Shopping for Menus: Adding the Draw (and other AutoCAD Menus) to your Civil 3D Workspace

The CUI and Workspaces were new with AutoCAD 2006 (and therefore Civil 3D 2006, Land Desktop 2006, etc.), so many of us are already extemely familiar with them.

However, for those out there who are just getting started with Civil 3D 2007, it is often intimidating to figure out how to add menus to your workspace.

Common requests are: How do I get the DRAW menu?  Or the TOOLS menu?

Click on MORE below for some explaination and screen captures…

I am personally a big fan of the CUI because I was never one to go tramping around in those .mnu/.mns files or do any customization to my toolbars because I found it to be cryptic.  Workspaces and the CUI are easy for me because they are more like Windows Explorer- very right click, checkbox oriented. 

I find that the people who have the hardest time with the CUI are folks that were good at customizing their AutoCAD interface before… they tend to overthink it.


When you go to the big Warehouse Price Club, you grab a shopping cart.  As you go through the store, you put the items that you’d like to buy in the cart.  You know that you need milk today, but not bread.  So you just take milk.  But you still know that when you need bread, you will be able to get it at the store.  It is there waiting for you when you need it.

So when I am doing tasks that require the Draw menu, I know I can always go into the Menu Warehouse and grab the Draw menu.  I can also save my workspace that includes the Draw menu for later.

Find your Workspaces toolbar (a handy one to have around all the time) and choose customize.

This box shows you the Workspaces you have defined and what is contained in them.  (Your shopping baskets)

Press customize to enter the “BLUE ZONE”.  When everything is blue, you can check and uncheck boxes to add menus (and toolbars and more) to your workspace.

Think of the LEFT side as your WAREHOUSE.  Check boxes in the WAREHOUSE to add that item to your SHOPPING BASKET. 

Something else to consider- if you didn’t want to buy milk one day, you wouldn’t DELETE the milk department, would you? No.  You just wouldn’t add milk to your basket.  Keep that in mind when dealing with the left side of this window.  Don’t Delete any menus, commands or otherwise from the left.  You might want them later.  Just don’t add them to your workspace.

Drag things into the right order, and don’t forget to press DONE.

The BLUE ZONE goes away, and I now have those menus handy for my use.  Just press OK and you’ll see those menus ready for you!

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