Friday, July 30, 2010

Ribbons – An “acquired” taste?

Do you use the Ribbon, or are you like many who have turned it off, never to be tried again, simply because it was different?

If you have turned it off, I would highly recommend turning it back on, and giving it another chance. This phenomenal tool is “Context Sensitive”, now you may or may not know what that is, but let’s just say it’s sort of like if someone were to throw a ball at you, you would react differently if it were a baseball (you would catch it), or if it were a soccer ball (you might kick it, or hit it with your head), or maybe even a billiard ball (which you would obviously try to avoid being hit by).

Ribbons react in much the same way, when you “throw” something at Civil 3D by selecting an object (must be a Civil 3d object by the way, not an AutoCAD object) then Civil 3D reacts to it differently depending upon the object selected.
Examples: if you select an alignment, then the tools associated with working on alignments are now available and displayed in the ribbon.

If you select a surface the ribbon changes and the appropriate menu items are displayed allowing you to work on the surface. This makes it much easier to find the command you need.

When you first started up Civil 3D and the ribbon magically appeared, you had no clue where the menu item was that you were looking for. This is most likely why you turned it off in the first place. Now I am suggesting, that rather than looking through all those commands, panels, and menu items to find the volumes command, or the drape image command, that simply selecting the surface (which is what you drape an image on, or what you typically use for volumes) that these menu items now display in the ribbon. This greatly reduces the amount of items you need to search through on the ribbon. This increases your speed, which increases your worth, which of course… increases your employer’s happiness.

Bottom line: Civil 3D ribbons are responsible for your boss’s happiness! (Not really of course, but it sounded good.)

Try the ribbon; I think you may find that it becomes an “acquired” taste, and it may make your boss happier in the long run as well.

Thanks for joining me on my blog.

Till next time…. Make IT Civil3D

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