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Hi, I’m Charles Ellison. I’m a Civil 3D designer and trainer at Today we’ll be looking at how menu ribbons work in AutoCAD Civil 3D 2020. Menu ribbons have made their way into AutoCad applications, as well as a lot of Microsoft Office applications we work with today. They’ve now become the standard for navigating programs. Lets take a closer look at how Civil 3D classifies menus for greater accessibility.

Menu Ribbons are a key component to the Civil 3D interface. Ribbons are the standard feature for navigating recent versions of AutoCad software. Ribbons are made up of ribbon tabs and are the container for tools found inside of the ribbon. Each tab contains panels, so on the ‘Home’ ribbon for example you’ll find the create ground data panel, create design, profile section views and so on.

Panels hold unique tools related to that panel. They also require the proper resolution to appear properly. If not the icons can appear to shrink. The create design panel folds out to show additional tools that might not be used too often. So any panel that has an arrow next to it will have additional functions listed underneath it. Arrows shown at the bottom right will feature a dialog box that can impact panel features. A great example is the text panel in annotate ribbon. If we click on the bottom right arrow of the text panel, it opens up the text style dialogue box, which of course would have an impact on most of the text functionality.

So, it’s important to know these simple tools and tips as we walk through the ribbons in our exercises. But, one of the most powerful, useful ribbon tools in Civil 3D is what’s referred to as a contextual ribbon.

So, if I select a surface Civil 3D object, or any other Civil 3D object, I’ll get a special ribbon just to work with that Civil 3D object. In this case, because I selected a surface, all the tools to work with a surface are now available, and it’s getting me information specifically for that surface named Oceola Road.  Now notice that the contextual ribbon has a green shade around it, so it’s very easy to identify whether or not we’re in a contextual ribbon.  Now a contextual ribbon works best when we’re only selecting one object at a time to work with.  If we select another object, the contextual ribbon will change as it’s now multiple different types of objects we’re working with, and will only provide us a general tools to work with in multiple objects. Contextual ribbons are a powerful way to work with Civil 3D objects, as we’ll learn farther into this class.