Here are a few simple steps that I use to make my feature tree easy to navigate. This is not only beneficial to me if I want to go back and change my model down the road, but also for others who may need to edit my file. A clean and organized feature tree will save time in the long run and does not take much time on the front end.
For this tutorial, the model I used is of my Grabby and the sldprt file can be found here:
When creating any type of sketch, feature, or reference geometry in SolidWorks, the name that appears in the feature tree is a generic name with sequential number (Sketch55). If you are making a complicated model it can be hard to determine what sketch or extrude you want to use or change.
An easy way to keep track of these is to re-name as you make each sketch or feature. This will help you find what you are looking for when the time comes.
Like most things in SolidWorks (and In most things) there are more then one way to do this...
Start by left clicking on the generically named sketch. This will highlight and select this sketch.
(This can also be done for any feature or reference geometry)
Left click on it a second time (not a double click) it will change to where you can edit the name. Type in a new name that will help you recall what this feature or sketch is for and then press enter.
See Steps 4 & 5 for another option.
A different way this can be done is by right clicking the desired sketch or feature when it is already selected. This will bring up a drop down menu. From this menu select "Feature Properties..."
A menu will pop up where you can change the name that will appear in the feature tree.
The box below this allows you to also add a more detailed description of this feature. This could be very helpful to someone else looking at your files in the future.
It can be hard to name an individual feature or sketch as it may take a lot of different features to make a single piece of your part. A great way to keep things like this organized is to add a group of features to a folder.
Here I need to select the features that make up Grabby's arms. You can do this a few ways, one is to click on the top feature and then while holding the shift button while clicking on the last feature. In the image provided, I clicked to the right of the feature and dragged a box around the features I wanted to add to a single folder.
Here you can see that all of the features that make up his arms are selected.
If we right click on any part of the selection a drop-down menu will appear. Select "Add to New Folder" and the selected features will now be moved to a single folder.
This folder can now be renamed as mentioned in Steps 2 & 3 or Steps 4 & 5.
As you can see a fairly complex feature tree that takes up three pages can be reduced to a single page. This is much easier to navigate.
I hope you have found these tips useful and this will save you time in the future.