Join Shaun Bryant for an in-depth discussion in this video Using the ribbon, part of AutoCAD 2018 Essential Training.
- [Voiceover] So let's have a look now at the ribbon in AutoCAD 2017. Now, the ribbon itself is at the top of the AutoCAD screen. You can see it there, and we're in the default tab at the moment, which is the Home tab here. So you can see if I click on a tab here and go to Insert, it shows me a different group of icon panels each time. Now, an icon panel is a group of icons like this for a particular feature within AutoCAD. So this is the Text panel in the Annotate tab on the ribbon.
Now you can expand out the panels by clicking on this little arrow here next to the panel title. So if there's more icons, like in this case there is Scale like so, I can also pin that open, so if I click on the pin, it stays open, and when I move away, it doesn't go back into the ribbon itself. If I unpin it, goes back in again when I move away. Now, you can see these ribbon panels give me all the different icons that I need to work with when I'm operating AutoCAD 2017.
Now just be aware for these particular videos, while I'm recording them for you, some of my panels squish up into little boxes like that. Doesn't mean to say they're not there. You just click on the down arrow, and there it is there. That's purely due to my screen resolution as I record the videos, so don't worry about it. It's not the software gone wrong or anything. It's just a resolution issue, problem. I wouldn't even say it was a problem. It's just because I'm recording at a lower resolution than what you might have on your screen. So just be aware of that one just in case you can't see what is going on there.
Obviously, you will have the entire Leaders panel on your ribbon. I wouldn't because of the resolution on the screen. Now, going back to the ribbon, you can also see that there's these little arrows in the corner of each title bar as well. These are style buttons, so you can see there, if I hover over that one, it says Text Style. If I click on that, it opens up the Text Style dialog box, so I can go in, set up my text styles, and you can see there I've got an Arial text style, and you can see it's there using the font Arial, font style regular, and so on.
Now, the good thing about this is I can go into them there. If I cancel that and go back to the Home tab, you'll also find if I go into Annotation here and click on the fly-out there, there's my Text Style icon there as well. That will open up the same dialog box. So what you'll find with AutoCAD, if I just cancel that, is that there's two or three ways of going down the same route, and this is purely due to legacy older versions of AutoCAD. But also more importantly, the functionality has increased over the years.
It is a fairly mature product, and the good thing is Autodesk developed the features more and more as it gets older. It becomes like a fine wine. It just gets better and better, as they say. So that's the ribbon that we've covered so far. So I can go to any tab on the ribbon, so I can go to the Insert tab. I could go to the Parametric tab and find the icons that I need. So let's go back to the Home tab on the ribbon now, and what I might do is go and click on the line command. That immediately kicks in the line command, and you can see there in the drawing area, when I move the crosshair in, it's asking me to specify the first point of the line.
I'll just hit escape there to cancel that command. So that's what you do. You go to the panel on the ribbon that is on the tab, and what you can find is the icon that you need. You click on it, and then you start working in AutoCAD. Now, that's great, but the appearance of the ribbon can be changed, so let's just go up to this funny little button up here. Now, a lot of people click on this button and don't know what's going on when they click on it. Click on it once. You'll notice that the appearance of the ribbon changes, and we go to just panels like so.
Now, if I hover over one of these, the panel is still there, but it just reduces the space that the ribbon takes up. Click on that button again. It now goes purely to little pullout menus. Can you see, if I click on View there or Clipboard, there's the panels? So I just click on each one, and they're there. If I click on it again, they've gone completely and now I have to click on each one like that. Can you see I'm clicking on the tab? And it appears as I move away. It disappears.
So those are three different ways of viewing the ribbon in AutoCAD 2017, and now you know what to do if you do accidentally click on this button and your ribbon disappears as well. If I click on it one more time, can you see there the tool tab is telling me Show Full Ribbon? And I go back to the full ribbon setting, and I can go back to the Home tab like so. So you can see that the ribbon is quite a sophisticated piece of machinery, and what it allows you to do is get to all the different icons in a quick, sophisticated manner so that you can draft within AutoCAD quickly and effectively.
Now, there's one more really, really neat tool available in the ribbon. It's a thing called sticky panels, and I discovered it purely by mistake one day when I was using one of the later versions of AutoCAD. It is, however, still available in AutoCAD 2017. And what you can do is, if you move your point or crosshair up to, say, the Draw panel there, can you see when you hover over a title bar, it highlights? And it highlights purely because it knows that that's the title bar that you want to use. But if I click and hold and drag, I can drag that entire panel into the drawing area and just leave it there like that.
"Now, that's wonderful," you might say because it means all my tools are now directly in front of me. I've got that kind of heads-up user display thing going on, which is great. However, what it also allows me to do is if I've got a dual screen set up, I can have all of my panels, my sticky panels, in one part of the screen while I'm doing the drafting in another part of the screen or even on a different screen. Now, here's the kicker, though. If I go to something like the Annotate tab on the ribbon, you would've thought then when I put this Draw panel back into the ribbon, it's going to end up in the Annotate tab in the wrong place.
No, it's not. What I do is hover here. Can you see there's a little icon at the top there? Return Panels to Ribbon. It's that funny little sort of T-shaped one. If I click on that, it does go back into the ribbon, but it does not go into the Annotate tab. Where's it gone? If I go back to the Home tab, it's back where it should be. There's the Draw panel there. That's a really, really cool tool within AutoCAD, and if you've never used AutoCAD before, it's just a really helpful little one to know because you can move your sticky panels around, and if you're using one of them regularly, which you will do with the Draw panel, but you also want to get to features on the Annotate panel like that, you can also get the sticky panel, the Draw panel here, and then just go to the Annotate tab and use any of the Annotate panels, and you're off.
The world is your oyster, as they say. So you can go in there and utilize those tools quickly and effectively using the ribbon, and, also, go with that sticky panels. It's a really useful little feature in the ribbon in AutoCAD 2017.
- Exploring the user interface
- Using the ribbon, status bar, and ViewCube
- Opening, saving, and closing files
- Setting and converting drawing units
- Navigating drawings
- Saving and restoring views
- Drawing and modifying objects
- Drawing accurately
- Reusing content
- Creating output
- Using PDFs in AutoCAD