How to hide the Display State name in SOLIDWORKS

Many SOLIDWORKS users don’t use¬†Display States. So showing their name clutters up the user interface.

Luckily, you can hide the display state names in the feature tree / FeatureManager.

But the method has changed over the years, so I thought I’d share what I just found.

In this blog post, you’ll find

  1. How to hide Display State names in SOLIDWORKS 2021 and older
  2. How to hide Display State names in SOLIDWORKS 2022 and 2023
    1. The meaning of three dots in Windows menus
  3. Display States are great for performance

1. How to hide Display State names in SOLIDWORKS 2021 and older

The steps are pretty straightforward in these versions:

  1. Activate the FeatureManager panel, the tree panel on the left
  2. Right-click the root assembly component
  3. Expand Tree Display
  4. Toggle Show Display State Names

how to hide display states in solidworks 2021

According to the documentation, this method works in SOLIDWORKS 2017 to SOLIDWORKS 2021.

2. How to hide Display State names in SOLIDWORKS 2022 and 2023

SOLIDWORKS made a strange change in SOLIDWORKS 2022. Maybe they thought the Tree Display menu got too long?

So from now on, not all items in the Tree Display are toggles. One of them opens another settings window! That’s not intuitive at all.

  1. Activate the FeatureManager panel, the tree panel on the left
  2. Right-click the root assembly component
  3. Expand Tree Display
  4. Click¬†Component Name and Description…

how to hide display states in solidworks 2022

Which opens this window:

how to hide display states in solidworks 2022

I’m pretty happy with the design of this window, even though I needed DuckDuckGo to learn about its existence. The window shows the structure (Primary, Secondary, Tertiary) of a component name in an assembly and it shows a preview with your selected options, which is always helpful.

Here is the official documentation on this window.

2.1. The meaning of three dots in Windows menus

If you look carefully, there are three dots in name of the menu item we clicked last:

how to hide display states in solidworks 2022

These are there to show you that clicking it opens a window. The three ellipses are actually mentioned in the Microsoft Design Basics, which I already learned and forgot once before. They have been there for decades.

windows ellipses in menu

3. Display States are great for performance

Even if you don’t use Display States right now, you better start using them. Because your assemblies (and your drawings) will get faster.

The use cases for configurations vs Display States:

  • Use configurations for models with similar, but different geometry.
  • Use Display States for models that have the same geometry, but look different.

So if you are not changing geometry, you should not create a configuration!

In assemblies, each part and subassembly is called a component. With Display States, you can control:

  1. The visibility of components
  2. The display mode of components
  3. The appearance of components
  4. The transparency of components

To learn how to make your SOLIDWORKS models faster, check out my ebook Secrets to SOLIDWORKS performance.