There is a new feature in the design interface of SolidWorks 2016 called “Selection Breadcrumbs” that will allow you to select a part or feature in the graphics area and then refine that selection through the context-based representation of the item, or the “trail of breadcrumbs” connected to the selection.
Take this assembly made up of 4 mated parts.
When you select a face, you can see all of the mates of the component that face belongs to in the breadcrumbs pop-out.
In previous versions of SolidWorks, to view the mates you either had to right-click the component or find the component in the FeatureManager design tree and open the mates folder.
Now, the Breadcrumbs feature provides access to the entire hierarchical chain of entities from the item you selected up through the top level document. You can display the context toolbar and a shortcut menu by right-clicking on a breadcrumb item.
Also, you can move Breadcrumbs out of the top left corner and to your pointer location by pressing “D” on your keyboard.
Breadcrumbs are available for both parts and assemblies and are enabled by default. You can remove the breadcrumbs from the screen by pressing “Escape” or clicking an open area of the graphics area, and you can turn off breadcrumbs entirely by going to tools > options > system options > display/selection and clear “show breadcrumbs on selection”
As you can see, the new Breadcrumbs feature will help keep your workflow inside the graphics area and streamline your design process by giving you quick access to features, mates, and tools right at the source.