Customizing the AutoCAD 2009 Ribbon

Autodesk began shipping many of their 2009 products starting Monday. Among those released is their flagship product, AutoCAD 2009. If you just can’t wait until your subscription shipment makes its way to your doorstep, a fully-functioning 30 day trial can be downloaded from the Autodesk website. As I have said in some previous posts, the big new feature in AutoCAD 2009 is more-or-less the user interface (UI) as a whole.

Just about every red blooded AutoCAD user I have ever met has first asked “How do I use XYZ Feature?” After they learn how to use XYZ feature, their next question is “How do I customize it?” Last month I gave a quick how to with my “Introduction to the AutoCAD 2009 Ribbon”. This month, we’ll take a look at customizing the new AutoCAD 2009 Ribbon. At first glance, the Ribbon may seem like a brand new cryptic monstrosity at the heart of new release. Good news is the “all new” Ribbon isn’t really all that new afterall.

In essence, our “all new” Ribbon is nothing more than the Dashboard from AutoCAD 2008 with an additional category. In AutoCAD 2008 we had Dashboard Panels which contained Dashboard Tools. In AutoCAD 2009 those items have been renamed to Ribbon Panels, and Ribbon Tools respectively. One shortcoming of the Dashboard in AutoCAD 2008 was the fact we only had 1 Dashboard. Short of creating a workspace, I couldn’t have a Dashboard for general drafting, another for annotating, etc. AutoCAD 2009 introduces another element to the Dashboard, uh – Ribbon, called Ribbon Tabs. In much the same way Ribbon Panels contain Ribbon Tools, Ribbon Tabs contain Ribbon Panels.

About Donnie Gladfelter

Donnie is author of the book and Autodesk Official Training Guide, AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT: No Experience Required, a columnist for AUGIWorld Magazine, Autodesk University speaker, and former member of the AUGI Board of Directors.

  • jcarr

    I used this in 2010 and it works perfect. Thanks for the info.

  • jcarr

    I used this in 2010 and it works perfect. Thanks for the info.

  • http://www.evides.nl Iwan (NL)

    I’m costumizing the cui-file. No problem there. I’ve made the Single Line Text command large so it can be as easely acceced as the Multiline Text.
    The thing I want to know is how you can create a multiline text at the name of a button, like at the Multiline Text command where the “Text” is on the next line. I tried to copy the name of the Multiline Text command but that didn’t work.

    Hope you can help me

    • http://www.thecadgeek.com Donnie Gladfelter

      Iwan – Couple things to look for. Naturally you will want to get inside the CUI command, and navigate to the panel/tool you want to modify. From there, click on the tool you want to modify, and it’s properties will be displayed below. Under the “Display” group, enter the text you want to display for your tool on the ribbon. Next, change the Button Style (under the Appearance group) to Large With Text.

      Now I’m not sure if you’re creating a new panel of your own, or modifying one of the existing panels. Keep in mind the ML/SL text commands appear on both the Home and Annotate tab.

      • http://www.evides.nl Iwan (NL)

        Donnie,

        I am working with AutoCAD2009.

        When I am in the CUI file I know how to make my own buttons/tools or how to change/modify the standard tools of rearrange the panels and ribbons.

        It’s the name of the button that is diplayed when “show label” is set to YES.

        I have added the Single Line Text tool to the Annotation panel. When it’s placed I select the Single Line Text tool and the properties appear.
        Under Display the name is ‘single line text’
        Under appearance the orientation, size and show label are set to vertical, large and yes.
        The name Single Line Text is displayed under the button image. However, because it’s a rather long name I want it to be placed on two lines. Just like at the Multiline Text command.
        At the Multiline Text tool/button there’s some sort of symbol between the two words that makes that the word ‘text’ is on the next line.
        And that’s what I want for the Single line text tool. The word ‘text’ to appear on the next line of the name.

        • http://www.thecadgeek.com Donnie Gladfelter

          Iwan – The secret code I think you’re looking for is “\n”. Basically type that where you want the line break to happen, and AutoCAD will replace the \n with that boxy looking character when you tab out of the field.

          • http://www.evides.nl Iwan (NL)

            Donnie,

            Thanks.

            It’s working partially. The \n isn’t replaced with the boxy looking character, but the \ is breaking the line. Only thing is that you see the \ on screen. It’s enough for me to work with.
            When I type \n the \n is showing on screen.

            I noticed that if you use the \ itself with everything behind it wil appear on the next line. But if you use the / it wil put anything behind it on the next line without itself. The n doesn’t have any effect and just shows on screen.

            Tanks again. For now it’s enough to work with. It’s not the most ellegant way but it’s working.

            Iwan

  • http://www.evides.nl/ Iwan (NL)

    I’m costumizing the cui-file. No problem there. I’ve made the Single Line Text command large so it can be as easely acceced as the Multiline Text.
    The thing I want to know is how you can create a multiline text at the name of a button, like at the Multiline Text command where the “Text” is on the next line. I tried to copy the name of the Multiline Text command but that didn’t work.

    Hope you can help me

    • http://thecadgeek.com/ Donnie Gladfelter

      Iwan – Couple things to look for. Naturally you will want to get inside the CUI command, and navigate to the panel/tool you want to modify. From there, click on the tool you want to modify, and it’s properties will be displayed below. Under the “Display” group, enter the text you want to display for your tool on the ribbon. Next, change the Button Style (under the Appearance group) to Large With Text.

      Now I’m not sure if you’re creating a new panel of your own, or modifying one of the existing panels. Keep in mind the ML/SL text commands appear on both the Home and Annotate tab.

      • http://www.evides.nl/ Iwan (NL)

        Donnie,

        I am working with AutoCAD2009.

        When I am in the CUI file I know how to make my own buttons/tools or how to change/modify the standard tools of rearrange the panels and ribbons.

        It’s the name of the button that is diplayed when “show label” is set to YES.

        I have added the Single Line Text tool to the Annotation panel. When it’s placed I select the Single Line Text tool and the properties appear.
        Under Display the name is ‘single line text’
        Under appearance the orientation, size and show label are set to vertical, large and yes.
        The name Single Line Text is displayed under the button image. However, because it’s a rather long name I want it to be placed on two lines. Just like at the Multiline Text command.
        At the Multiline Text tool/button there’s some sort of symbol between the two words that makes that the word ‘text’ is on the next line.
        And that’s what I want for the Single line text tool. The word ‘text’ to appear on the next line of the name.

        • http://thecadgeek.com/ Donnie Gladfelter

          Iwan – The secret code I think you’re looking for is “n”. Basically type that where you want the line break to happen, and AutoCAD will replace the n with that boxy looking character when you tab out of the field.

          • http://www.evides.nl/ Iwan (NL)

            Donnie,

            Thanks.

            It’s working partially. The n isn’t replaced with the boxy looking character, but the is breaking the line. Only thing is that you see the on screen. It’s enough for me to work with.
            When I type n the n is showing on screen.

            I noticed that if you use the itself with everything behind it wil appear on the next line. But if you use the / it wil put anything behind it on the next line without itself. The n doesn’t have any effect and just shows on screen.

            Tanks again. For now it’s enough to work with. It’s not the most ellegant way but it’s working.

            Iwan