There is nothing that seems quite so formidable as AutoCAD interface customization.  It was a pain before, and it’s a pain now. Am I sayin it is worse than before?  No way. It beats the snot out of the old MNU customization and DCL language.  I just don’t like getting knee deep in customizations any more.

The CUI is not really that hard.  In fact basic customization of the workspace is quite easy. I’ll show a simple toolbar addition, and a cool ditty I just picked up.

The CUI and Workspace

The workspace is a simple settings container for the interface as you use it right now.  It’s the new age ini file.  It can be customized rather easily using the CUI.  I’ll show you.

Command: CUI


The Customizable User Interface (CUI) is populated with all the information in the main CUIX file.  Our workspaces are organized at the top of the tree in the left column.  Selecting one of these will populate the upper right window with the contents.

In the example above you should see I have a simplified workspace, with 3 toolbars:

The quick access toolbar and 2 legacy toolbars.


The Quick access is fed from within the main CUI contents, and the legacy items from a separate CUI file that contains all my customizations.  What I want to focus on is how easy it is to add something to this list.

Drag and Drop

In the following example, I expanded the main content toolbar collection, and dragged the ‘Transparent Commands’ toolbar to the workspace toolbars collection.  Notice that the interface highlights with acceptable drop locations.


Once dropped the toolbar populates the list, and appears in its default interface location (right sidebar).


A new find

There is access to the toolbars that are loaded in the CUIX file without going through the CUI.  If you have toolbars loaded, right click in the empty header space adjacent to the loaded toolbars. This action will activate the toolbar selection menu.

No that’s not the new thing.


If you don’t have a toolbar loaded, then that header space is gone, and you can’t access it. (I tried picking the edge where it connected to the bottom to the Ribbon, but no joy).

However, if you right click the right side edge of the graphics view area (where the right sidebar would be), the toolbar interface activates.

Slick 🙂


This may be common knowledge, but I’m happy to have come across it just the same. I have not been able to verify this behavior with other 2011 users yet.  It does not seem to work in 2010.

Leave us a line and say whether this was helpful, and whether it worked with your version.