Join Jeff Bartels for an in-depth discussion in this video Customizing the ribbon, part of AutoCAD 2009 New Features.
One of the benefits of the new ribbon interface is that we can customize it to suit our needs. Let's look at how we can make some changes to the ribbon. Now, before we go up and start moving things around and changing things, I want to mention this drawing that we see on screen. This drawing is here for the sole purpose of being a background. So it's we're going to be talking about the interface at this time, I think it looks better to have something on screen than a big blank nothing. If you'd like to open this drawing and use it as a background as well, the drawing is located inside the Chapter 1 folder inside our Exercise Files directory, and if I look right up here, I can see the drawing that's called Number 4, the Wooden Connector drawing.
Let's make some customization changes to our ribbon. To do that, I'm going to come up and right-click on the tab bar and select Customize. This will bring up my CUI, my Customizable User Interface. The first thing I'm going to do is I'm going to come over to the left side and I'm going to select the current workspace. It's real easy to tell which one is current. Let me click this guy and highlight him. When I do over on the right side in the Workspace Contents area, I will see everything that is associated with this workspace. Notice I have a heading called ribbon tabs. Let me click the Plus (+) to open this guy up and AutoCAD will show me all the tabs that are being used in my workspace. Now, remember a tab is like a drawer in a toolbox. It's essentially just a container. The tab holds panels. If I click the Plus (+) next to one of these tabs, I can see all of the panels that are loaded on that tab. Let me close this up.
Let's add the tab to our workspace. I can do that by coming over to the left side. I have got a heading here called ribbon tabs. Let me click the Plus (+) to open this up. This is where I can go shopping for tabs. These are the tabs that comes stock when we install AutoCAD. This is like going to the hardware. I'm going to do a little bit of shopping. I'm going to come down and I'm going to add the Visualize tab to our workspace. I can do that by clicking and holding on the tab and I'll drag it over and I will release it in my workspace. I'm going to click the Plus (+) and we can see that it is now there. I'm going to come down and click OK to save my changes and we'll take a look at our ribbon.
Notice that I now have a Visualize tab in my ribbon and if I click this guy, I can see that it is already pre-loaded with panels. Let's make another change. I would like to create my own tab. What if I wanted to do that? Once again, I'm going to come up and right-click on the tab Bar and select Customize. If I'd like to make my own tab, I'm going to right-click on the ribbon tabs heading and select New tab. I have just created a new tab. I'm now going to give it a name. I want to call this Jeff's tools, and hit Enter. When I do that I want you to take a look over on the right side of the screen in the Properties area. Our tabs actually two names. There's the official name, the name that we've given it and then there's the Display Text name. The Display Text version is what we see listed in our interface.
Now that I have created my tab, I want to pan up. Let's click the current workspace. In the Workspace Contents area, let's open up our tabs. Notice that that tab has automatically been assigned to our workspace. AutoCAD assumes if you're making a tab, you want that to be a part of your workspace. I'm going to come down and click OK to save my changes. We'll take another look at our ribbon. Okay. Now I have a tab called Jeff's tools. If I come up and click this guy, let's see what it looks like. Notice, I see nothing. That's because the tab itself is nothing but a container. It's like a drawer in a toolbox. We have to add some panels to this tab in order to have some tools.
Once again I'm going to go back to my CUI. I'm going to right-click and select Customize. I'm going to expand my ribbon tabs area. I'm going to click the Plus now I can see there's my tab. I'm going to come down a little bit and I'm going to open up the ribbon panels area. These are the panels that comes stock when we install AutoCAD. Let me click my Slider and pan this up a little bit. If I want to add a panel or a toolset to my tab, I will click and hold on the panel name, drag it up and I will lay it down, release my mouse right on top of the tab. Let me click hold and we'll drag up Annotation, release. Let me click and hold on Properties - 2D will add this guy, drag it up and release.
Now if I open up my tab, I can see that it contains three panels. Once again I'm going to click OK to save my changes and we'll take a look at our ribbon again. My workspace has already assigned the Jeff's tools tab. So if I add panels to that tab, that's all I have to do, just add the panels and when I come back out, that will automatically be part of my workspace. Let me click the tab and there are my three panels. Let's go a little bit deeper. What if I wanted to create my own panels? Once again I'm going to right-click, select Customize. This time we'll go to the panels area. I'm going to right-click on the ribbon panels heading and I'm going to select New panel. Let's call this My Custom tools and hit Enter. I can see my panel over to the right.
Now a panel is a toolset, it's a container for tools. Right now my panel has no tools. If I want to add tools to my panel, I'm going to come down to the lower left hand pane this is an exhaustive list of every command available on AutoCAD. If I want to add a command or a tool to my panel, I will click and hold on the Command, drag this guy up, and I will release inside the panel. Let's bring up another one, click, hold, drag, release and as I add tools, I can see my panel is getting populated over on the right hand side. I'm going to Minimize my panel. I want to show you one more way we can make a panel.
But, if you have a custom toolbar you've created that has some tools that you use for your office, we can convert the toolbar into a panel in one step. Let's try that. I'm going to take and push my slider up to the top. Let's go to the toolbars area. Let me click the Plus to open this guy up. If you have a custom toolbar, it will be listed here. If I want to convert a toolbar into a panel, I will right-click on the toolbar name and select Copy to ribbon panels. AutoCAD says, hey, do you want to do that? Yes, I do. Let me click Yes. I'm going to close up my toolbars area.
If I come all the way down to he bottom of my ribbon panels, I will see that I now have a panel called Modify 2. If I click this guy to see the preview. It's a little bit frightening at first. Don't worry about the fact that we can't see our icon images. Those will work just fine. But I have now created two panels. Let's add these to my new tab. I'm going to push this guy up. Let's open up our ribbon tabs, so I can see mine. Now I'm going to come down. I'm going to click my first panel, then I'm going to hold my Shift key and I'm going to click the panel just above it to highlight both of them. Then I will click and hold on these guys and I will drag them both together. I will scroll up and I will come down and I will release these guys right over the Jeff's tools tab. I'm going to move over here and release.
I have just added those two panels to my custom tab. I'm going to come down and click OK to save my changes and we'll check out our ribbon. All right, let's come up and go to the Jeff's tools tab. We can see these three panels that I dragged in, the ones that comes stock from AutoCAD. I can see the panel that I created from scratch onto which I drag some tools and I can also see the panel that I created from an existing toolbar. Now the last thing I want to show you is how we can remove items from the ribbon. Same workflow, I'm going to move up to the tab Bar, I'm going to right-click, select Customize. If I want to remove something from the ribbon, I'm going to highlight the current workspace. This will show us the workspace contents. Let me open up the ribbon tabs area. Here are the two tabs that I have added.
If I want to remove one, I'm going to right-click and select Remove from workspace. So do you really want to delete this element? Yes I do. I'm not deleting it permanently. I'm just deleting it from this workspace. Let me remove Visualize as well. right- click, Remove from Workspace? YES. Once again, those are not gone forever. If we come over here and if we go shopping for ribbon tabs. If I click the Plus, notice Jeff's tools is still there. If I remove it from here, then it's gone forever. Let me right-click on this guy and select Remove, do you really want to delete this element? Yes.
That guy is gone. Once again when I'm all done making changes, I'm going to come down and click OK to save my changes and return to Model space. As you can see the ribbon doesn't have to stay in its original state. With a little customization, we can make the ribbon conform to our needs.
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- Understanding the Status bar and the Layer Properties palette
- Recording, editing, and sharing action recorder macros
- Finding and replacing text
- Checking spelling automatically
- Creating presentations with ShowMotion
- Navigating drawings using the ViewCube and SteeringWheels
- Setting a geographic location