Understanding the user interface.

Create or Open a document

The “File” Menu is a the classic file menu. There are only a few options you need to get going. Some of these will also be available from toolbar selections.


Selecting a file and then open will allow you to open existing FreeCAD designs, These designs are referred to as Documents from within the FreeCAD Application. The FreeCAD “Document” is a file with the .fcstd extension. When you open a document it will open into the document panel in the bottom right corner. By default the area with the blue gradient.


Selection file and the new will alow you to create a new FreeCAD Design. A new design will start out blank and you will not be prompted to add anything.


Tree View

The Tree View show the Object History in the active document. It is important to note that the treeview is not specifically an organizational hiearachy it is an action history. While some items can be re-located in that history others can not be easily moved. It is important therefore to establish a good workflow to avoid having to repeat tasks buried early in the tree. While this becomes less of a problem as FreeCAD matures it is still an important consideration.

WARNING: It is easy to “Break” your model by deleling certain items in the History Tree.

Property View

The Property View shows those properties of the currenty selected item. Properties withiin the view can be changed/edited to affect the item selected. Within the Propery view it is divided between “Data” properties and “View” Properties. These can be thought of as the how the item is built and hoaw the item appears

Selection View

The Selection View shows a list of all items currently selected. Items can be removed from the list of selected. “Go-To” allows a single item to be isolated from the list. Items can also be sent to the python console for further evaluation

Combo View


Document Window

The Document window is the Large Blue Gradiant area the occupies a large portion of the bottom right screen. This is where all your “Documents” will appear. Multiple documents can be loaded and worked on within one session and can be accessed via tabs at the bottom of the screen.


The toolbar area is at the top of the FreeCAD main window. Toolbars can be re-arranged by grouping. There multiple types of toolbars. There are “Global” toolbars which appear for all workbenches. Workbench specific toolbars only appear when the associated workbench is loaded.

Report view

The Report view is a Panel that loads by default to the bottom of the screen. Messages generated by FreeCAD while working on a document will appear in the Report view.

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