The AutoCAD Ribbon (as well as the Menu Browser and Quick Access Toolbar) present a user interface similar to Microsoft Office 2007. The ribbon provides easy access to tools through a collection of tabs and panels. Each tab contains multiple panels and each panel contains multiple tools. Some panels can be expanded to access additional tools.
For some tools, the ribbon automatically updates to display context sensitive information. For example, when you create or edit an mtext object, the ribbon automatically displays the multiline text ribbon. When you close the mtext editor, the ribbon returns to its previous state.
By default, the ribbon is docked at the top of the AutoCAD window. However, a right-click menu enables you to control the display and behavior of the ribbon. You can reduce the amount of space the ribbon consumes by disabling the option to Show Panel Titles or by minimizing to tabs or to panel titles.
The ribbon replaces the previous dashboard functionality (if you enter the DASHBOARD command, AutoCAD automatically launches the RIBBON command). You may not notice the similarity between the ribbon and dashboard at first glance. But, if you undock the ribbon, you’ll see that it looks and behaves very much like the dashboard. When the ribbon is undocked, you can right-click on the title-bar to access familiar dashboard-type options such as anchoring and auto-hide.
Whether the ribbon is docked or undocked, you can control the display of specific tabs and panels by turning them on and off in the right-click menu.
You can drag and drop ribbon tabs, or panels within the tabs, to reorganize them. And, you can even drag panels off the ribbon to create separate, floating panels.
To further customize the ribbon, you can use the Customize User Interface dialog box, where you’ll find the new Ribbon Tabs and Ribbon Panels nodes.
You can create new panels and tabs, add tools to panels, and add panels to tabs, using the familiar process of dragging and dropping.