Customizing the Ribbon with IMAGINiT Utilities for Civil 3D

If you’re a subscription customer through IMAGINiT Technologies, you have access to our custom Utilities for Autodesk Civil 3D.  These utilities are specialized tools that were created in-house by our development team and appear on the IMAGINiT Tab of the Ribbon after they are installed.

Util for Civil Tab

These are excellent tools that can increase efficiency and reduce the amount of time spent on tasks that are multiple steps by default.  One of the tools that I like is called Swap Multiple Parts

The out of box Swap Part command is a one-time function that allows you to select and swap a single existing part with another from the part list.  If you want to swap multiple pieces, you will need to repeat the command multiple times.  With the Swap Multiple Parts command, it allows the user to do exactly what it says; select and Swap Multiple Parts all at the same time.

So, if this IMAGINiT utility is so great, why not have it appear automatically on a Contextual Ribbon tab like the default command does?  With a little bit of CUI Magic, you can.

The Civil.cuix file contains the layout and settings for the components of the Civil 3D user interface.  Since CUI stands for “Customize User Interface” we are allowed to modify this file* (or create our own) in order to set Civil 3D up the way we want it to be.

*Admin rights to the CUIx file folder location is required to apply and save changes.

Let’s say in my customized version of Civil 3D, I want the Pipe Network Contextual Ribbon tab to show me both the out of box Swap Part command as well as the IMAGINiT Swap Multiple Parts command in a mini drop-down list.  In the default contextual tab, the Swap Part command is available in the third row of Sub-Panel 1.  This is where we’ll need to look to find it, and also where the modification needs to be made to the CUIx file.

Default context tab

Default cuix

Using the CUI Command, open the CUI dialog box and expand Ribbon > Panels > Context Pipe Network Modify 1 > Row 1 > Sub-Panel 1 > Row 3.  If you have more than one section with the same name as I do, you may need to edit them both to see which one is linked to your Civil 3D tabs.

To create a Drop Down in this row, right-click on the Row (Row 3) and select New Drop-down.

New Drop down

When the New Drop-Down section appears, give it a name (i.e. Swap Parts), then drag and drop the commands into the new drop-down collection.  Since Swap Multiple Parts is a command from the Utilities for Civil 3D from IMAGINiT, search for it through the Command List section, then drag and drop it to the drop-down from there.

Swap Multi dropdown

In addition to placing the commands where you want, you can also set the Button Style (Large Icon, Small Icon, Large with Text, Small with Text) and the behavior of the drop-down list (Drop Down Menu with Recent, Drop Down, Split With Recent, Split and Split With Text (Static).  I am a fan of the Small Icon with Text and the Drop Down Menu with Recent combination, especially for the Sub-Panel items.

Command properties-combined

Once the commands are placed and properties are set, all that’s left is to click Apply and pick OK to save the changes and exit back to Civil 3D. 

Now when I’m working in a drawing with Pipe Networks, selecting a network component displays a Contextual Ribbon tab that includes a drop-down list for Swap Parts that includes both Swap Part and Swap Multi commands.

Swap part dropdown

If you’re already a fan of our IMAGINiT Utilities for Civil 3D, thanks for being our customer.  And if you’ve already seen how much time they can save you, take it a step further and customize your Ribbon so the utilities you like are integrated into the Contextual Tabs that appear automatically when Civil 3D objects are selected.

About the Author

Matt Miyamoto

Project Manager - Civil Solutions<br><br>With over 15 years of experience in the civil engineering industry, Matt provides training, consulting, technical support, and implementation strategies for organizations transitioning to Civil 3D. Matt is a licensed civil engineer, an Autodesk Certified Instructor (ACI) as well as an Autodesk Certified BIM Specialist: Roads and Highway Solutions. Additionally, Matt is an Autodesk Certified Professional for AutoCAD and AutoCAD Civil 3D.

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