Join Shaun Bryant for an in-depth discussion in this video Using the ribbon, part of AutoCAD Mechanical Essential Training.
- [Voiceover] Okay so we're staying in the Robot001.dwg file in our AutoCAD Mechanical course. Now we're going to use that file and hopefully you've downloaded it from your Lynda.com exercise files, stored it locally and saved it so that you can always go back to it to use with these particular videos. Now what we're going to look at in more detail in this video is using the ribbon at the top of the AutoCAD Mechanical screen. Now the ribbon itself is up here so if I click on each of the tabs, as you can see, it gives me a group of different panels for each tab with lots of different commands in each tab as I go along.
So I'm going to jump back now to the home tab like so. Now the whole idea of these tabs is to give me different functionality within each tab and different commands within each panel and it allows me to breakdown my workflow into categories. So I might use the home tab to do some drafting. I might use the annotate tab to annotate my drawing. I might use the content tab to insert AutoCAD Mechanical content into my AutoCAD Mechanical drawings. Also, you've got things like the output tab, which allows you to print, plot and batch plot all of your AutoCAD Mechanical drawings.
Just jump back now to the home tab there on the ribbon itself. Now, you'll notice all of the panels have, or some of them do, these arrows, these little fly-out arrows. If I click there, that expands out the ribbon to show me that there's more commands on that panel and if I click on the pin there, that pins it open so I can use those commands and then when I'm done, I unpin and they go back into the ribbon like so. Now you'll notice a lot of my panels are squished up like this so if I click on that arrow there, that opens up the layers panel.
Now that's purely because of the resolution that I have to record at when I create these videos. You will be able to see all of those layering commands in your panel on your ribbon because you've probably got a much higher resolution screen than me at this particular point in time. So as I move away from the panel like that, it goes back into the ribbon. So you'll just have to bear with me on those squished ones, I'm afraid. There's not a lot I can do about that. It's just the resolution I'm working at. Now the appearance of your ribbon can be changed. It's over here on this little white button here.
If I click on the fly-out there, you'll notice I've got the option to minimize the tabs, minimize the panel titles, and minimize the panel buttons. Now you can have one specific minimize setting or as you can see, I've got it set to cycle through all. Let me show you what that does. If I hit escape there now and hit the little white button here, it changes the display of the ribbon. So there's my panel buttons as you can see so if I click on the view button, it opens up the view panel like so.
If I go back to the little white button at the end here, it then goes to panel titles so if I go to something like clipboard or utilities, you can see there, there's my panel titles and also you'll notice I've still got the tabs. Home, insert, annotate. So I've got the tabs and then the panels are tabs, as well. Can you see that? And then last, but not least, if I click here, now they're gone completely and I have to hover over each tab and click on it to actually get that to appear. When I move away, that'll actually disappear. Very, very useful for someone like me who's working a low resolution so that I've got more screen space to work with, more screen real estate.
If I click one more time, it takes me back to the original settings for the ribbon in AutoCAD Mechanical. Now what I'm going to do now is jump back to the home tab and I'm going to show you the neatest little trick that I love with the ribbon in all of the AutoCAD products. You can see the draw panel here. If I hover over it, it sort of gives me that paler gray highlight. When it's highlighting like that, click and drag using the left-hand mouse button and you'll see that you can drag the panel out into the drawing area like so.
And you'll notice that the ribbon updates to suit so you'll notice now I've got less squished up here on the right-hand side. Now my draw panel is now floating quite happily in the drawing area. That's known as a sticky panel. So if I want my draw tools, but I then want to go to the annotate tab, my draw tools are still available, which makes my life a lot easier, especially if I had a much bigger screen, which unfortunately, I don't, such is life, but it means that I've got all those draw tools available all the time sitting in the drawing area.
Now you might think because I'm now in the annotate tab, if I return this draw panel to the ribbon, it's going to put it in the annotate tab in error. Well no, it doesn't. It actually knows where it's got to go. If I hover over the edge of it there, can you see? When I hover, I get like this little menu, this little icon menu, and if I click there at Return Panels to Ribbon, it doesn't return it to the annotate tab on the ribbon, but if I go back to the home tab, there's my draw panel, exactly where it should be. So use that ribbon to your advantage. Tweak the settings, make it look the way you want it to look.
Now I know that some of you might work in quite a rigid working environment where you CAD manager controls your ribbon display. Okay, that's fair enough. You have a corporate directive or standard there to make sure that everybody's using the same thing. Now that's a handy thing because obviously it means that anybody can jump onto anybody's machine and know where everything is. However, you do have the tools as you've seen there to tweak your ribbon, tweak your panels, tweak the appearance of the ribbon, as well.
- Navigating the AutoCAD Mechanical interface
- Managing layers and object properties
- Structuring, reusing, and editing your mechanical data
- Creating key geometry
- Adding centerlines and holes
- Manipulating geometry
- Using part generators
- Creating drawing sheets
- Annotating parts and subassemblies
- Placing dimensions
- Creating a bill of materials and parts list
- Calculating design factors
- Using existing drawing data
- Creating templates and standard data