Customize Your Ribbons
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Customize Your Ribbons

Friday, 14 February 2020
Video Length:  1:00:00
Presented By:  Amanda Berry

If you work in CAD frequently, you might want to customize the appearance of your ribbons. For example, you may be transitioning from toolbars or trying to get your favorite tools right where you need them. If so, we have the presentation for you! We'll explore the Command User Interface (CUI), providing tips on how to use it and what you can do to give it the look you want.

Webinar Contents:

Note: The following catalog of content covered in this webinar is time stamped to allow you to follow along or skip to sections of the video that are relevant to your questions. You can also search for content on this page using the FIND command in your browser (CTRL + F in Windows, Command + F in Mac OS.)

  • Intro/TOC
  • Terminology
  • Why and When to Customize
  • Simple Ways to Customize
    • Float or Hide a Panel
    • Add Tools to Quick Access Toolbar
  • Advanced Ways to Customize
    • CUIX – Command User Interface
  • Save and Load Your Ribbon

0:00 – 4:29: Intro/TOC

History of the ribbon interface (1:00)


4: 30 – 22:19: Terminology

Menubars (4:30)


Making the menubar visible (4:54)


Ribbon tabs (5:10)


Ribbon panels (5:25)


Quick Access Toolbar (QAT) (5:47)


Ribbon sub-panels (7:05)


Rows within sub-panels (7:30)


Commands (8:50)


Ribbon control elements (9:33)


Drop-downs (pull-downs) or splits (10:22)


Terms for display elements within ribbons (10:40):

  • Split with recent
  • Large with text (vertical)
  • Small with text
  • Small without text
  • Split with recent


Customize User Interface (CUI) terms (14:30):

  • Customize User Interface (CUI)
  • Ribbons
  • Tabs
  • Quick Access Toolbar (QAT)
  • Menubars
  • Custom CUIX
  • Commands


Loaded .cuix (including acad, office, and landfx) 15:50)


Filtering types of commands to search faster (including Express, control elements, or custom) 16:15)


AutoCAD and Land F/X panel naming conventions (tab name - panel name) (16:45)


Panel organization in the CUI (18:05)


How ribbon panels will stack (20:40)


Tip: Look through AutoCAD’s acad.cuix and F/X CAD’s acad.cuix to see how they’re organized. (21:15)


22:20 – 29:07: Why and When to Customize

Why no toolbars? (22:20)

  • AutoCAD switched to the ribbon in 2009.
  • Toolbars have been legacy since then.
  • AutoCAD toolbars haven’t received new tools since 2017.
  • Ribbons can accomplish everything ribbons used to do.
  • Ribbons provide a more new-usr-friendly approach.
  • Ribbons have more visual options – large and small icons, room for tool names, and can make everything easier to find.
  • The 2020 landfx.cuix removed Land F/X toolbars as a result.


Why might you customize? (24:10)

  • Make tour most-used tools more accessible.
    • Organize like tools together.
    • Reduce the time needed switching ribbons.
    • Reduce time to find a certain tool.
  • Add custom macro commands.
    • Example: Take a command like POLYLINE, and auto-select options to instantly start the polyline with an arc segment in a certain direction.
  • Create an office-wide .cuix.


Ribbon customization: Simple to advanced (25:21)

  • (Easiest): Don’t customize. Learn/memorize shortcut commands instead, rely on auto-complete, or create a custom shortcut.
  • Drag a panel off the ribbon.
  • Add a tool to the QAT via right-click.
  • Add a tool to the QAT via Command User Interface (CUI).
  • Create a custom ribbon tab and panel.
  • Customize a default ribbon (likely requires re-customizing every year).
  • (Hardest): Create a custom tool.

29:08: – 37:29: Simple Ways to Customize


Creating your own shortcut using the Alias Editor (Example: BREAK) (29:55)


Tool tips (explanations of each tool that pop up if you hover the mouse on its ribbon button (31:20)


Float or Hide a Panel (31:40)

Dragging and dropping a panel to create a floating toolbar (31:40)


Dragging panels back onto the ribbons (32:10)


Minimizing panels (32:25)



Add Tools to Quick Access Toolbar (33:18)

Adding a tool to the QAT (33:18)


Adding a drop-down menu to the QAT (34:40)


Adding a tool to the QAT using the CUI (35:10)

37:30: – 51:13: Advanced Ways to Customize

CUIX – Command User Interface (37:30)

Creating a custom ribbon tab and panel (32:30)


Viewing a preview of a custom panel (38:25)


Creating a panel (39:00)


Adding tools to the panel (39:20)


Identifying whether a tool is from Land F/X or native AutoCAD (39:40)


Organizing the tools in the panel (42:15)


Adding a drop-down menu to the panel (43:30)


Creating a tab (45:10)


Adding the label to the workspace (45:40)


Creating a custom tool (46:39)


Adding the custom tool to a panel (50:10)

51:14: – end: Save and Load Your Ribbon

Exporting your settings (51:20)


Importing your settings back into your installation (51:45)

Note that if you want to import your settings between versions, you’ll need to use the Migrate Your Settings tool (although we don’t recommend using this practice because it will overwrite any new tools from the newer version). Instead, we recommend bringing in your individual custom ribbons, as described shortly in this presentation.


Importing a custom ribbon (53:15)


Reasoning behind why we customize certain items the way we do (55:00)


Recap of how to add a tool to the Quick Access Toolbar (example: Delete Station) (57:50)

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