Create Task-Based Workspaces

Workspaces are sets of menus, toolbars, palettes, and dashboard control panels that are grouped and organized so that you can work in a custom, task-oriented drawing environment.

When you use a workspace, only the menus, toolbars, and palettes that are relevant to a task are displayed. In addition, a workspace may automatically display the dashboard, a special palette with task-specific control panels.

For more information about using the dashboard, see The Dashboard.

You can easily switch between workspaces. The following task-based workspaces are already defined in the product:

For example, when you create 3D models, you can use the 3D Modeling workspace that contains only 3D-related toolbars, menus, and palettes. Interface items that you do not need for 3D modeling are hidden, maximizing the screen area available for your work.

When you make changes to your drawing display (such as moving, hiding, or displaying a toolbar or a tool palette group) and you want to preserve the display settings for future use, you can save the current settings to a workspace.

Switch Workspaces

You can switch to another workspace whenever you need to work on a different task.

Create or Change a Workspace

You can create your own workspaces and modify the default workspaces. To create or change a workspace, use either of the following methods:

You can control the display order of your saved workspaces and other options in the Workspace Settings dialog box.

NoteFor more information about creating or modifying workspaces, and how toolbars and menus interact with workspaces, see Customize Workspaces in the Customization Guide.

Select a Sample Workspace

You can experiment with the sample workspace included with the product. This predefined workspace demonstrates how you might use a workspace to streamline your work tasks.

You can find the sample workspace in the following location:

C:\Documents and Settings\<user name>\Application Data\Autodesk\AutoCAD 2008\R17.1\<product language>\Support\acadSampleWorkspaces.CUI

To use the sample workspace, you must first transfer it to your main customization (CUI) file. To learn more about transferring a workspace, see Migrate and Transfer Customizations in the Customization Guide.

Workspaces and Profiles

Workspaces work with and complement the control over your drawing environment that profiles provide.

Workspaces control the display of menus, toolbars, and palettes in the drawing area. When you use or switch a workspace, you change the display of your drawing area. You manage your workspaces from the Customize User Interface dialog box.

Profiles save environment settings including many of your user options, drafting settings, paths, and other values. Profiles are updated each time you make a change to an option, setting, or other value. You can manage your profiles from the Options dialog box.

NoteWhen you make changes to the drawing display, the changes are stored in your profile and are displayed the next time you launch the program, regardless of your workspace settings. The profile changes are not automatically saved to a workspace unless you select the Automatically Save Workspace Changes option in the Workspace Settings dialog box. To preserve profile settings in a workspace, click Tools menu Workspaces Save Current As.To preserve profile settings in a workspace, at the Command prompt, enter WSSAVE.

For more information about profiles, see Save and Restore Interface Settings (Profiles).