Chapter 3. Customizing the Tools

AutoCAD customization goes beyond just being able to change the appearance of the application window or controlling the regeneration process of a drawing. AutoCAD allows you to create your own toolbars, menus, shortcut keys, and ribbon tabs and panels, among other user interface elements. This flexibility allows you to further integrate AutoCAD into your workflow and to manage CAD standards.

To customize the user interface, you use the Customize User Interface (CUI) Editor. The CUI Editor is a graphical editor that reads and writes to customization files that have a CUI file extension. The CUI Editor and CUI file format were introduced in AutoCAD 2006.

How Customizing the User Interface Has Changed

Users have been able to customize the user interface dating all the way back to AutoCAD R12 and even earlier releases. Since then, many additions have been made to the user interface, including toolbars and shortcut keys, but one thing has always remained consistent: Customization was done by editing an ASCII text file with a text editor outside AutoCAD. That all changed with AutoCAD 2006 and the CUI file format.

If you are relatively new to AutoCAD, you might not know much about previous releases of the program. Those of you who have done some menu customization with AutoCAD 2005 and earlier releases might be familiar with the MNU, MNS, MNC, and MNR file types. The CUI file format replaced the MNU, MNS, and MNC file formats, but the MNR file type is still ...

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