Customizing the Inventor Interface

As you become more familiar with using the specific tools and functionality in Inventor, you might start thinking about how you can get even more efficient with the software. Often a good next step is to look at customizing the user interface with a more personalized layout. Generally, your layout choices will be driven by your personal preferences, and what I like to see may not be the same for you. With this blog, I aim to explain what can be customized in the UI and you can decide what you might like or not.  

Customize the Quick Access Toolbar 

By default, Autodesk has provided a list of the most-used commands that can be displayed or not in the Quick Access Toolbar (QAT), as shown on the left in the image below. Additionally, you can also add your other favorite commands (that aren’t in the default list) by right-clicking on the command in the ribbon, as shown on the right.  

You can also customize the commands in the QAT by right-clicking on them to access the menu shown below. You can remove a command, add a separator, or move the QAT below the ribbon. 
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Customize
the interface items that are displayed
 

There are a number of interface items that define the overall layout of the Inventor window. These can be enabled/disabled in the View tab>Windows panel by expanding the User Interface drop-down menu, as shown below. 

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You can also do the following: 

  • Customize the location of the ViewCube by hovering over it, expanding its sub-menu, and selecting Options. In the ViewCube Options dialog box, set the required On-Screen Position to any of the four corners of the screen. You can also customize its size in the same dialog box 

  • Customize which commands display in the Navigation Bar and where to dock it, as shown below. 

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  • Undock the Model browser by selecting its title bar and dragging it away from the left-hand edge of the window. To redock, drag it back to either the left or right-hand edges of the interface. You can also select the + sign on its title bar to add other browsers or select >Display Preferences to customize the information displayed in the browser. 

  • Customize the arrangement of windows so that they are arranged in quadrants, horizontally, or vertically. This can be done in the View tab or in the bottom right-hand corner of the graphics window, as shown below. 

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Tip: In the View tab>Windows panel, there is a command called Reset UI Layout. This option does not reset the changes that you make to the interface or ribbon. This option is provided for users that work across multiple monitors where interface items (e.g., Model browser, Properties panels) may be docked in different monitors. Reset UI Layout enables you to quickly combine all your interface items back to one monitor. 

Customize Panels on the Ribbon 

  • The default panels in each tab can be customized to control which are displayed using the Show Panels drop-down list, as shown below. 

  • The commands on a ribbon can be customized to control how they look using the Ribbon Appearance drop-down list, as shown below. You can control the size of the commands (Small, Compact, Large) and whether text is included with the icon (Normal) or not (Text off).  

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  • You can add a User Commands panel to any tab and assign any command to it. This is done using the Customize dialog box (Tools tab>Options panel>Customize) on the Ribbon tab, as shown in the image below.  A screenshot of a computer

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Customize the Keyboard Shortcuts  

By default, some Inventor commands are already assigned keyboard shortcuts/command aliases, but you might also want to add your own. This is done in the Customize dialog box (Tools tab>Options panel>Customize) on the Keyboard tab, as shown below. 

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  • The following keyboard sequences can be used: 
      • A single or sequence of keys with letters (A-Z) and numbers (0-9).

      • A punctuation key (e.g., ` - = [ ] \ ; ' , . /).

      • A miscellaneous keyboard key (i.e., Home, End, or Page Up).

      • A combination of <Shift> and numeric (0-9), punctuation, or the miscellaneous keyboard keys mentioned above.

      • Any combination of <Shift>, <Ctrl>, and <Alt> with alphanumeric characters. It is not recommended that you use <Alt> without a modifier.  

  • Once assigned, you might have multiple commands starting with the same alpha character. In that case, a list of options is displayed in the Status Bar, and you can use the up and down keyboard arrows to scroll through them.  

  • To delete a shortcut, select the command and click the X icon in the Keys column. 

Customize Marking Menus 

The commands that are available in the right-click marking menus when working in the graphics window can be customized to contain the specific commands that you want. This is done in the Customize dialog box (Tools tab>Options panel>Customize) on the Marking Menu tab, as shown below. First you must select the Environment and Sub-Environment to activate the correct right-click menu (as they can all be unique), and then you select the radial position on the menu to change (as shown for Extrude) and select a new command in the right-hand list. Continue changing the commands as required. 

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Saving Your Customizations 

  • All customizations that you make are automatically saved between each Inventor session. This includes all customizations to the ribbon and QAT, and locations and customizations made to the Model browser and Navigation Bar. This information is stored in the C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Autodesk\Inventor <Ver>\InventorCustomization.XML file. This can be copied and shared as needed.  

  • To save your customizations for future use in the next Inventor version or to share with a colleague, you can export an .XML file. This is done in the Customize dialog box by selecting Export. In the dialog box, select a file location that you won’t forget (and isn’t in the install path in case you delete it), assign a recognizable .XML file name, and click Save. Use the Import option to import it in the future, if needed.  

Tip: The exported .XML file will only save customizations made to the ribbon and QAT. It will not save customizations or locations of the Navigation Bar or Model browser, and it will not save the location of the QAT if it is moved below the ribbon. To ensure your entire customization is saved for reuse after a new software install, be sure to copy the InventorCustomization.XML file mentioned above before deleting the older software installation. 

I hope that this helped. Happy customization!

 

About the Author

Jennifer MacMillan

Manager – Learning Content Development<br><br>Trained in Instructional Design, Jennifer uses her skills to develop instructor-led and web-based training products as well as knowledge profiling tools. Jennifer has achieved the Autodesk Certified Professional certification for Inventor and is also recognized as an Autodesk Certified Instructor (ACI). She enjoys teaching the training courses that she authors and is also very skilled in providing technical support to end-users. Jennifer holds a Bachelor of Engineering Degree as well as a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from Dalhousie University.

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