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Customize Your CAD Workspace & Profile

You work in CAD every day, so why not customize your workspace and profile to make it work for you? The steps on this page will help you configure the general appearance of your CAD interface.

What are CAD Workspaces and Profiles? Each is a saved series of settings that determine everything from how your ribbons and toolbars look to how your layers function, what happens when you start CAD, and much more. Once you've configured all the settings on this page, don't forget to save them by saving both a Workspace and a Profile before you close CAD.

Accessing the AutoCAD and Land F/X Tools

The AutoCAD and Land F/X tools are accessible in multiple ways:

  • Ribbons
  • Pull-down menus
  • Toolbars
  • Commands that you type in the Command line


For example, you have several options for opening our Plant Manager:




F/X Planting ribbon, Planting flyout

F/X Planting pull-down menu, Plant Manager option




Plant Manager toolbar

Planting toolbar




or type ProjectPlants in the Command line


The ribbons are the wave of AutoCAD future. They display most of the tools you use most, allowing you to scan through and access these tools quickly. You can still use the pull-down menus and toolbars for now, but they may not be available in a few years. It's a good idea to start getting to know the ribbons. (Command line commands are not likely to go away.)


Reloading the Land F/X Menus

All Land F/X tools are available in a file that we refer to as the "Land F/X menus." Before you can do anything with Land F/X software, this file needs to be loaded into CAD. Our Workstation installer generally loads the menus automatically. If you're unable to use the Land F/X tools, you may need to load the menus manually.


Verifying the Support File Search Path

The Support File Search Path is a specific path of folders in the CAD Options dialog box that tells CAD your Land F/X installation where to look for certain files. For your installation to function correctly, this path needs to be configured in a specific way. This configuration will vary depending on whether you have a single-user (standalone), multi-user (server), or cloud installation.

To ensure that the Support File Search Path is set up correctly, see our Verify the Support File Search Path page.



The ACAD and Land F/X ribbons incorporate a number of buttons that allow you to access the most commonly used tools. Here are a couple of examples:


ACAD Manage ribbon



F/X Admin ribbon



The ribbons are turned on by default. To close them, type RIBBONCLOSE in the Command line and press Enter.



To turn the ribbons back on, type RIBBON and press Enter.

For further information about the ribbons, see our AutoCAD & Land F/X Ribbons page.

The makeup of the ribbons is controlled by the Customizable User Interface (CUI), and you can organize the ribbons in any way you want. For instructions, see our Reorganizing the Ribbons page.




The toolbars are a somewhat antiquated method of accessing your AutoCAD and Land F/X tools. However, some users are accustomed to them. (If you're not – or even if you are – we recommend getting to know the ribbons.) You can open any toolbars of your choice and drag them to the locations of your choice.


Here are examples of a few of the ACAD and Land F/X toolbars:



To access the toolbars, type -TOOLBAR in the Command line and press Enter.


The Command line will prompt you to specify a toolbar.

Want to add or remove individual toolbars from your CAD workspace? Here's how >


The Land F/X and ACAD pull-down menus are another slightly older way to access your tools. If you have them enabled, they'll be available as tabs across the top of your CAD interface. Here are a couple of examples:


ACAD Edit menu

F/X Planting menu




To turn the menus on or off, type MENUBAR in the Command line and press Enter.



When prompted to enter a value, type 1 to turn the menus on, or 0 to turn the menus off. Press Enter to enact the change.


Quick Access Toolbar

The Quick Access Toolbar is a centralized bank of buttons that are easily accessible regardless of which ribbon you have open. A number of commonly used tools (such as Save and Plot) are included by default.




You can add the tools of your choice to the Quick Access Toolbar. You can also remove tools and move the entire toolbar above the ribbons. For instructions, see our Quick Access Toolbar page.

Light and Dark Color Themes

The Light and Dark themes are a matter of personal preference for how you'd like to view the ribbons, toolbars, panels, and other items.


F/X Admin ribbon, Light theme



F/X Admin ribbon, Dark theme




Properties panel, Light theme

Properties panel, Dark theme




To change the color theme, type THEME in the Command line. When prompted to enter a value, type 0 for Dark theme or 1 for Light theme. Press Enter to save the change.

The Color Theme command is an example of an AutoCAD System Variable – a series of commands that allow you to control a wide range of customization settings. See the System Variables section below for more information.

Options Dialog Box

The Options dialog box includes myriad settings that affect everything from your Layout tabs to right-click customization (that is, what happens when you right-click when using AutoCAD).

We encourage you to go through our CAD Options settings and configure these settings to your preferences – and, in many cases, our recommended settings for optimal performance. You'll then save these settings as a Profile.

System Variables

The System Variables are a series of CAD customization settings. You can configure each System Variable by typing the corresponding command in the Command line and pressing Enter. You'll then type what's known as a value for that System Variable. One example is the option for the Light and Dark themes, described above. For this command (System Variable), you enter a value of 0 for the Dark theme or a value of 1 for the Light theme.



A good System Variable to start with is the STARTUP command, which controls what you see when you first open CAD. For details and instructions, see our Control Which Screen You See When Starting CAD page.

We've compiled our recommended settings for a number of System Variables on our CAD System Variables page. We're continually expanding this page with recommendations for additional System Variables.

Layer Settings

We offer several recommendations for the settings you configure for your layers in AutoCAD. For information and instructions, see our Layer Settings page.


The Xref Fade option, available in the CAD Options dialog box, Display tab, determines how dark the linework in your external references (Xrefs) will display.

New to Xrefs? Read all about them on our Working with Xrefs page.

Saving Your Settings

When configuring your AutoCAD settings, it's important to know the difference between Profiles and Workspaces.


Profiles & Saving Profiles

Profiles are dynamic changes you make in the Options dialog box. Profiles will keep most of your “workspace” appearance settings. We recommend going through our CAD Options settings, creating and saving a profile in the Profiles tab, and backing it up along with the rest of your CAD standards.

For more information, see our Your AutoCAD Profile page.


Workspaces & Saving Workspaces

Workspaces will save your interface customizations, such as ribbons, tools, and menus. Workspaces won’t save your Support File Search Paths or anything in the Options dialog box. For this reason, we recommend using a combination of Workspaces and Profiles when customizing AutoCAD.


To save your Workspace, type WSSAVE in the Command line and press Enter.




The Save Workspace dialog box will open.


Select your workspace from the menu. (In most cases, your workspace will be named Drafting & Annotation, which is the default workspace.)


Click Save. Your Workspace will be saved.

Workspace changes not saving? Or are you getting the error message Unable to save ACAD.cuix file when attempting to save workspace changes or closing CAD? Solution >

Backing Up Your Settings

Backing up your files and data is extremely important. It's your safeguard against lost work. We recommend following our steps to:

Migrating Your Settings to a New Version of CAD

Upgraded to a new version of AutoCAD or F/X CAD? Follow our steps to migrate your settings to that new version.

Transferring Your Settings & Profile to a New Computer

Getting a new computer? You can move your customized workspace to that computer. Find out how >


Issue: You received the error message Unable to save ACAD.cuix file when attempting to save workspace changes or closing CAD, or you're simply unable to save changes to your workspace

Last modified on Thursday, 19 December 2019 09:01

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