Copy & Mate by CTRL-Drag & Drop: SOLIDWORKS Tech Tip

You may know that you can copy a component in an assembly by doing a CTRL-drag and drop. You may also know that you can create mates with the SmartMate tool by doing an ALT-drag and drop.

But did you know you can copy a component and do SmartMates by doing a CTRL-drag and drop by dragging and dropping specific geometry?

To copy a part and SmartMate, simply drag the geometry of the part you want to copy and drop it to the geometry you want the copy to mate with. It’s just like doing a standard SmartMate operation but instead of mating the original part, you’re making and mating a copy that you drag. See an example below.

Holding CTRL, drag the pin by the edge you want to mate.


CTRL-drag the edge of the pin to the edge of the link to mate to.


Click the pin and select View Mates from the popup toolbar to confirm mates.



In our example, simply holding CTRL and dragging and dropping a pin by a circular edge to another circular edge results in a second pin and two mates, all done with one simple action! Sometimes it’s the little things that make a big difference; I hope this one makes a difference for you!


John SetzerThis blog is authored by John Setzer, GSC’s Training Product Manager. John discovered his love of teaching early in life. He worked his way through college as a youth coach, umpire, and referee before earning his bachelor’s degree in education. As Training Manager at GSC, he has been sharing his SOLIDWORKS wisdom with GSC customers ever since – over 20 years! John is a Certified SOLIDWORKS Expert (CSWE), a Certified SOLIDWORKS Instructor, and a Certified SOLIDWORKS Technician. As the only CSWE with a state certification in teaching, John is well-versed is teaching all types of learning styles. John is a regular contributor to the GSC blog, available at

GSC fuels customer success with 3D engineering solutions for design, simulation, data management, electrical schematics, PCB, technical documentation, and 3D printing, as well as the most comprehensive consulting, technical support, and training in the industry. As a leading provider of SOLIDWORKS solutions, HP, and Markforged 3D printing technologies, GSC’s world-class team of dedicated professionals have helped numerous companies innovate and increase productivity by leveraging advanced technologies to drive 3D business success. Founded in 1989, GSC is headquartered in Germantown, WI. For more information about GSC, please visit