If AutoCAD 2009’s floating toolbars are the best ever, what about when they’re docked? As a starting point, here is AutoCAD 2008 with the Express Tools toolbars docked.
Here is the same thing in AutoCAD 2009.
So a few pixels have been shaved off in one direction and added in another. The end result is that they use about 99% of the space used in 2008. Not too bad, but I think it could be better. Here’s my suggestion:
That uses about 80% of the space. In addition to shaving off a few more pixels, I think this looks a lot neater. I find AutoCAD 2009’s dark grey bars between toolbars ugly and distracting. Not at all cute, unlike their floating counterparts. The bars don’t seem to serve any useful purpose, so hopefully they will go away in a later release.
My own personal preference would be to shave off even more pixels, but the above would do as a compromise between compact efficiency and a pretty face.
There are many other areas of AutoCAD 2009’s new interface that should have the razor applied, with both practical and aesthetic benefits. I will return to those areas later.