AutoCAD 2009’s biggest change is the user interface.
We spoke AutoCAD’s new Ribbon and the new Menu Browser, but I want to step back a bit, and take a look at the new Application Window. The Application Window (I didn’t realize it was called this) is what you see when you are using AutoCAD (see screen shot above.) It has the drawing area, the status bar, the ribbon (in 2009), the info center, menu browser, quick access toolbar, etc. Whatever there is to work with it’s in there.
Out of the box, AutoCAD 2009 looks very different because of these changes. One of the first things you might notice is that the toolbars are missing and it appears the pull down menus are gone or at least changed. The ribbon has replaced these items. It has also replaced the dashboard! If a user types in the command “DASHBOARD” to try and bring it up, the ribbon opens (if it isn’t already.) So, no more dashboard either. If you find that you can’t work without toolbars or pull down menus, change your workspace to “AutoCAD Classic”. This will turn off the ribbon, bring back the pull downs and open toolbars. If you want the ribbon back, just type in dashboard (or ribbon) at the command line. I suggest you try to get through the change by working with the ribbon. It does reduce screen real estate.
Another change is the Menu Browser. I talked about this earlier. Since the pull down menus are now separated into the Ribbon and the Menu Browser, each one is better suited to give you more. They take up less room and have more abilities than their predecessors. One of the greatest advantages with the new menu browser is the ability to PIN recent documents, commands and more. We didn’t have that before. It makes repetitive work easier to get to.
I plan on looking at more of the new features in AutoCAD 2009 in the next several posts.Happy CADDING!!