Introduction to the AutoCAD 2009 Ribbon

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Last Tuesday MSNBC, CNN, and every other American news outlet dubbed February 5, 2008 as “Super Tuesday”.  Seeing that Virginia (where I live) wasn’t included in the Super Tuesday primaries; Super Tuesday wasn’t much different than any other Tuesday.  Fast-forward a week to February 12, 2008, and you get what I call a Super Tuesday!  Autodesk had some pretty exciting announcements to make.  No Carl Bass (Autodesk CEO) isn’t running for president.  Instead, what Autodesk is about to do is release their line of 2009 products, and you know what that means.  An all new AutoCAD, Civil 3D, and the many other Autodesk products!

So what can we expect in AutoCAD 2009?  Well the list is somewhat long.  If you would like to see the complete list, hop over to Shaan Hurley’s Between The Lines Blog, and check out his The 2009 Products Including AutoCAD 2009 post.  Stay tuned here at The CAD Geek Blog for some indepth looks at the new features within both AutoCAD 2009 and AutoCAD Civil 3D 2009.

The most notable of the scary new features is the all-new Ribbon.  Microsoft Office 2007 was the first mainstream product to employ this new GUI.  Autodesk in their 2009 release of AutoCAD have followed suit with their version of the Ribbon.  At the end of the day, the Ribbon is really nothing more than the new Dashboard, but with some twists.  Below you will find a quick video introducing how to use the new Ribbon in AutoCAD 2009.


48 thoughts on “Introduction to the AutoCAD 2009 Ribbon

    • @ Terry – Under the Home tab > Layers panel, choose the Layer Properties Manager button. This will launch the Layer Properties Manager Palette where you can click the New Layer button (top). This will start a new layer where you can then use the Layer Properties Manager to specify the necessary layer properties.

    • @ Terry – Under the Home tab > Layers panel, choose the Layer Properties Manager button. This will launch the Layer Properties Manager Palette where you can click the New Layer button (top). This will start a new layer where you can then use the Layer Properties Manager to specify the necessary layer properties.

  1. I was an instructor this past school year for the basic autocad class and 2009 caused many problem, especially those who were running 2009 on Windows Vista. Recommendation to use autocad 2009 with Windows XP or the newest of the Windows OS. The graphics of Vista bog down the computer and can cause “Fatal Errors” to occur. The ribbons were also a consistent problem. They would often disapear and we would have to bring back the original menus. It would be a great feature if it didn’t cause the problems that it does.

  2. I was an instructor this past school year for the basic autocad class and 2009 caused many problem, especially those who were running 2009 on Windows Vista. Recommendation to use autocad 2009 with Windows XP or the newest of the Windows OS. The graphics of Vista bog down the computer and can cause “Fatal Errors” to occur. The ribbons were also a consistent problem. They would often disapear and we would have to bring back the original menus. It would be a great feature if it didn’t cause the problems that it does.

  3. Hey I have accute problem with ‘ribbon’ thing.
    actually I newly installed autoCad 2009 as Education version. but thing is I do not have any ribbon panel except accurender and express. I don’t know what the heck they are. I need original class view containing menu,open, draw or tools and so on.
    I need help.

  4. Hey I have accute problem with ‘ribbon’ thing.
    actually I newly installed autoCad 2009 as Education version. but thing is I do not have any ribbon panel except accurender and express. I don’t know what the heck they are. I need original class view containing menu,open, draw or tools and so on.
    I need help.

  5. I am having to load the ribbon everytime I open autocad 2009. I open a new drawing and I have to type “ribbon” in the command line in order to see it. Very frustrating. I am not using the classic workspace so I don’t get why the ribbon won’t load on its own. Can you help?

  6. I am having to load the ribbon everytime I open autocad 2009. I open a new drawing and I have to type “ribbon” in the command line in order to see it. Very frustrating. I am not using the classic workspace so I don’t get why the ribbon won’t load on its own. Can you help?

  7. Where i work usin CNC tools and routers alongside with VX cad Cam i think auto cad 2009 will be a lot better than previous versions mainly due to added support for gps and the way it interacts with these programs and being a vivid user of office 2007 with the tabs i found it incredabilly easy to pick up and use but i will agree with an earlyer post it is a lot slower on out servers but all in all i would recomend the upgrade but not for the people that like using the old version and dont require any of the new features and looks.

  8. Where i work usin CNC tools and routers alongside with VX cad Cam i think auto cad 2009 will be a lot better than previous versions mainly due to added support for gps and the way it interacts with these programs and being a vivid user of office 2007 with the tabs i found it incredabilly easy to pick up and use but i will agree with an earlyer post it is a lot slower on out servers but all in all i would recomend the upgrade but not for the people that like using the old version and dont require any of the new features and looks.

  9. Is it AutoCAD 2009 really cool…In our school we use AutoCAD 2008 and AutoCAD LT and i really amaze the environment…It’s fast and less hustle rathan the older versions. i think i should try this one before i put some comment about AutoCAD 2009..thanks for the information and it will help me for advance understanding about it..

  10. Is it AutoCAD 2009 really cool…In our school we use AutoCAD 2008 and AutoCAD LT and i really amaze the environment…It’s fast and less hustle rathan the older versions. i think i should try this one before i put some comment about AutoCAD 2009..thanks for the information and it will help me for advance understanding about it..

  11. Larry – a blended AutoCAD 2006 & AutoCAD LT 2004 environment isn’t going to really be an issue as both versions use the same DWG file type. AutoCAD 2009 uses the AutoCAD 2007 file format, so if you want to have a blended environment you’ll need to be sure you save things in 2004, not 2007.

    Beyond that, I will mention that AutoCAD does ship with a “Classic” workspace that essentially uses the R13-2008 core windows interface.

  12. Larry – a blended AutoCAD 2006 & AutoCAD LT 2004 environment isn’t going to really be an issue as both versions use the same DWG file type. AutoCAD 2009 uses the AutoCAD 2007 file format, so if you want to have a blended environment you’ll need to be sure you save things in 2004, not 2007.

    Beyond that, I will mention that AutoCAD does ship with a “Classic” workspace that essentially uses the R13-2008 core windows interface.

  13. I went to a Central Illinois AUGI session last night and we were discussing AutoCAD 2009. Some are still based in AutoCAD 2006 (myself included) and we discussed the different changes. The Ribbon was the main discussion point and that Office users should have no problem. My main concern is getting everyone up to speed were I work. Other desktops in my office have 2004 LT and the company is looking into upgrading but its a slow process.

  14. I went to a Central Illinois AUGI session last night and we were discussing AutoCAD 2009. Some are still based in AutoCAD 2006 (myself included) and we discussed the different changes. The Ribbon was the main discussion point and that Office users should have no problem. My main concern is getting everyone up to speed were I work. Other desktops in my office have 2004 LT and the company is looking into upgrading but its a slow process.

  15. Adam – I assume you too are a long-time CAD user, who learned CAD before the advent of toolbar buttons. In my experience, most power users are keyboard commandos, down to the customized acad.pgp file. On the other hand, look to the way CAD is taught in the classroom. There, most teachers focus more on the toolbar buttons than command line. Although personally partial to the command line, I can see valid arguments on both sides.

    There are a great deal of visual learners, and toolbar buttons tap into that learning style. When I look to the users I support, I tend to find a large portion of them using toolbars. Fundamentally, it comes down to the way they learned it in school, and that’s what works for them. While I am partial to the command line myself, said users are still productive and profitable, so how can one argue with that?

  16. Adam – I assume you too are a long-time CAD user, who learned CAD before the advent of toolbar buttons. In my experience, most power users are keyboard commandos, down to the customized acad.pgp file. On the other hand, look to the way CAD is taught in the classroom. There, most teachers focus more on the toolbar buttons than command line. Although personally partial to the command line, I can see valid arguments on both sides.

    There are a great deal of visual learners, and toolbar buttons tap into that learning style. When I look to the users I support, I tend to find a large portion of them using toolbars. Fundamentally, it comes down to the way they learned it in school, and that’s what works for them. While I am partial to the command line myself, said users are still productive and profitable, so how can one argue with that?

  17. Does anyone even click the icons anyway? If so it seems awfully inefficient. All the commands are the same, so just type them in as usual and there’s no adoption period.

  18. Does anyone even click the icons anyway? If so it seems awfully inefficient. All the commands are the same, so just type them in as usual and there’s no adoption period.

  19. Kurt – AutoCAD 2009 does ship with a “Classic” workspace. That will return things to “normal”. Now if you want to use the Ribbon, but still have your menus too; click on the name of your Workspace from the CUI command. From there you can adjust the properties of your Workspace, including Menu bar On/Off, and Model/Layout Tabs On/Off.

  20. Kurt – AutoCAD 2009 does ship with a “Classic” workspace. That will return things to “normal”. Now if you want to use the Ribbon, but still have your menus too; click on the name of your Workspace from the CUI command. From there you can adjust the properties of your Workspace, including Menu bar On/Off, and Model/Layout Tabs On/Off.

  21. Everyone I know has used AutoCAD 2009 hates it. It much slower then older verisons of AutoCADs. It takes extra mouse clicks to complete the same task, the UI has 3 different styles mixed together. Autodesk needs to move away from introducing a new version every year.

  22. Everyone I know has used AutoCAD 2009 hates it. It much slower then older verisons of AutoCADs. It takes extra mouse clicks to complete the same task, the UI has 3 different styles mixed together. Autodesk needs to move away from introducing a new version every year.

  23. Same old AutoCAD, great new look. Really, Autodesk, limit your new releases to every two years and make them worth it! It will take a couple of months just to get used to the new look but with seemingly few “real” functional upgrades and new features.

  24. Same old AutoCAD, great new look. Really, Autodesk, limit your new releases to every two years and make them worth it! It will take a couple of months just to get used to the new look but with seemingly few “real” functional upgrades and new features.

  25. John – There is no doubt about the drastic nature of The Ribbon. Having used Office 2007 for some time now, it wasn’t too big of a shock for me. Even still as drastic changes such as this are introduced – it’s hard to remain a progressive.

    As for the audio. I thought the on board mic on my laptop would do better than it did. I’ll have to get something a little better for future videos.

  26. John – There is no doubt about the drastic nature of The Ribbon. Having used Office 2007 for some time now, it wasn’t too big of a shock for me. Even still as drastic changes such as this are introduced – it’s hard to remain a progressive.

    As for the audio. I thought the on board mic on my laptop would do better than it did. I’ll have to get something a little better for future videos.