About Customizing Ribbon Tabs


Ribbon tabs control the display and order in which ribbon panels are displayed on the ribbon. You add ribbon tabs to a workspace to control which ribbon tabs are displayed on the ribbon.

Ribbon tabs do not contain any commands or controls like a ribbon panel does; instead, they manage the display of ribbon panels on the ribbon. Once a ribbon tab is created, you can then add references to any of the ribbon panels from the Panels node under the Ribbon node in the Customizations In <file name> pane to the ribbon tab. After references to ribbon panels are added to a ribbon tab, you can control the initial display order in which ribbon panels appear on a ribbon tab from the ribbon tab’s node in the Customizations In <file name> pane.

NoteNewly created ribbon tabs are not automatically added to a workspace. To display a new ribbon tab on the ribbon, select the workspace in which you want the ribbon tab to be displayed with and then use the Workspace Contents pane to add it to the workspace. For information on adding a ribbon tab to a workspace, see About Controlling User Interface Elements in the CUI Editor.

In the Workspace Contents pane, you add and remove ribbon tabs from the ribbon, which is controlled by the current workspace. Once a ribbon tab has been added to a workspace, you can control the order in which the tab is displayed on the ribbon by expanding the Ribbon Tabs node under the Workspace Contents pane.

From the Workspace Contents pane, you can control the default display of ribbon tabs and panels; this allows you to keep the associations of ribbon tabs and panels with a workspace, but turn it off. You can also control the tool palette group associated with a ribbon tab, and the collapse behavior, resize order, and orientation of a ribbon panel from the Workspace Contents pane.

The following table describes the properties for the Home - 2D ribbon tab as they appear in the Properties pane.

Properties for the Home - 2D ribbon tab

Properties pane item



Display Text

Title of the tab; displayed when the ribbon tab is assigned to a workspace and the Ribbon palette is displayed.

Contextual Display Type

Specifies whether the ribbon tab is displayed on its own tab or is merged with the ribbon tabs already displayed on the ribbon. The available options are Full or Merged.

Default Display

Specifies if the ribbon tab is displayed the first time the CUIx file is loaded as a partial customization file. The available options are Do Not Add to Workspaces or Add to Workspaces.

Add to workspaces
Workspace Behavior

Specifies how the ribbon tab is merged or added to the ribbon when this CUIx file is loaded as a partial customization file. The available options are Add Tab Only, Merge Tab Only, or Merge or Add Tab.

Merge or add tab

Specifies the keytip character to access the ribbon tab on the ribbon from the keyboard.



Specifies the aliases for the ribbon tab. Click the [] button to open the Aliases dialog box. Each alias in the CUIx file should be unique; it is used to reference the ribbon tab programmatically.


Element ID

Tag that uniquely identifies a panel.


Display Ribbon Tabs from a Partial CUIx File

When you load a partial CUIx file with ribbon tabs, you can use the Workspace Behavior property to control how the ribbon tabs might be displayed in all existing workspaces.

The Add Tab Only option displays the ribbon tab as its own tab, while the Merge Tab Only option merges the ribbon tab with a ribbon tab in the main CUIx file that is assigned the same alias. The Merge or Add Tab option attempts to merge the ribbon tab before a new ribbon tab is created on the ribbon.

NoteYou might need to use the CUILOAD command to reload a partial CUIx file in order for the ribbon tabs to be properly added to all existing workspaces. Reloading a partial CUIx file will affect the display of all its ribbon tabs.

The Plug-ins ribbon tab found in the acad.cuix, or acadlt.cuix, utilizes the concept of merging multiple ribbon tabs from all the currently loaded CUIx files into a single ribbon tab. If you create custom applications, you can merge a ribbon tab that contains your commands on it with the Plug-ins tab.

If you want to merge your ribbon tab with the Plug-ins tab, change the following properties of your ribbon tab to:

Note You can merge any number of ribbon tabs together as long as the aliases are the same.
Show Me: Create a Ribbon Tab