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05 January 2010


i've been using and teaching autocad for two decades no amount of hard sell or cute t-shirts will make up for the fact that the ribbon is just wrong.

I hate the ribbon.

Are there any t-shirts for me?

This is discrimination!!

I have been using AutoCAD for many many years as well and just like any change in AutoCAD or other software, change is never easy. I still type DD prefixed commands by habit like DDEDIT.

This is why we gave the option for the AutoCAD Classic workspace. You can get AutoCAD back to an R12 look if you prefer to go really old school back to 1992. http://autodesk.blogs.com/between_the_lines/2008/11/autocad-like-its-1992-autocad-retro-profile.html

Thanks for the comment and reading the blog.


You could create an "I love AutoCAD Classic Workspace" or "AutoCAD Old School Rocks". The Love Ribbon shirt was created by a customer and money going to charity.

Thank you for the comment and reading Between the Lines.

I'm not an "AutoCAD" user - I'm an "AutoCAD Civil 3D" user.

From day one I saw that the ribbon was a way to place the HUGE command set of verticals like C3D into a screen space that *could* be as small as a 1/4" strip across.

It isn't perfect now, but I think the main gripe I have is that "conceptual" tabs need to include the "modify" commands, so that when you click an object, and all you really want to do is COPY it, you don't need to go back to the home tab.

Meanwhile, try the ribbon on a system that has a couple 24" widescreen LCDs (1920x1200) and you might like it a lot more. Even at full default size.

Then use that as an argument (to the boss) why you can't keep up without a yard-plus of screen space in front of you. Really, a few hundred bucks is all it costs to give your productivity an Emeril-style BAM.

Hey, I like it so much I bought a pair of 24s at home. Like, BAM, dude!

this is NOT like any change in autoCAD -- i've started using the software in version 9 and have happily embraced new features, increasing my productivity almost exponentially. this is the first 'upgrade' -- and the quotes are highly intentional -- that was a huge hindrance to productivity for the poweruser and comprehension to the beginner.

i'm well aware of the autocad classic workspace. the first lesson my students get is how to switch to it.

btw, unluckily for us, there is no such option in architecture.

really, we need those t-shirts kevin simmons longs for.

The ribbon sux... it is true...

I personally think it is actually a smaller change than when we rearchitected from DOS to Windows, changed plotting, re3moved MNU MNL MNC MNR to the single CUI to a average user.

Change is never easy especially when you get used and comfortable wit something. The Windows platform and user interface was changing along with the programming APIs and we had to make the move. We also had to modernize the user interface as we did back in R12, R14 , R2000 and also provide more task based flow and discoverability to commands and features. What we show in usage reports is majority adopt the ribbon and newer users prefer it to the old drop downs.It was no easy decision or one we decided to do on our own but hopefully we provided the classic workspace and settings for those that wish to set their AutoCAD to look just like it was 1992 again. Please provide specific ribbon feedback requests and issues and we will do our best to address those. Users moving from AutoCAD 2009 to AutoCAD 2010 tat did not like the AutoCAD 2009 ribbon liked the ribbon in AutoCAD 2010 with its improved speed, contextual switching, sticky tabs, and more. It just needs to be given a chance and if not to your like provide the specifics.

Thank you for the comment,

The ribbon may one day be the way to go but it's a long way from where it needs to be.

Kudos for the fundraising effort.
As for the ribbon; I'm trying hard to like it, but not digging it much so far, but I'm forcing myself to live with it. Time will tell.

I understand the need to keep up with the trends in design interfaces, but what infuriates me is when you guys change stuff for the sake of changing it. Case in point; the explode icon has been a stick of dynamite forever (at least since it came over from express tools I think?) Last year it changed to a cube looking thing, Why?

I assume that going through the program and redesigning the buttons took thousands of coding hours, costing your user base countless hours trying to adapt to it. If your software engineers have that much time on their hands I've got a list of things that need attention which are orders of magnitude more important to the customers.

Don't get me wrong, I've been a loyal Autodesk user since the DOS days and am basically happy with the platform, but some of the thing you folks do is just plain silly.

Single monitors are no longer a real option for CAD work. Dual monitors are a *huge* productivity boost, not just for CAD but everything else you do.
Being able to look at an e-mail, data sheet, spreadsheet, etc. on the other monitor is an enormous time saver. If you haven't added a second monitor try it, you won't believe the difference.

Do you have any specific issues you would like us to research to make the ribbon better?

Thank you,


Do you have any specific issues you would like us to research to make the ribbon better?

Thank you,

To be fair, some days are better than others :-)

It would have been nice if the OOTB ribbon matched the OOTB pull-downs; File, Edit, Draw, Modify, ...Etc; making for a more gradual transition with less hunting. I agree with the above comment about the Modify commands being easier to access when in other palettes.

Sometimes it seems to be Click, wait, Click, wait.

The amount of screen space required can be a nuisance but with monitors getting larger and cheaper it's not a huge issue.

The best part of AC these days is the Workspaces. Enables us to have many setup on the same public computer so each can configure to their liking and not miss a step! The guys using AC for years like the buttons and pull-downs and the new guys like the ribbon.


Please Autodesk go away from the ribbon. Dont follow Microsoft's mistakes. The ribbon is not user friendly, you cant do things quickly with the ribbon, being proficient with it is very impossible. Please Autodesk listen to your consumers. Give us what we want, not what you guys want. Also please make Autocad available for a Mac. Learn from Apple. They actually listen to there consumers and give them what they want.

I love your comment "You can get AutoCAD back to an R12 look if you prefer to go really old school back to 1992."

Old school is when I started using AutoCAD....June 1983, Version 1.2, computers with 4mb of ram and 360K floppies.

I miss my digitizer.

I hate the ribbon. What a pointless, ill-conceived work-in-progress it is. Whoever concocted it decided that user productivity was not worth considering. Users need access to commands using less clicks, not more.

But this has happened before...

My training on Acad r12 (for DOS) was followed by my first job which used r12 (for Windows). As I was used to the Command Propmpt by this time, I didn't use many of the icons or toolbars.

Then I used LT97. Same connands, different set of icons.

LT98 - different again

r13-different again

r14 - you get the picture?

The best reason for using the command prompt is to lighten the load on your eyes and your index finger. I'm amazed this isn't promoted more as a preventative measure against RSI etc. But I suppose TYPING COMMANDS sounds ssoooooo last century. What we really want is Acad on our iPhones. Not to work on, you understand....just for the pose!

P.S. I bet you don't sell any T-shirts!

"..and also provide more task based flow and discoverability to commands and features."

The only users to benefit from that approach are untrained, casual users that can't or won't RTFM (ie managers and senior engineers). Autodesk has ignored the rest of us. We suffer for this, and some of us lose time & money as a result.

CAD operators != glorified typing pool.

You say the 2010 Architecture Ribbon improves speed? You have to be kidding!! Having common tasks move around the screen in location, depending on the context and having to wait 1/2 second or more for the pull down to "ribbon out" is frustrating. I am an Architect who has been doing full production ACAD drafting for over 15 years. DOS Autocad was the fastest in command execution. With keybd shortcuts I could literally move as fast as my mind and hand could. Windows overhead has always been slow but NEVER AS SLOW AS IN ACAD 2010 !!! Revit is being ruined. Autocad is being ruined. (the icons are pooly designed visual clutter) When was the last time you got paid to do building working drawings under deadline?? What do T-shirts have to do with this???

I agree with the fact that it takes a lot of extra time to learn the ribbon but that is not what my main complaint is. I use both AutoCAD and Inventor. What really hacks me off is that the icons that do the same thing are different in both programs. Someone needs to get your programmers together in the same room and get some consistency in your software

EdR, Autodesk has been trying to make its products look alike for some time, and the Ribbon is a big part of this push. This consistent-look drive is main driver behind the constant meddling with icons that upsets those people who want to keep things consistent from year to year within a given program.

For example, AutoCAD users generally hated it when the Explode command's easily identified dynamite icon was replaced by some generic blue box thing that came from elsewhere in the Autodesk stable.

With hindsight the problem shouldn't have been allowed to develop in the first place, but right now Autodesk can't win; what ever it does (or doesn't do) with icons will result in complaints (including mine).

There is nothing to fix with the Ribbon, it needs to go away. Stop using development time on this kind of stuff and give us productivity improvements.

I've been using 2010 for a little while now and when i go back to 2008 i can't find things, the contextual panels or reactive panels are way better....select a table you get the menu you need, select an x-ref object you get the x-ref panel,

The best thing with the Ribbon is creating your own contextual menus and incorporating your own VBA and lisp routines in the ribbon is much easier than modifying the old cui files and you can customise the hell out of it.

We use a combination of the ribbon and tool palettes and workspaces, working in land development, structural design, landscape architecture and surveying and being able to swtich workspaces and have reactive ribbon panels means someone working across all those areas doesn't need to learn where everything is, it appears on the ribbon when you edit things.

Handy hint though, add things you use all the time, but don't use the command line for to the Quick access tool bar and set it below the ribbon....after 2 weeks you'll be hitting those buttons without looking.

I think what would make the ribbon better is make it easier to customize cause the default for it just sucks.

What I think would be more user friendly, Right click where the tabs are and click on "create new tab" name it whatever you want. Right click an empty space to creat a new panel, and you can put all the buttons you want on that panel, and you can creat as many panels as you want and organize where you want your buttons, Also the buttons that you use the most you can enlarge them so there an easier click for productivity.

I would prefer to have buttons on there that have a long command name.

Thats how i'd make the ribbon better

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