AutoCAD 2009 – How do you use the Ribbon?

AutoCAD 2009 – How do you use the Ribbon?

It would appear from comments made on the Autodesk newsgroups that a lot of AutoCAD 2009 users have their Ribbons turned off. That’s actually one of eight possible states for the Ribbon to be in. Is it really the most popular configuration? Does it apply to 12.5% of you or is it more than that? I’ve added a poll to find out. Please vote only if you’re an active AutoCAD 2009 user, as I want to see what people use in production.


  1. Chris Cowgill

    The thing with the ribbon is, I find no use for it, I dont use tool bars, so what is the point of having a ribbon, it is just a bunch of tool bars rolled into one thing that can hide to provide temporary screen space.

  2. Paul Hindes

    I’m a 25 year solid user of AutoCAD. The ribbon interface is the first time I found I could not use autocad with the default interface. My productivity became so low with the new interface design, I was preparing to revert to 2008. Then I found I could get the old interface back and get rid of the ribbon thing. Prouctivity is back, and the software works as I expect it to.
    For me, this interface problem is not just with AutoCAD, but with the microsoft products too. The “vista” style of working just, well, doesn’t work!

  3. mark

    I agree the ribbon is useless if you dont use toolbars,which I dont. But the big question coming out of all the posts here and elsewhere is where is Autocad going ? 2007 was a good release but there wasnt much new last year and there’s almost nothing worthwhile this year too, unless you count playing with the toolbars/ribbon stuff. Autodesk have to do something to justify the enormous annual subscription and are now changing for change sake. The danger is that the whole thing will be ruined with unnecessary and unwanted changes. Perhaps we could pay a reduced subscription to keep our programs in a state that suits us [and our productvity] ?

  4. Craig Corneau

    The ribbon seems to be not much different from the dashboard, and that’s exactly how I use it. It took me a while to get used to the dashboard in 2008 but adjusting to the ribbon was a breeze. I will say though that neither the dashboard nor the ribbon get a heck of alot of usage from me. I still type in alot of commands and I have my small collection of vital toolbar commands that I use as well. I like the dashboard/ribbon because it allows me easy access to lesser used commands without taking up much screen space.

  5. dumblonde

    I have to say I hate these new ribbons in all programs! They are messy, take up to much of the screen and are generally more confusing than helpful.

    Comeback toolbars!! Please!!!!!

  6. Nick Baxter

    My productivity got so slow I was about to switch back to 2008 when I found I could get my ms and ps tabs back and the menu bars back. Often I have multiple windows open and it is not practical to ctrl tab through them all so I rely on the window tab to choose my drawings. The ribbon is a useless waste of space. I wish the big red A would go away too. Why would Autodesk waste their time on useless ways to do the same thing when they could be writing a Mac version of autocad.

  7. zero

    I liked the 08 dashboard for 3d solid editing, materials, etc other stuff was pretty redundant, so it particularly irks me when the Ribbon doesn’t have any of this…and what’s with ‘visualization’ and ‘design’ in workspaces aren’t we allowed to design in 3d? On a good note rendering is awesome.

  8. Rommetje

    keyboard commands are vastly faster. L, O, SC, F, REC, etc. I am moving on in design and use Inventor for new stuff, but our old files require AutoCAD and this new ribbon interface even if it wasn’t dog slow requires more clicks than the old style interface.

    The ribbon arose when MS realized that people weren’t using all the new features of their programs. The question really is: do you need them? or does the software industry need them for you to upgrade. The annual update cycle is at risk here, what we need is new file formats, new interfaces and ….

  9. R. Paul Waddington

    Benlomond’s customer feedback; disappointing and said as it sometimes has to be to catch the necessary attention.

    I hope Autodesk/his dealer makes the effort to find out why.

  10. Dave Wolfe

    Here’s my deal. I use the keyboard (left hand) for speed, and I have a long list of command that I’ve memorized to make it so that I rarely need to use a Interface element (toolbar, ribbon, dashboard, whatever). I’ve found the ribbon helps immensely in 2 scenarios, 1: I use a command I don’t have a shortcut for (once or twice every few days). 2: I am training someone to use one of the addons we have loaded (or even AutoCAD). My typical setting is to have the ribbon docked like a palette (like the dashboard), which results in me having no menus and no toolbars…maximum screen real estate! Before the ribbon, you could never have gotten as much screen real estate and still have access to all of the commands…albeit slowly on first loading.

  11. Kevin G

    Ribbons are third grade. It is just a way to dumb things down. I use keyboard, pull downs and tool bars. What I use depends on what I am doing they all work for me but this ribbon thing SUCKS!

  12. R Raybon

    Autodesk crapped in my cereal as far as I am concerned. I am mostly a button clicker with a little keyboarding for some things. I was recently hired by a company to set up a new Architectural department. I was chosen because I had a long history with Autocad Architecture and was very productive. They invested in three seats of Revit Architecture 2010, which I had never used before. First thing I tried to do was get rid of the stupid ribbons as I did in 2009, but can’t find any good way to do it, so I have been floundering for the past month trying to learn the stupid ribbon commands. All my ‘automatic’ moves are gone. I used to be able to go to a button with my eyes closed. Now my productivity is gone and I have to work way too many hours to get a reasonable amount of work done to make my boss happy.

    Thanks for nothing, Autodesk.

  13. Mark in Florida

    Improvements to AutoCAD should always make things more productive. The Riboon is fine for other programs like word processing that only use it occasionally. But to continually have to use the ribbon to something as simple as change a view, now requires three or four more extra clicks.

    The Ribbon in AutoCAD is a major time waster.

    I am all for learning new things. But this ribbon thing is a major pile of nonsense.

    I find the pull downs more logical. And the idea of having icons vertically in older releases made better sense for how we work in AutoCAD.

    Who are the focus groups they run this though?

    AutoCAD is not Word, or Excell, or Powerpoint. It is a different productivity tool and should have a different interface to faciliate that special productivity.

    Come on AutoDesk- get it together.

  14. Microsoft Douchebags

    If the idiots who designed ‘the ribbon’ had ANY confidence in it, they wouldn’t make it compulsory, would they…

    You can see them saying to their idiotic bosses: “See – we told, everybody LOVES ‘the ribbon’, they MUST do, they’re all using it now!” even though most of us don’t have a choice.

    The first rule of user interface design testing is to give your users a CHOICE, and see which choice they take! You can bet that the assholes at Microsoft didn’t give people a choice between ‘the ribbon’ and pull down menus, because their precious little egos might have got hurt when most of their ‘victims’ chose the proper method of doing things… (pull down menus). In other words, all this wasted productivity, and we’re talking about hundreds of thousands of hours of people’s lives wasted EVERY DAY is because of the pathetic EGOS of a bunch of latte-sipping douchebags who get paid too much by Microsoft.

    I notice none of these pricks ever go on stage and ask people to tell them what they DON’T like about their ‘wonderful’ new ‘interface’…

    Autodesk are just another bunch of idiots who know absolutely nothing about user interface design – because THEY DON’T CARE about you and your experience using their shitty product. All they care about is MONEY. Well, epic fail on that part, because pissing off the majority of your customers = bankruptcy.

  15. bogudes

    I’m all for advancements like making a car faster and performing better, but this new ribbon interface is terrible. It’s like swimming in mud. Not only does it take forever to figure out where all the tools have been moved to, but once you do, it takes more clicks (in many cases) to get the same command active. Here’s one word for you Autodesk – “the ribbon sucks”.

  16. Victor, I don’t know, but I know I didn’t take it. If entering the RIBBON command doesn’t work and your acad.cui file (cuix was introduced in 2010) is genuinely gone, you could try copying it from your installation CD. But really, your reseller should be able to handle this kind of problem.

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