Hopefully everyone had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend. I know the long weekend was a welcome retreat for me. Of course the flip side to the long weekend is that I returned to the office thinking today was Monday. Now that I am back on course with what day of the week it is I can finally make another post. Keeping with the spirit of my last post, tips & tricks, I will share with you one that nearly stumped me the other day.

Over the last several years we have first witnessed the evolution from CRT monitors to the newer and sleeker LCD monitors. Of course the new LCD monitors left many CAD users to ponder what ever to do with the newly discovered desk real estate once occupied by the gargantuan CRT monitor. For many the answer was simple – more monitors. And so as fate would have it multiple LCD monitors has started to become a common sight throughout many engineering firms. While there is no arguing multiple monitors makes many tasks much simpler, they do introduce some tech support issues that until recently were uncommon to encounter.

Of these issues has to deal with disappearing task panes and the like. Just last week I had a user trying to get into their CUI command. Waiting for a while the user never had the CUI command appear on their screen, and they couldn’t do anything in AutoCAD afterwards. After taking a closer look at things I finally figured out the CUI command was indeed loading, it was just loading outside the view of the users monitor. With the issue identified I began thinking, and recalled that Lynn Allen made a post a few months ago about various task panes disappearing after plugging her machine into a projector. Long story short I was a little miffed when I found her blog post, only to read her solution involved loading the CUI command. Still stuck I pressed on, finally it dawned on me that when I right-click on an applications name I get a small menu; which happens to include an option to Move the screen placement of a said application.

Such a revelation was only but so helpful as I couldn’t move my mouse over to the CUI so that I could right-click the dialog box and move it. Finally I figured out the keyboard shortcut to right-click on an application (or dialog box), consequently accessing the move option. The answer was not in the right-click button on the keyboard, but rather pressing Alt + Space at the same time. Pressing that sequence allowed me to select “Move”, and finally get my users CUI command back.

12 thoughts on “The Disappearing CUI

  1. Chris & Tor I am totally with you guys with respect to SPUMU. ACAD.pgp is a wonderful thing! While I have never been a big toolbar person, I have gotten to like the numerous right-click menus embedded throughout the modern-day interface.

    Tor I had used the method you outline prior to the instance that sparked me to make this post. For whatever reason “turning off” the second monitor wouldn’t work. My guess is because it was technically a dialog, and not an actual program?

    Thanks for each of your comments.

  2. Chris & Tor I am totally with you guys with respect to SPUMU. ACAD.pgp is a wonderful thing! While I have never been a big toolbar person, I have gotten to like the numerous right-click menus embedded throughout the modern-day interface.

    Tor I had used the method you outline prior to the instance that sparked me to make this post. For whatever reason “turning off” the second monitor wouldn’t work. My guess is because it was technically a dialog, and not an actual program?

    Thanks for each of your comments.

  3. Sign me up for SPUMU too:)

    I’ve found the easiest fix, both in autocad and other applications is right-clicking on the desktop–>properties–>settings, then select the second monitor and removed the tag “extend my windows desktop to this monitor”. Windows will then relocate any objects to the main monitor.

  4. Sign me up for SPUMU too:)

    I’ve found the easiest fix, both in autocad and other applications is right-clicking on the desktop–>properties–>settings, then select the second monitor and removed the tag “extend my windows desktop to this monitor”. Windows will then relocate any objects to the main monitor.

  5. Nice tip, Donnie.

    It is also possible to do this by typing Alt-Up Arrow (or Alt-Dn Arrow). If you combine this with the letter “M” (as in Alt-Up Arrow-M), then use you Arrow keys, you can initiate and perform the move without needing the mouse at all! In fact, once you use an arrow key to start moving the dialog box, the cursor “grabs” the title bar and you can then complete the move with the mouse.

    I have always been a fan of using the keyboard whenever possible. Why reach for the mouse to click an “Okay” button when often simply hitting the Space bar or the Enter will often do the same?

    How about forming the SPUMU (Society for the Prevention of Unnecessary Mouse Usage)?! To qualify as a member, you must be able to navigate any AutoCAD dialog box using only the keyboard! :-)

  6. Nice tip, Donnie.

    It is also possible to do this by typing Alt-Up Arrow (or Alt-Dn Arrow). If you combine this with the letter “M” (as in Alt-Up Arrow-M), then use you Arrow keys, you can initiate and perform the move without needing the mouse at all! In fact, once you use an arrow key to start moving the dialog box, the cursor “grabs” the title bar and you can then complete the move with the mouse.

    I have always been a fan of using the keyboard whenever possible. Why reach for the mouse to click an “Okay” button when often simply hitting the Space bar or the Enter will often do the same?

    How about forming the SPUMU (Society for the Prevention of Unnecessary Mouse Usage)?! To qualify as a member, you must be able to navigate any AutoCAD dialog box using only the keyboard! :-)

  7. Can’t tell you how much this trick has helped me, since I keep ‘losing’ my windows while working back and forth between only my laptop and my laptop/monitor combined. However, I did find a glitch in this approach… Alt+Space will bring up the right-click menu only if the CUI dialog box is active. Since AutoCAD will allow you to click back into the main window to activate other popup windows (like Dashboard or Panorama), this makes it nearly impossible to find and reactivate the CUI box if you’re like me and begin clicking like crazy the first time something disappears. The trick (at least for the CUI, haven’t tried with other lost windows) is to open Task Manager and use the ‘Switch To’ button to reactivate AutoCAD. The CUI box is then reactivated and the Alt+Space trick works beautifully.

    Thanks again for the help!

  8. Can’t tell you how much this trick has helped me, since I keep ‘losing’ my windows while working back and forth between only my laptop and my laptop/monitor combined. However, I did find a glitch in this approach… Alt+Space will bring up the right-click menu only if the CUI dialog box is active. Since AutoCAD will allow you to click back into the main window to activate other popup windows (like Dashboard or Panorama), this makes it nearly impossible to find and reactivate the CUI box if you’re like me and begin clicking like crazy the first time something disappears. The trick (at least for the CUI, haven’t tried with other lost windows) is to open Task Manager and use the ‘Switch To’ button to reactivate AutoCAD. The CUI box is then reactivated and the Alt+Space trick works beautifully.

    Thanks again for the help!

  9. Works great except if you have Launchy installed! Alt + Space launches Launchy ;)

    (Say that 3 times fast…)

    Anyway, great post…have a nice weekend!

    Bruce Thivierge

  10. Works great except if you have Launchy installed! Alt + Space launches Launchy ;)

    (Say that 3 times fast…)

    Anyway, great post…have a nice weekend!

    Bruce Thivierge

  11. Hey Donnie! Too funny about losing the CUI and you getting “miffed” at my blog posting…glad you figured out this great technique though! Very cool…

  12. Hey Donnie! Too funny about losing the CUI and you getting “miffed” at my blog posting…glad you figured out this great technique though! Very cool…

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