FeatureManager Design Tree Conventions

The FeatureManager design tree on the left side of the SOLIDWORKS window provides an outline view of the active part, assembly, or drawing.

The FeatureManager design tree uses the following conventions:

Displays before an item's icon and indicates that the item contains associated items. Click to expand the item.
To collapse all expanded items at the same time, click Shift+C, or right-click the document name at the top of the tree and click Collapse Items.
Displays before features, parts, and assemblies if a change requires a rebuild of the model.
Displays after the part name if the parts are frozen by the freeze bar.
Displays while a drawing view updates.


Sketches are preceded by:

(+) Over defined
(–) Under defined
(?) Sketch cannot be solved
No prefix Fully defined

Errors and Warnings

Errors and warnings display before the part, feature, and sketch icons. The What's Wrong? dialog box and tooltips describe the errors and warnings.

Error in the model
Error with the feature
Warning underneath the node
Warning with the feature

Issues Indicator for Folders

A prefix (-) appears next to the folder name to indicate if the folder has components with some issues.

In parts, the prefix indicates that some features have underdefined sketches or missing references. In assemblies, the prefix indicates that some components are underconstrained.

The prefix also appears if subfolders contain features or components that have these issues.


In an assembly, each instance of the component is followed by a number in angle brackets <n> that increments with each occurrence.

Positions of assembly components are indicated by:

(+) Over defined
(–) Under defined
(?) Not solved
(f) Fixed (locked in place)

Assembly mates are preceded by:

(+) Involved in over defining the position of components in the assembly
(?) Not solved

Prefixes show in a folder name when the folder contains over defined components, under defined components, and only fixed components.

(+) Contains at least one over defined component.
(–) Contains at least one under defined component.
(f) Contains only fixed components.

If a folder contains a component that is not fixed, the fixed prefix does not show in the folder name.

External References

For the state of external references, the following symbols display after the name of the part or feature:

–> External reference
-> * Locked external reference
-> x Broken external reference
To hide the x symbol, click Tools > Options > System Options > External References and clear Show "x" in feature tree for broken external references.
-> ? Out-of-context external reference
{->} Feature contains a sketch with external references
->{->} Feature has an external reference and a sketch with an external reference
{-> *x?} Feature contains sketches with external references in multiple states

Examples of external reference symbols:

Feature that contains a sketch with external references. Feature that has an external reference and contains a sketch with an external reference. Feature that contains sketches with external references in multiple states.