July 30, 2017

Ribbon Tools in AutoCAD 2018.1 Update

The ".1" update for AutoCAD® 2018 for subscription and maintenance customers was released on July 27, 2017. You can see what's new in AutoCAD 2018.1 by reading the AutoCAD 2018.1 and AutoCAD LT 2018.1 Update Preview Guide. According to the Readme, the AutoCAD 2018.1 Update can be installed on AutoCAD-based verticals, such as AutoCAD® Architecture 2018 and AutoCAD® MEP 2018.

PLEASE NOTE: The update will overwrite the ACAD.cuix file for your 2018 product. If you have made any customizations to the ACAD.cuix file, be certain to back that file up prior to installing the update.
08/03/2017 UPDATE:  I have been told that the ACAD.cuix file does not get overwritten if you have already run the program at least once, but that the file is updated and the new panel and tool are added.  I would still back the file up prior to running the update if you have any customizations. The ACA.cuix or MEP.cuix file will not be updated.

While compatible with the vertical applications, the update will not update the customization files for those verticals that do not use the ACAD.cuix file as the main customization file, such as ACA.cuix and MEP.cuix. I personally have no problem with that, as I would rather maintain the Workspace customizations I have done in my main CUIX file* and manually transfer any new items I deem worthy. Here is how to get the Named Views panel and Insert View tool added in the AutoCAD 2018.1 update into your vertical's customization file. I will be working with the ACA.cuix file, but the same process applies to the MEP.cuix file, or that of any other AutoCAD-based vertical that does not use the ACAD.cuix file.

The first step is to install the AutoCAD 2018.1 update, which you can download from your Autodesk® Account page.

With the updated ACAD.cuix file for 2018 in place, you can now use the Transfer tab of the Customize User Interface dialog to copy the panel and the tool to your customization file. The following Screencast shows how to do so.
  1. After installing the AutoCAD 2018.1 Update, launch your vertical product.
  2. Start the CUI command to open the Customize User Interface dialog. Select the Transfer tab.
  3. The left pane of the transfer tab may already have your current main customization file open. If not, open it on this side.
  4. On the right pane, use the open tool and navigate to the location of the ACAD.cuix file in your user profile. Mine was located at
    C:\Users\dkoch\AppData\Roaming\Autodesk\ACA 2018\enu\Support
    Substitute your user name for "dkoch". Depending upon where you are in the world and what language version you have installed, the "enu" folder may have a different name. If you have your roaming Windows profile files on your network, then look there for the AutoCAD Vertical Product 2018 Support folder. Also keep in mind that the AppData folder is a hidden folder in Windows, so you will have to turn on the display of hidden files and folders if you plan to use the Search feature or navigate to the folder.
  5. On both the left and right panes, expand the Ribbon node and then the Panels node below that. Scroll down to find the Layout - Viewports panel in each customization file. Expand that panel's node and then expand the Row 1 node below that.
  6. On the right pane (ACAD.cuix), select both the Separator after Sub-Panel 1 and the Sub-Panel 2 node. The Sub-Panel 2 Node contains the Insert View tool.
  7. Hover the mouse over one of the highlighted items, press and hold the left mouse button down and drag those two items over to the left pane. Position the cursor just below the Sub-Panel 1 node. When you see the blue bar, release the left mouse button to drop those two items into the ACA.cuix version of the Layout - Viewports panel.
  8. If the Separator comes in below the Sub-Panel 2 node in the left pane, drag it up so that it is in between the Sub-Panel 1 and Sub-Panel 2 nodes.
  9. In the right pane (ACAD.cuix), scroll to find the View - Named Views panel.
  10. Drag the View - Named Views panel from the right pane to the left pane, under one of the nodes under the Panels node and drop it, to copy it to the ACA.cuix.
  11. Select the Customize tab in the Customize User Interface dialog.
  12. In the upper left pane, under the ACA node (or the node for the main customization file for your vertical product), expand the Ribbon node, and then expand the Tabs node under that.
  13. Scroll down to find the View - ACA ribbon tab, and expand that node. You will see a listing of the panels currently assigned to that tab.
  14. Scroll down and expand the Panels node under your main customization file. Scroll down to find the View - Named Views panel that you just copied.
  15. Drag the View - Named Views panel up toward the top of the list box in the upper left pane. The list box should start scrolling when you get close to the top. Keep scrolling until the View - ACA ribbon tab is visible.
  16. Drop the View - Named Views panel into the list of panels under the View - ACA node. I find that it is difficult to drop an item at the very end of a list of things under a node, so I usually drop it just above the current last item, and then drag that item above the item I just dropped, if I want the added item to be the last in the list.
  17. Select the OK button to ratify your changes and dismiss the Customize User Interface dialog.
  18. If a layout is not already set current, select a layout. The Layout contextual ribbon tab should appear. Select it and verify that the Separator and the Insert View tool were added to the Layout Viewports panel.
  19. Select the View ribbon tab and verify that the Named Views panel was added.

* - To make moving to a new release easier, I try to limit customization of the ACA.cuix file to those things that have to be there, such as Workspaces, and put as much as I can into a separate customization file, loaded as a partial customization file. That keeps my "stuff" mostly separate and I can adopt the ACA.cuix file that ships with the new release.

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