Displaying the Classic Toolbars in 2010 Products


Recently we have had a few customer support request on how to display their “classic toolbars” in Autocad 2010 as well as the vertical products like Architecture, Civil 3D… and so. Yes, there is an AutoCAD Classic Workspace available out of the box, but only for the platform software and not the verticals. Even though I whole heartedly support the use of the Ribbon; sometimes you have older customization in a toolbar or you just want to use both the toolbars and the Ribbon to ease into the transition. In this blog I want to show you 3 simple ways on how easy it is to still be able to redisplay that hidden content.

First let’s look at the platform product, AutoCAD and its different ways of displaying toolbars.
1.The easiest way is if you liked the old look and feel of AutoCAD prior to the Ribbon then just change the Workspace to AutoCAD Classic and presto and it will have that old appearance that has been around for many versions.
a. Workspace button located on the Status bar at the bottom of the screen. Just click the dropdown arrow and change it to AutoCAD Classic.

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b. By default the Ribbon is not displayed in this workspace. (Remember that does NOT mean you can’t take advantage of the Ribbon in this old look; if you want to add it also… At the command line just type RIBBON and it will display. When you want to hide it again type: RIBBONCLOSE and it will disappear again.

2. Another way in AutoCAD Platform is to go through the old Menu Bar that used to be the Pull down menus that were replaced by the Ribbon. Aww Yes; you can even reload your old pull downs, but for now we are just showing how to display it so we can get to the Toolbars section through inside it.
a. The first step is to display the Menu Bar by going to the dropdown options in the Quick Access Toolbar. (Note: the Quick Access Toolbar is not the same as the regular toolbars; it is a whole different menu area and for the most part is always displayed and can either at the top of the AutoCAD Screen or below the Ribbon only. You can Also display the Menu Bars in the Veridical Products; remember they don’t have the Tools pull-down menu that you will need in the next step.

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b. Next you will see the Menu Bar appear above the Ribbon tabs. Go to the Tools pulldown and than Toolbars -> AutoCAD -> (then pick which toolbar you want to display first.

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c. In this example the Draw Toolbar will then display where it was last displayed.  Now here is the good part you only need one Toolbar displayed in order to access the rest the way you used to turn on and off the display of all the other Toolbars. To do so just (right-click) any icon on the toolbar and you will see a list of the rest of the Toolbars in the shortcut menu, just pick the ones you want to display like you have done in the past versions.

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3. The Last way is the best way to display a Toolbar, because it works in both; platform or vertical products through the command line.
a. At the command line type:
Command: -toolbar
Enter toolbar name or [ALL]: layers
Enter an option [Show/Hide/Left/Right/Top/Bottom/Float] <Show>: Show

This dash in front of the command name suppress the CUI dialog box and allows you to just type in the name of the toolbar you want. Once you have the first toolbar displayed; refer to step 2c above to display any other desired toolbar you desire.

I hope this helps; Thank you for your time and if you have suggestions for future Blogs that you would like to see? Please feel free to email me at isaac.harper@cadsoft-consult.com.

12 thoughts on “Displaying the Classic Toolbars in 2010 Products

  1. OK – so displaying the menus was easy enough – but why doesn’t my “Tools” Menu have a “Toolbars” choice?

  2. John,
    That’s a very logical question! LOL, unfortunately I didn’t create the menu. But let me try and answer for the person that did make the decision, providing they did think about it. First of all, by default all of the Toolbars are turned off out of the box, (except the new Quick access Toolbar.) So I believe they were trying to discourage the use of, or felt like it was overkill to have another button to display what was already for the most part already in the Ribbon? Of course if you have your own custom commands that you created in your toolbars; those would not be in the Ribbon. (I guess they figured that they could not make everybody happy.) Anyhow, are you talking about the “Tools” panel on the “Express Tools” tab on the Ribbon? Those are the older Express tools being brought into the new environment (Ribbon) and not so much considered an area for “Menu Customizing”. I do agree with you that it would be nice to not have to jump through hoops just to display the first toolbar. If it were up to me… I believe that they should create a “More Toolbars…” button, like they have for the “More Commands…” in the drop-down arrow of the Quick Access Toolbar and have it display the toolbar shortcut menu that displays the whole list of the older toolbars. ??? Just a thought… Maybe if I get time I can create one and post it for everybody to be able to add their own.
    Thank you for your question.

    PS, if you are using AutoCAD Architecture, you’ve noticed that it can be really challenging getting any of your toolbars to appear. Autodesk had previously posted a nice little zip file that had a bunch of the ACAD cui files and a handy PDF to walk you through the steps, but last we checked, this file wasn’t available up on their site any longer. We’ve got a copy of it and you can download it here: Add Toolbars to AutoCAD Architecture 2010.

    Regards, Isaac Harper

  3. Hi Laura,
    Sorry I have been very busy prepping for AU, and I had a problem receiving this message in my blog… it went to an older link; but I got it! After reading it I realized that I have gotten that question a lot. So I and going to do a Blog on it in the Architecture section (What’s the Word on BIM?) Thanks for the topic, and for reading my Blogs.
    Regards,
    Isaac Harper

  4. none of the above worked for me I had to go to options>profile>AutoCad. FYI I’m on A’cad MEP 2010.
    Also, I like the classic as it allows me to click one time on a toolbar and it always display the current layer. the ribbions are big and always change…hit home and bam ribbions change hit view and bam they change.

  5. I understand your frustration… Let me explain a little (and please just remember I’m just the messenger, and just trying to make the changes that happen to your Autodesk products a little less painful.)
    First, this blog was based off platform AutoCAD (not the verticals), Unfortunately, (But Understandably), they have different menus, because they have different tools. That’s why it worked when you set it back to the platform AutoCAD profile.
    Second, the purpose behind the Ribbon is so you do not to have to display all of the tools at once, but instead have a right tool at the right time approach, that’s why they always change. The same as you would not want to turn on all of the toolbars at once, because you would have no room left to draw. It just takes time to understand the way Autodesk organized them, then it will be easier to understand.
    Lastly, this blog is 3 yrs old and something’s have gotten better in displaying the Toolbars as well as making the ribbon more “user friendly”. I hope this helps explain things. Once again, My job is to try to make yours a little easier and I agree, there will always be things that need improving, but if I can help ease the pain a little… I have done my part. Let me know if you need anything.

  6. my workspace switcing only doesnt have ‘autocad classic’ . It only has ‘architecture’ help!

  7. You must be using AutoCAD Architecture!!! =) AutoCAD Architecture (ACA) is what Autodesk considers to be a “Vertical Product” and does not come out of the box with the AutoCAD Classic Workspace. However, there is a couple of ways that you could add it. But before choosing the method, you need to determine are you using AutoCAD Architectural Tools (like Walls, Stairs, Doors… and so on. The TOOLS, not the AutoCAD Blocks) Because these tools are (Intelligent AEC objects) and unique to AutoCAD Architecture, and are included in the basic AutoCAD (only) tools. If you are just using AutoCAD Architecture just like AutoCAD (and none of the Vertical Tools.) Then the fastest way to get the AutoCAD Classic Workspace is to go into OPTIONS and in the PROFILES tab, change it to the AutoCAD and set it current. This will swap-out the (ACA) user interface and replace it with the AutoCAD (ACAD). So the Vertical tools will not be displayed. However, you could still use the command line to type them in. If you do use some of the ACA (Intelligent AEC objects) tools, and also want to be able to switch between the workspaces, (Architecture and AutoCAD Classic) then you would want to use the CUI (Customize User Interface) command and click on the Transfer tab, then on the right-side of the dialog you can open the ACAD.CUIx. (If you can’t find the ACAD.CUIx, load it’s profile as mentioned above then open the CUI, click on the ACAD name on the top-right of the dialog, then on the right-side you can copy the path from the left-side, to paste it in on the Open step in the Transfer Tab step.) This will display the ACAD Menu on the right-side and the ACA.CUIx on the left-side, then go down to the Workspaces category (right-side) and click and drag the AutoCAD Classic over to the ACA Workspace (left-side). This should then add the AutoCAD Classic to the ACA.CUIx, save the cui and now you should be able to switch back and forth between the Architecture and the AutoCAD Classic in the Workspaces, without having to change profiles. Once you get better at editing content in the CUI you could create your own content or compile multiple CUI files together. I hope this helps. If you have any further questions you can contact me at isaac.harper@cadsoft-consult.com Have a great day!

  8. You must be using AutoCAD Architecture!!! =) AutoCAD Architecture (ACA) is what Autodesk considers to be a “Vertical Product” and does not come out of the box with the AutoCAD Classic Workspace. However, there is a couple of ways that you could add it. But before choosing the method, you need to determine are you using AutoCAD Architectural Tools (like Walls, Stairs, Doors… and so on. The TOOLS, not the AutoCAD Blocks) Because these tools are (Intelligent AEC objects) and unique to AutoCAD Architecture, and are included in the basic AutoCAD (only) tools. If you are just using AutoCAD Architecture just like AutoCAD (and none of the Vertical Tools.) Then the fastest way to get the AutoCAD Classic Workspace is to go into OPTIONS and in the PROFILES tab, change it to the AutoCAD and set it current. This will swap-out the (ACA) user interface and replace it with the AutoCAD (ACAD). So the Vertical tools will not be displayed. However, you could still use the command line to type them in. If you do use some of the ACA (Intelligent AEC objects) tools, and also want to be able to switch between the workspaces, (Architecture and AutoCAD Classic) then you would want to use the CUI (Customize User Interface) command and click on the Transfer tab, then on the right-side of the dialog you can open the ACAD.CUIx. (If you can’t find the ACAD.CUIx, load it’s profile as mentioned above then open the CUI, click on the ACAD name on the top-right of the dialog, then on the right-side you can copy the path from the left-side, to paste it in on the Open step in the Transfer Tab step.) This will display the ACAD Menu on the right-side and the ACA.CUIx on the left-side, then go down to the Workspaces category (right-side) and click and drag the AutoCAD Classic over to the ACA Workspace (left-side). This should then add the AutoCAD Classic to the ACA.CUIx, save the cui and now you should be able to switch back and forth between the Architecture and the AutoCAD Classic in the Workspaces, without having to change profiles. Once you get better at editing content in the CUI you could create your own content or compile multiple CUI files together. I hope this helps. If you have any further questions you can contact me at isaac.harper@cadsoft-consult.com Have a great day!

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