Hide Table of Contents

Appearances PropertyManager

Use the Appearances PropertyManager to apply colors, material appearances, and transparency to parts and assembly components. For sketches or curves only, use the Sketch/Curve Color PropertyManager to apply colors.

The Advanced tab includes the Illumination PM_Illumination_tab.gif and Surface Finish PM_Surface_Finish_tab.gif tabs, and additional options in the Color/Image PM_Color-Image_tab.gif and Mapping PM_Mapping_tab.gif tabs. To display the simplified Color/Image PM_Color-Image_tab.gif or Mapping PM_Mapping_tab.gif interfaces, click the Basic tab.

To display this PropertyManager:

In the DisplayManager, click View Appearances . Right-click an appearance and select Appearance.

Selected Geometry

For assemblies only:  
Apply at component level For entities that you select while this option is active, affects the assembly component in a specific display state. The subassembly and part documents do not change.
Apply at part document level For entities that you select while this option is active, affects the part document in a specific configuration.
For parts or assemblies applied at the part level:
Selected Entities Use Selection filters to select the type of geometric entity to which to apply mapping, then from the graphics area, select items to add to Selected Entities. Only one filter can be active at a time.
Remove Appearance Removes the appearance from the face, feature, body or part.


The following are available from the Advanced tab.
To adjust the transparency level of an appearance, set Transparent Amount on the Illumination tab.
PM_Color-Image_tab.gif Appearance file path Identifies appearance name and location.
  Browse Click to locate and select appearances.
  Save Appearance Click to save a custom copy of the appearance.


Add color to the document. The color is applied to the appearance listed in Selected Geometry under Selected Entities.

When the appearance uses an image file, select Color to display color options.
eye_dropper.png Dominant Color Click the color area to apply a color using the methods listed below.
If the material is a blend of colors (for example car paint), the preview displays both the Dominant Color eye_dropper.png and Secondary Color. Up to two color layers can be displayed.
PM_Create_New_Swatch.gif Create New Swatch Create custom swatches or add colors to predefined swatches:


Displays the standard color palette.


Displays greyscale values that you can add to the swatch.


Displays pastel color values that you can add to the swatch.

  Apply illumination Available when you select a legacy custom color swatch that includes illumination from the Create New Swatch drop-down list.

When checked, applies illumination properties from the custom color swatch to the current appearance, along with the RGB value of the swatch.

When cleared, only the RGB value of the swatch is applied to the current appearance.


Image only appears when the appearance you apply uses an image file.
Displays the image file

checker pattern2

PM_Image_file.gif Image file path Identifies image file name and location.
  Browse Click to locate and select appearances that use an image file.

Display States/Display States (linked)

The section name (Display States or Display States (linked)) and choices in the list reflect whether a display state is linked to the configuration.

This display state The changes you make are only reflected in the current display state.
All display states The changes you make are reflected in all display states.
Specify display states The changes you make are only reflected in the display states you select.

If no display states are linked to the configuration, all display states in the part or assembly are available for selection. If a display state is linked to the configuration, only that display state is available.

Provide feedback on this topic

SOLIDWORKS welcomes your feedback concerning the presentation, accuracy, and thoroughness of the documentation. Use the form below to send your comments and suggestions about this topic directly to our documentation team. The documentation team cannot answer technical support questions. Click here for information about technical support.

* Required

Subject:   Feedback on Help Topics
Page:   Appearances PropertyManager
*   I acknowledge I have read and I hereby accept the privacy policy under which my Personal Data will be used by Dassault Systèmes

Print Topic

Select the scope of content to print:


We have detected you are using a browser version older than Internet Explorer 7. For optimized display, we suggest upgrading your browser to Internet Explorer 7 or newer.

 Never show this message again

Web Help Content Version: SOLIDWORKS 2015 SP05

To disable Web help from within SOLIDWORKS and use local help instead, click Help > Use SOLIDWORKS Web Help.

To report problems encountered with the Web help interface and search, contact your local support representative. To provide feedback on individual help topics, use the “Feedback on this topic” link on the individual topic page.