mouse-pointer' for 'mouse', 'cursor', 'mouse-cursor' and 'pointer'.
'Click' is 'Left-button-click' for the standard mouse setting.


Before you start a new command, click an empty place in the graphics area to complete some commands - especially when the model becomes large.

Drag + Add Element

We use 'Drag' to add different elements. For example: In the:

Mechanism-Editor: Add Part, to connect wires between Function-Blocks.
Part-Editor: Add Line ; Add CAD-Line ; Add Circle, Add Arc* ; Add Blend-Curve


Drag to add Elements:

a.Mouse-button down
b....move your mouse-pointer...
c....mouse-button up.

You may [usually not] need to:

d.Click in the graphic-area to complete your command.

Drag + Move Element

We use 'Drag' to move elements in the graphic-area.  For example: In the:

Mechanism-Editor: Move FBs, move Free-Parts or Completely Free Parts, ...
Part-Editor: Drag sketch-elements, drag dimensions, ...



drag to Move Elements:

a.Hover above an element so that the element becomes RED
b.Mouse-button down...
c....move your mouse-pointer ...
d....mouse-button up

You may [usually not] need to:

e.Click in the graphic-area to complete the command.

Keyboard Key + Drag



1.Click somewhere in the graphic-area to deselect all elements
2.CTRL+Drag the active view.


1.Click somewhere in the graphic-area to deselect all elements
2.SHIFT+Drag the active view.

See Keyboard shortcuts for different Spin Options

Drag to Add Sketch-element AND Merge-Points


To create a sketch-path you must 'Merge-Points' between adjacent sketch-elements that you want to join 'end-to-end'.

You can use the Merge-Points command, or use the following procedure:

In the Part-Editor, before you 'Mouse-Button-Down' and / or 'Mouse-Button-Up' to add a new sketch-element:

1.Move you mouse-point above a Point at the end of a sketch-element so that only the Point becomes RED [see image above]...
3....move your mouse...

The new sketch-element should now be in the graphic-area, and its start-Point is Merged with the end-Point of a different sketch-element.

To complete a sketch-loop, you must

1.Do Steps 1 and 2 above, and then...
2....while you move your mouse with its mouse-button-down, and BEFORE you mouse-button-up
3....move your mouse-pointer above a Point of a different sketch-element, such that a 'loop of sketch-elements' will result when you...

The 'sketch-loop' is complete.

Right-Click in Graphic-Area



When the Command-Manager is active...

If you have not selected all elements...

...Right-Click = Cross-16 to cancel the active command



If you have selected all the elements....

... Right-Click = OK-tiny-13-17 to complete the active command.



Right-click in the graphic-area

1.Cancels the active command
2.Shows the Mechanism-Editor contextual-menu next to the mouse-pointer

The image shows the Mechanism-Editor shortcut-menu, which will show next to your pointer.


Right-Click an element

1.Hover above an element until the element becomes red

- or -

1.Click an element

The element shows in the Selection-Window

2.Right-click in the graphic-area, but somewhere else!

The image shows the contextual-menu when you 'Hover+Right-Click' a Part.




1.Right-click cancels the active command, and
2.Right-click shows the Part-Editor menu next to the pointer

The image shows the Part-Editor shortcut menu. Add Arc is about to be selected.

The Edit Part command (top) is active. You can click this command to close the Part-Editor.



To show a contextually sensitive menu:

1.Hover above an Element so the element becomes red

- or -

1.Click an Element

The element shows in the Selection-Window.

2.Right-click in the graphic-area, but somewhere else!

Double-click an element to edit

See also: How to Edit an Element.

When you double-click an element, you open the dialog-box that is contextual to the element.


To edit a Part:

1.Double-Click a Part-Outline

The Part-Editor opens.


- or -

1.Double-Click a sketch-element that you have added to a Part previously

The Part-Editor opens.


To edit a Dimension in the Part-Editor:

1.If necessary, de-select the Add Dimension tool1s-red
2.Double-Click the arrowhead2s of a Dimension


To close the Part-Editor:

1.Double-Click the Y-axis* or a sketch-element (see image)

* The X-axis and the CAD-Line between the start-Point and end-Point of the Part are co-linear. Thus, it is difficult to double-click one element from the X-axis and the CAD-Line. Thus, you may open the CAD-Line dialog-box and not close the Part-Editor.


To edit Gear-Pairs or 2D-Cams

Best-Practice:  Use the Assembly-Tree or the Selection-Window to locate the Gear-Pair or 2D-Cam elements:

1.Double-click the Gear-Pair or 2D-Cam in the Assembly-Tree

- or -

1.Click the Gear-Pair or 2D-Cam in the graphic-area or Assembly-Tree
2.Right-click the Gear-Pair or 2D-Cam in the Selection-Window
3.Click 'Edit...' in the contextual-menu.


In the Assembly-Tree or Selection-Window

1.Double-click an element in the Assembly-Tree

- or -

1.Double-click the element in the Selection-Window

If it is possible to edit the element, MechDesigner opens the dialog-box to edit the element.

To stop 'Tool-Tips' showing next to your pointer:


Tool-tips [hints] can hide the tool and icon that you want to use.

To stop Tool-Tips showing next to your pointer:

1.Click Help menu >Toggle Hints (you may need to do this two times)

- or -

1.Clear Application Settings > Accessibility tab > 'Show Hints' check box


Tutorial and Reference Help Files for MechDesigner and MotionDesigner 13.2 + © Machine, Mechanism, Motion and Cam Design Software by PSMotion Ltd