Join Shaun Bryant for an in-depth discussion in this video Using the QAT to set up a customized workspace, part of AutoCAD: Tips & Tricks.
- [Instructor] So here we are again with another AutoCAD tip and trick. You can see that I'm in Autodesk AutoCAD 2017. So at the top of the screen there. And you can see that I don't have a drawing open. Now, one really nice feature of newer versions of AutoCAD is the ability to customize your workspaces. And more importantly, customize your workspaces quickly and easily. So let's have a look at doing that now, and how we will customize our workspace. But more importantly, save that workspace.
So, as you may have gathered, yes I am English. And I'm going to go to the templates here, in the Get Started panel. And I'm going to select the acadISO.dwt file. Which is a normal international metric drawing template. That opens up a new blank metric drawing. Now the new blank drawing doesn't matter. I'm not going to draw anything. I'm going to set up the workspace to allow me to draw. So setting up your workspace is very cool thing in AutoCAD. It allows you to customize the user interface to how you want it to be.
Now what I'm going to do is show you a couple of really neat tricks in AutoCAD. But before we do that, where do I find these workspaces that I keep talking about? So, go up to the quick access toolbar at the top of the screen there. You can see that it says "Drafting and Annotation". Click on the flyout there, and you can see that you've got drafting and annotation, 3D basics and 3D modeling. Those are your three main workspaces available to you in AutoCAD. If you've migrated workspaces from one version to another, like I have, you can see there Drafting and Annotation originally came from AutoCAD 2015.
And the same with 3D Modeling, 3D Basics. More importantly though, I can save my current workspace as a named workspace. I can also set my workspace settings, and I can also customize the workspace. All I'm going to do is look at customizing my workspace, and then saving it, so that I can go back to it at any time. Now if I just hit Escape there, that loses that menu there. I can also find the same menu down on the status bar, down here there's a little cog there, with a little arrow.
Click on that. And you'll see that that actually brings up your workspaces there as well. Now it kind of goes off the bottom of the screen slightly there, that's purely because I've got a reduced screen for the size of the video. Don't worry about that. You can still select a workspace, like so. And you can save current as there as well. So that allows me to save a workspace. And at the moment, my default workspace is Drafting and Annotation. And that is the AutoCAD default workspace. It always comes up when you open up AutoCAD. And also you can hit Escape to lose that menu in the same way.
Let's have a look at the other workspaces available. So let's look at 3D Modeling. If I click on that, it goes to a different workspace. So you'll notice now, the ribbon changes. I've got lots of different tabs in the ribbon. So, I've got things like Solids, Surfacing, Mesh and so on. And what that does is it now allows me to work in 3D modeling with all of the 3D commands that are available. If I go back to my Drafting and Annotation, takes me back to the original workspace, with the original default settings for AutoCAD.
So, how do I create my own workspace? Well, I'm in a drawing, Drawing5. Again, I don't need to save it, doesn't need any content. Because, I'm customizing the user interface, by customizing my workspaces. Now this is a permanent thing as well. Once you've saved your workspace, as your own workspace, you can go back to it at any time. I'm going to show you a really neat tool available in AutoCAD though. It's a thing called "Sticky Panels". I'm in the home tab on the ribbon, I click and hold on the draw panel title bar and drag.
It allows me to drag that sticky panel, and drop it into the drawing area. Now if I want to put it back, I just hover over the panel, like that, hover over the draw title bar there. See that little t-shaped icon, "Return Panels to Ribbon", click. Returns it back to the ribbon for me. And it doesn't matter which tab I'm in either. If I click and drag like that, I can go to the Annotate tab, I can still hover over this, click on the little "T" icon like that, puts it back. Doesn't go into the annotate tab. It's back here in the home tab.
So it knows where to put it. That's all to do with the CUI file. The Customized User Interface file available to you in AutoCAD. Now, I'm going to drag the draw panel in. Click and drag like that. And the modify panel. Click and drag like that. And you'll notice, when I put it in, it always expands the panel. So it's a really nice tool. If you've got a really big screen, or a dual screen setup, you can have some of your sticky panels floating around in the drawing area, so they're always available, and you don't have to keep chopping and changing between the tabs on the ribbon.
So right now, I have now customized my workspace with those two sticky panels. So I'm going to go up to the top one here, on the quick access toolbar, and I'm going to go Save Current As. So it now prompts me to save the workspace. So this is now my SCB, and then... That's my initials by the way. And then I'll put something like Drafting. So that's my SCB Drafting workspace. And maybe, what I could do there, is put 2D. Yes, that's my 2D Drafting workspace.
If I save that now, can you see, I'm now in my SCB 2D Drafting workspace? If I go back to Drafting and Annotation, it all goes back again. How neat is that? So if I go back to my SCB one here, which is at the bottom of the list there, SCB 2D Drafting, there's my sticky panels. So it remembers those settings, and remembers them as part of your user interface. So you're customizing your workspace. So let's just drop back to Drafting and Annotation now.
Back to the default settings, and there we go. Draw and Modify are now back in the home tab on the ribbon. It's quick and easy. You can customize it. Move your panels around, and so on and so forth. It's a really nice tool to allow you to customize your workspace when you're working in AutoCAD.
Skill Level Intermediate
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