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The ribbon bar can be found near the top of the screen, and is Inventor's main tool bar. It's nearly identical to the ribbon bar found in AutoCAD and Autodesk Revit with the exception of the specific tools. Those change because of the type of work done in each product is different. The ribbon bar is essentially based on the Microsoft Office ribbon bar, which should provide an initial level of comfort for those who are new to Inventor, since most people have had time to work on the Microsoft Office products. The ribbon bar is made up of tabs along the top, and panels which group similar commands together in each tab.
In similar fashion to the Microsoft Office toolbar, when you change environments, the available tabs change accordingly. Most environments are automatically enabled based on what you're viewing on the screen. Right now, we're viewing an assembly of an engine. And, therefore, we're on the Assembly tab where we can see tools related to building assemblies, things like Place Component, Create Component, and Constrain. If I were to double-click on a part, to edit that part. You'll notice that a few things have changed. The Assemble tab, the Simplify tab, and the Design tab have been removed.
And we've been placed on the 3D Model tab, where we see tools related to editing a part, or modeling parts. Things like Create Sketch, Extrude or Create Hull. Like Microsoft Office, there are places within certain environments where new tabs will be temporarily enabled or disabled to support specific tasks. The sketch environment is a perfect example. While it's not a main environment, it is a significant component to the part modeling environment. But it's only needed when you're creating sketches. If I select a face on the model, and use the heads up display to create a sketch, you'll notice that the system automatically rotates us to look directly on to that sketch.
And there's now a new sketch tablet enabled with all my sketch tools so that I can start creating geometry. You'll also notice that it's tinted green. This is to indicate that this is a temporary tab, and that it'll be removed when you've completed the specific task you're working on. If for example, i'm done with this sketch, and I select Finish Sketch from the right-hand side of the ribbon bar. The model is automatically rotated back to an isometric view. The one I was previously on, and we've been placed back on the 3D Model tab. And then finally, the Sketch tab has been removed, because we're no longer editing a sketch.
If I scroll down in the browser and I find the sketch we just created, the Sketch45, I can double-click on it in the browser to edit it. And you'll notice I'm returned to the same view we were at previously and the Sketch tab has been re-enabled for us. Just like before when we're finished with our sketch, we simply click Finish Sketch and the tab is automatically removed by the system.
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