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Monday, August 31, 2009

Tuning Your Ride - Adding an icon to Inventor’s Quick Access Toolbar

Change is inevitable - except from a vending machine.

Robert C. Gallagher

With the onset of the Autodesk Manufacturing Academy (AMA), things have gotten exciting, so I have to confess that the blog has suffered a bit. So much to do, so much to do! Getting ready with Sheet Metal, Interoperability, among so many other things. It's fun, but it's a challenge too.

But even though I'm trying to get some of the metal ducks in a row (which, to carry on with animal analogies, has been more like herding mental cats), I thought about some of the ribbon customizations that can be accomplished in Inventor.

One of the things that I've wanted to adjust is the 'View Face' (formerly known as 'Look At') tool. Even with my Space Pilot Pro, I still use it from time to time. But in R2010, it's a little inconveniently placed, at least in my opinion.

By default, it's on the View tab, with the other viewing tools, which I don't use quite as often, or access by other means.

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Not hard to get to, but not easy either

I'd like to move it somewhere it will always be within easy reach. Fortunately there is a location where you can do just that, called the Quick Access Toolbar.

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One of the nicer properties of the Quick Access Toolbar is that it's always visible, no matter what ribbon your currently using. Add to that, you can place your own icons on it, like…. View Face for example.

How do I do that? It's actually pretty straight forward. If you right click on the icon you want to move (View Face), you can choose 'Add to Quick Access Toolbar', and you're off! That's it.

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Now the Quick Access Toolbar will have a 'View Face' icon available.

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What's the benefit of this? No matter what ribbon you're using, you'll always have the 'View Face' icon available.

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One final note, I'm sometimes asked how I feel about customization. I tend to keep my customizations to a minimum. As a matter of fact, this is the only customization I've made to my Inventor interface, and even then, I was slow in making it.

Why? There're two simple reasons for me.

  1. The simple reason, I have to train Inventor, and I can't really have my interface customized to the moon. So I keep it pretty vanilla.
  2. The more 'practical' reasons. If I have a more vanilla setup, I can walk up to the majority of Inventor stations, fire them up, and start modeling, I don't have to mess around with importing, or recreating the customizations.

That's it, no great secret. This one, I'll probably keep. This may be my sole customization for a long time. But with so many things, this is up to the individual.

Happy Inventing!