Inventor Ribbon – Add Commands, Change Appearances

Hello again.

The other day I talked about customizing your keyboard aliases in Autodesk Inventor.  Today I am going to talk a little about customizing your ribbon menus.  There are a number of ways you can customize and personalize your ribbon menus to make them work best for you.  So… let’s have a look.

The Ribbon menu is made up of Tabs, which are what you see along the top of the ribbon.  Each Tab is made up of Panels.  These panels are used to group similar tools, and are usually separated by a line.  On each Tab, you can select or deselect the panels that you would like to show, as seen in this image.  (this is going to be an image heavy post… fair warning.)


This can also be achieved by using the small arrow seen in the upper right of this Ribbon tab.  A pull down menu will appear with check boxes for all available panels.  The Ribbon itself can be manipulated in appearance, to your liking as seen here:


Normal is the default setting.  Text Off simply removes the tool name so you are left with the icon only.  Small gives you a smaller version of all of the icons, and bunches them up to make the ribbon smaller.  Compact takes this one step further by making the icons smaller, and reducing the Ribbon to a single line of tools to narrow it even further.  These two are good for conserving screen space.  For older guys like me, there is the Large option which is very similar to the Text Off option… only more bunched up.  Reset Ribbon will do just that…. remove any customization you’ve added, and return it to “out of the box” condition.

In this context menu you can also change the size of the buttons on the Ribbon tab:


Move to Expanded Tab will take the highlighted tool or command button, and place it under the Panel name, and a small down arrow will appear on the Panel name to indicate there are additional buttons underneath.  When there are items in the expanded menu, you can expand the menu, right click on any of the “hidden” commands and select Move to Main Panel to return them to the top.  Some commands also allow you to Add to Quick Access Bar, which is the tiny set of tools you see above the Ribbon.

Last but certainly not least is Customize User Commands.  This is the area I am going to focus on, as this allows you to create a Custom Command panel on any Ribbon tab, and fill it with any commands you wish.  You could use this to place commands that are normally located on separate Tabs, but which you commonly use close together.  This would save you navigating around the panel for repetitive tasks.

On the Tools Tab, Options Panel select the Customize tool.  The first tab is Ribbon.  This consists of two windows; Existing commands and where to add them in a custom tab.


On the left under Choose Commands From, I pulled down “All Commands” to show you how they are broken up.  The first term before the hash mark, is the Inventor Mode.  So, you have Part, Assembly, Drawing etc.  The second term is the Ribbon Tab from that mode.  In the above image I am highlighting Drawing mode, View Tab.


On the right it is set up essentially the same way.  Select a mode and a tab.  This is where on the Ribbon, for that Mode, your custom commands will go.  So you can see that you can customize these ribbon tabs uniquely for each Inventor mode, ensuring that you will always have exactly the commands you want at your fingertips.  Now that you have selected both the source and the destination, it is simply a matter of locating the command you want from the source, and picking the >> in the middle of the dialog box to move it to the destination.  Once there, you can leave it as is with no check boxes which will give you a small button with no label, or you can check to make the button larger and/or add a label.


Using the << in the middle will remove any custom commands you no longer want or need.  Once you have added as many commands as you want, hit Apply and OK to see your new Custom Command panel on the Tab you have chosen… as below.



Since it is easy to remove these from the Ribbon, play around and se what custom panels you can come up with to increase your productivity.  And as always….


“Autodesk ® screen shots reprinted with the permission of Autodesk, Inc.  Autodesk ® , AutoCAD® , DWG, the DWG logo, Vault ®, Autocad Electrical ® and Inventor ® are registered trademarks or trademarks of Autodesk, Inc., and/or its subsidiaries and/or affiliates in the USA and other countries.”  Programs and programmers’ information used with permission.  Thanks guys!


CAD Department Supervisor at Powell Fabrication & Manufacturing, Inc. CAD Designer & Detailer specializing in Inventor Tube & Pipe, Frame Generator, Content Center, Vault Professional. Autodesk Expert Elite member. Blogger. AU 2014 Speaker. Husband and father.

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