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Creating custom ribbon tabs and panels

From: AutoCAD: Tips, Tricks, and Industry Secrets

Video: Creating custom ribbon tabs and panels

The Ribbon is the primary way that we access our commands. By default, the tools in the Ribbon are organized in a very generic way. such that AutoCAD can be used for a wide range of tasks. The nice thing is, this Ribbon is fully customizable. This means you can set up your own interface from scratch that places all of the tools that you use most within easy reach. In this lesson, we are going to learn how to customize the Ribbon by creating our own tabs and panels. Now let me mention that I have a drawing open on screen. You do not have to open the same drawing.

Creating custom ribbon tabs and panels

The Ribbon is the primary way that we access our commands. By default, the tools in the Ribbon are organized in a very generic way. such that AutoCAD can be used for a wide range of tasks. The nice thing is, this Ribbon is fully customizable. This means you can set up your own interface from scratch that places all of the tools that you use most within easy reach. In this lesson, we are going to learn how to customize the Ribbon by creating our own tabs and panels. Now let me mention that I have a drawing open on screen. You do not have to open the same drawing.

I am only using this as a background, such that we are not working with a completely empty interface. All right, to start our customization, let's talk about the current workspace. As you can see, I am using the 2D Drafting & Annotation workspace. If I click this fly-out, you can see that there are other workspaces available. Now the workspace is what dictates the Ribbon that we see on screen and I'm someone who doesn't like to modify the stock workspace. So I am going to make my own. To do that, I'll come down and click Save Current As and I'll call my workspace, Jeff's workspace.

You can use your own name if you like and I'll click Save. Essentially, I have just created a copy of the stock 2D workspace. Now, to make changes to the Ribbon, I'm going to come up and select the Manage tab and then I'll select CUI. This brings up the customizable user interface. Right here on the left, I can see a listing of all of the workspaces. Just below on the tree, there's an entry called Ribbon. I am going to click the plus to open this. And beneath Ribbon, there are entries called Tabs and Panels.

That is what a Ribbon is made up from. Let me drag this down. The tabs are what we along the top. Tabs are very similar to drawers in a toolbox and the panels represent collections of tools. You will find the panels on each tab. Let's drag this back up. I am going to click the plus next to Tabs and I can see a listing of all of the tabs that are available in AutoCAD. Certainly more tabs than what we see on the current Ribbon. Let's add a tab to our current workspace.

To do that, I will select my workspace from the list. I will come over to the right and click Customize Workspace. Notice all of my text turns blue when I'm in the editing state. If I click the plus next to Ribbon Tabs, I can see the tabs that are associated with my current Ribbon. Over here on the left there are checks that represent which tabs are in my Ribbon. To add a tab, I will place a check in the box. This adds it to my workspace. I will click Done and then I will click OK.

Notice that my workspace now has a Render tab, and if I select this, I see that the tab is preloaded with all of the standard panels. Using this workflow, I can add or remove any tab from any Ribbon. Now let's try and create our own tab. To do that, I am going to press the Spacebar to reenter the CUI command. I will open up the Ribbon entry. I will open up the Tabs entry and then I'm going to right-click on Tabs and select New Tab. And at the very bottom of the tabs list, I will find my new tab.

I'm going to call this Custom and I will press Enter. Knowing what we know now, let's add this new tab to our current workspace. Once again, I will drag this slider up. I will select my workspace and click Customize. I will then drag this down and find my tab. I will select it and then I'll click OK. I now have another tab in my Ribbon. If I select this custom tab, you can see it's not very exciting.

There aren't any panels associated with this tab. Let's take care of that. Once again, I am going to go back into the CUI command by pressing the Spacebar. Let's open up the Ribbon entry. I am going to open up the Tabs entry and I'll drag this down. And then I will open up Panels and then I will drag this up. Now, if you want add a panel or a collection of tools to a Ribbon tab, all you have to do is drag and drop. For instance, if I wanted to add the Annotate-Dimensions panel to my tab, I will click-hold-and-drag and I will place it on the tab.

Let's add this Text panel. Click-hold-and-drag and place it on the tab. Now, here's where it gets a little weird. If I want a panel that's quite a distance down in this list, say the Mesh-Crease panel, I will click, hold, and drag, and then I have to keep an eye out for my tab. Here it comes, there it is. Let me release on top of the tab. If you'd like to remove a panel from your tab, you can simply right-click on it and select Remove. I'd like to keep mine as it is, so I will come down and click OK.

Let's select the custom tab and you can see the three panels that I added. Let's try and create our own panel. Once again, I'm going to re-enter the CUI command. I will do that by pressing the Spacebar. I will open up the Ribbon entry and I'll open up Tabs, and Panels. To create my own custom panel, I will right- click on the word Panels and select New Panel. And all the way at the bottom of the list, I can find my New Panel. I'm going to call this My Favorites and I will press Enter.

Now to add commands or tools to a panel, we will drag them from this list below. This list represents every available command in AutoCAD. As an example, I'm going to drag the Layer Off command. I will click, hold, and drag. And as I drag this across the border here, watch how my list jumps. That can be a little bit annoying. Let me drag this up. I have go to drag it down a little bit. Like I said, it can be very annoying. I am just going to release and say forget it. Let's drag this backup and I'll show you a different way to drag. I am going to click, hold, and drag it to the left, then up, and then back over.

Now we don't have to worry about the panning. I'm going to drop this on Row 1. And if we look right over here, there's the command. Let's drag another command. I am going to select the Make Object's Layer Current command. I will drag this over, up and across, and I'll drop this on Row 1. I would like to add another command. Let's add eTransmit. That's one of my favorites. To find eTransmit in the list, I could drag up and down alphabetically or I could just start typing eTransmit and notice how AutoCAD will sort the list for me.

I will drag this command over, up, and across. There we go. Let me click to close up Row 1. Maybe I would like to create a second row. To do that, I will right- click on Row 1 and select New Row. And then I will take Row 2, I will click-hold-and-drag this up. I like to be tidy. I'm going to keep Row 1 and 2 together. I will come down and click this X to clear my Command List filter. And let's drag a couple more commands up. I will drag 3 Points over and I will place that on my panel.

3D Adjust Distance and I'll do a 3D Constrained Orbit. There we go. Now that I'm finished, I am going to close up my panel. Now I have to add the panel to my custom tab, so I'm going to click-hold-and-drag this up. And I will place this on my custom tab. When I'm finished, I will click OK. And when I select the custom tab, you can see the three panels that I brought in, the stock panels, as well as My Favorites Panel, the one I created from scratch that contains my favorite tools.

Now if these truly are your favorite commands, don't think that they have to be relegated to a specific tab. If you want these on your screen all the time, you can simply click-hold-and-drag on the panel name and you can drop the panel out here in model space. Now it will be available regardless of the tab that's current on the Ribbon. Now that I am finished making changes to my workspace, I'm going to click this flyout. I will come down and select Save Current As. I will select my workspace from the list and I'll click Save.

And then I'll click Replace to overwrite the original. This means that if I go to the flyout and select 2D Drafting & Annotation, I am back to the stock Ribbon. Click the flyout again and I'll select my custom workspace, and I have got my own customized Ribbon containing my own tabs and panels. As you can see, AutoCAD makes it very easy to make changes to the Ribbon interface. With a little practice, you can set up a custom interface that has all of your favorite tools within easy reach.

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This video is part of

Image for AutoCAD: Tips, Tricks, and Industry Secrets
AutoCAD: Tips, Tricks, and Industry Secrets

66 video lessons · 8143 viewers

Jeff Bartels
Author

 
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  1. 1m 28s
    1. Welcome
      53s
    2. Using the exercise files
      35s
  2. 47m 11s
    1. Adding relevant data to Quick Properties and tooltips
      5m 38s
    2. Creating custom ribbon tabs and panels
      8m 55s
    3. Creating macro-enabled tools
      10m 29s
    4. Increasing speed with command aliases
      4m 44s
    5. Finding commands and system variables using Auto Complete
      2m 35s
    6. Optimizing the size of palettes
      3m 17s
    7. Accessing drawings using Favorites
      2m 25s
    8. Controlling notification bubbles
      2m 24s
    9. Restoring hidden messages
      3m 53s
    10. Following a blog from within AutoCAD
      2m 51s
  3. 1h 0m
    1. Disabling mode settings on the fly
      3m 28s
    2. Finding hatch boundaries in busy drawings
      3m 32s
    3. Generating boundaries from difficult shapes
      2m 20s
    4. Calculating the overall length of multiple entities
      6m 16s
    5. Calculating the area of multiple shapes
      4m 42s
    6. Flattening geometry to a single elevation
      4m 0s
    7. Trimming all entities to one side of an object
      2m 42s
    8. Eliminating duplicated geometry
      5m 10s
    9. Creating true offsets
      3m 44s
    10. Finding errors when joining multiple entities
      6m 48s
    11. Moving and copying entities using Windows shortcuts
      2m 24s
    12. Solving expressions using the command prompt calculator
      5m 1s
    13. Using the Calculator palette
      10m 25s
  4. 21m 17s
    1. Bringing all text objects to the front
      1m 20s
    2. Underlining single-line text
      1m 21s
    3. Managing numbered and lettered lists
      3m 36s
    4. Creating superscript and subscript text
      3m 18s
    5. Removing formatting from MTEXT
      3m 26s
    6. Using fields to identify who revised a drawing
      3m 10s
    7. Squeezing text into tight spaces
      3m 5s
    8. Hiding extra annotative scales
      2m 1s
  5. 16m 55s
    1. Creating "one-click" dimensions
      1m 52s
    2. Dimensioning angles greater than 180 degrees
      1m 40s
    3. Creating dynamic dimension breaks
      2m 20s
    4. Making linear dimensions act like aligned dimensions
      2m 44s
    5. Finding dimensions with false values
      1m 38s
    6. Creating parent/child dimension styles
      4m 45s
    7. Making dimensions easier to read
      1m 56s
  6. 14m 40s
    1. Making global edits to attribute data
      4m 1s
    2. Clipping references using curved geometry
      2m 21s
    3. Exchanging one block symbol for another
      3m 3s
    4. Using drag-and-drop to insert content
      3m 17s
    5. Creating a block library in two clicks
      1m 58s
  7. 10m 42s
    1. Making global changes to layer names
      3m 19s
    2. Converting all object properties to BYLAYER
      1m 43s
    3. Navigating layer lists using the keyboard
      2m 5s
    4. Producing a hard copy of the layer settings
      1m 34s
    5. Removing stubborn layers
      2m 1s
  8. 25m 1s
    1. Accessing viewports within viewports
      3m 21s
    2. Creating viewports with islands
      6m 5s
    3. Creating legends using the Change Space tool
      3m 55s
    4. Rotating viewport content to match layout
      4m 55s
    5. Importing layouts from template files
      2m 3s
    6. Visualizing multiple design alternates
      4m 42s
  9. 30m 18s
    1. Consolidating backup files into a single folder
      2m 48s
    2. Launching applications from within AutoCAD
      3m 53s
    3. Creating custom linetypes
      5m 9s
    4. Incorporating symbols into custom linetypes
      2m 48s
    5. Salvaging data from a corrupt drawing
      3m 57s
    6. Applying hyperlinks to drawing objects
      3m 34s
    7. Converting drawings from name-based to color-based plot styles
      2m 0s
    8. Identifying the owner of a drawing
      1m 18s
    9. Incorporating drawings into PowerPoint presentations
      4m 51s
  10. 31s
    1. Goodbye
      31s

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