22 Replies Latest reply on Jan 2, 2008 3:04 PM by Rich Osterreicher

    Command 'sometimes' Manager

    Brian Hughes
      Okay, Command Manager is all fancy and fine... but what good is a manager that only manages custom and a limited distribution of toolbars?

      Example... I try and turn on the Align toolbar inside a drawing and I want it in the Command Manager?

      The old Command Manager allowed any and all toolbars to be added to it. AND the old Command Manager didn't have TINY tabs that had to be clicked on...

      Sigh... the development two step is frustrating.
        • Command 'sometimes' Manager
          Kelvin Lamport
          Are you not using the 'S' shortcut toolbar? It is very easily customized?
            • Command 'sometimes' Manager
              Anna Wood
              The new Command Manager can be customized and you can add your own tabs to it.

              With your cursor over the CM Tabs, RMB and then select customize. The icon on the far right will allow you to add new tabs. You can add whatever icons you wish to the existing tabs. You can also hide or show any of the tabs in the Command Manager.

              Also check out the S key short-cut. That is highly customizable for anything you select on screen. What appears is dependent on what/where you have selected on screen.

              There is a ton of customization available to you.

                • Command 'sometimes' Manager
                  Brian Hughes
                  I am aware of the ability to customize. I have no need to customize.

                  I just want the existing toolbars to be managed by the command manager.

                  As it is, there's herky jerky option of some toolbars being managed and other not being managed.

                  That is what it is supposed to do, is it not?

                  Maybe they should have renamed it with 2008 ...

                  Command Customizer
                    • Command 'sometimes' Manager
                      Neal Rusy
                      Yes, I agree is there a way to add a tab and use an existing toolbar the whole
                      thing. I don't want to have to add each command 1 at a time
                        • Command 'sometimes' Manager
                          Andy Sanders
                          I see what you mean. I just checked 07, and when you right click on the CM, you get "Customize Command Manager", and a drop down box full of toolbar choices. Just check one and you have it on the CM.

                          There is a "Customize Command Manager" in 08, but all it brings up is the regular Customize window.

                          The only thing I can offer is you can add a flyout toolbutton to the CM. That might get you what you're looking for.

                          I just checked: in 07, when you added a "Toolbar" via the "Customize Command Manager" drop down checkbox, all you got was the flyout button, NOT the full toolbar. I tried to add the Tables button, which only has 2 choices. The full toolbar has all the table styles.

                          Looks like if you want to add a "toolbar", just use the regular customize box, and add a flyout toolbutton.

                          Now, can we customize a flyout toolbutton?
                  • Command 'sometimes' Manager
                    Jim Wilkinson
                    The old CommandManager in SolidWorks 2007 an previous was verylimited in how it could be laid out and customized and was veryconfusing and frustrating to many users. The fact that it wasbasically a "container" or view of the other separatetoolbars was very confusing to a lot of people. The majority ofusers only show 10% or less of the available toolbars on theCommandManager, yet when you used the shortcut menu to customizeit, you got an enormous list of potential toolbars which wasconfusing to many users.

                    So, in SolidWorks 2008, we rewrote the CommandManager to be muchmore flexible in how you can define it. You can make your own tabsand put whatever buttons you want on any tab that you like (mixingand matching buttons from any toolbar). If you are showing text onthe CommandManager, for each button you can choose between textbelow, text to the right, or no text.

                    I understand that it feels like a regression that you cannot easilyadd all of the buttons from one toolbar to a tab at the same timeor have it automatically make a tab for you from a toolbar.However, we felt that this was an acceptable tradeoff for the addedcustomization flexibility. This task is something that you onlyneed to do once per tab, which should only take a few moments, andthe definition is then there until the user decides to delete it.We could consider adding the ability to add a tab or multiplebuttons at once to a tab from another toolbar, but designing a userinterface to achieve this that is discoverable and intuitive is notnecessarily easy.

                    We understand that the tabs are a bit small on some higherresolution monitors and we have made a size increase for SP02. Iwould like to hear feedback on the size after you get to try thatservice pack.

                    Thank you,
                    Jim Wilkinson
                    Director, Usability Group
                    SolidWorks Corporation
                      • Command 'sometimes' Manager
                        Rich Osterreicher
                        New CM Much more Flexible?? Can't even move it for cryin out loud...
                        Come on...I don't understand how anyone could find the old CM confusing. (compared to new one)
                        It was soo simple.. Pick the toolbar you want to be listed..
                        Very straightforward, AND functional.. Customizable, MOVABLE, etc..
                        How hard was that??

                        With the new Command Manager,
                        It confuses the hell out of people how they have to set up the same tabs, like sketch several times (for different modes)
                        How come the tabs don't retain settings between part, drawing, assembly, etc???
                        Ex: I set up the Sketch tab in part..
                        I want that sketch tab layout in ALL modes..
                        Why doesn't the sketch tab setup transfer to assembly & drawing???
                        I have a sketch toolbar set the way I want.. I want the sketch toolbar to be like that in any mode..
                        Kind of a pain having to set up the same tab(toolbar) several times..
                        And my #1 q.. why on earth can't we move the cm to the left side of screen???

                        Bigger tabs will help..
                        Or even have the ability to create user defined toolbars? Like nearly ANY other program?
                        Or maybe enhance the CM by making it MOVABLE..
                        I've always thought SW had the BEST ui.. largely because of the CM(old one)..
                        Just feel the new one is a big step backwards imo.. at least as it is currently..
                        Appriciate the effort to try and make things easier though..
                          • Command 'sometimes' Manager
                            Brian Hughes
                            I was going to reply to James comments but I felt like I would be arguing with a corporate press release so I didn't bother.

                            Rich, well said.

                            The best thing about the old command manager is that it managed the commands/toolbars without a new interface. Toolbars looked like toolbars, even when they're in the command manager and worked with the same toolbars.

                            Now we're gotten away from toolbars, but only a lilttle, because MOST of the existing toolbars don't fall under the new command managers scope of management unless one takes the time to Customize the blasted thing instead of being able to just make a few clicks and integrate another toolbar.

                            So what I'm seeing, over and over and over is people turning off the new command manager and splattering their screen with toolbars. I'd managed to convert some people to using the command manager and now... I get a phone call and we have a chat and they're back to toolbars.

                            I work at a VAR, I provide support, I run training classes. Basic / introductory classes to 2008 are fine. Anyone with a functional understanding and history of use, well much of the training I'm defending things I don't even like. Well... not necessarily defending, more explaining how it works, though I'm loathe to even attempt to share an explanation of why.

                            CAD people love toolbars, the old command manager was a toolbar container, a tiny bit of functionality had to be included in the existing design and the hordes would have adopted it... but no... two years after it's introduction, instead of fine tuning, it's been replace with something else that will require two years of development .... before it's replaced in it's final year which would be a matter of fine tuning.

                            Fine Tuning: (For any command manager)

                            Works with ALL toolbars
                            Can be positioned / floated
                            Supports New and Custom Toolbars
                            Can attach Short Cut toolbars
                            Drawing/Assembly/Part modes can be selected / locked from any mode

                            Ranty, rant, rant.... but isn't that what forums are for?
                              • Command 'sometimes' Manager
                                Rich Osterreicher
                                A var aquaintance of mine told me they're up to their ....
                                dealing with complaints about the new cm....
                                Told me most of his clients are simply turning the new CM off, and going back to standard toolbars.. And that he get's far more complaints about it than praises..
                                But as with anything...opinions vary.

                                Hopefully the issues will be addressed.. So it'll work for at least 1 release before the next major overhaul..
                            • Command 'sometimes' Manager
                              Devon Sowell
                              Hello James-

                              RE:"The old CommandManager in SolidWorks 2007 an previous was very limited in how it could be laid out and customized and was very confusing and frustrating to many users. The fact that it was basically a "container" or view of the other separate toolbars was very confusing to a lot of people. The majority of users only show 10% or less of the available toolbars on the CommandManager, yet when you used the shortcut menu to customize it, you got an enormous list of potential toolbars which was confusing to many users."

                              This is news to me. I've never heard this expressed before, either by SolidWorks or any User.

                              However, thanks for taking the time to respond to questions.
                              • Command 'sometimes' Manager
                                Matt Lombard

                                Please don't take this personally...

                                SolidWorks seems to be really good at telling us why they can only take a solution part way, like a bus route that only goes part way and makes you walk through the bad section of town. If you can't make the solution go all the way, then maybe its the wrong solution. I hear a lot of equivocating as you reason out how we got to where we are. I'd be willing to wait another release cycle to get something really solid rather than what looks like the experimental situation we have in 08.

                                I know you guys are trying to solve real problems, but I don't believe you've come up with a viable solution, because it breaks at least as much as it fixes. On one of my 3 computers, I'm trying to use an out of the box default interface installation. It is muderously painful. On a second one I've fully tweaked it as much as I could. On the third one, I have the interface set up as much like 07 as possible. On the default box, I'm constantly clicking the CM switching Sketch, Feature, Sketch, Surface, and then wondering where some of the stuff is like the Color.

                                I've come to the conclusion that you can't run the interface with only the CM, that creates incessant clicking back and forth. 2 CMs or the CM with other toolbars is probably best. But by not allowing other toolbars in the same row as the CM, that whole strip of space across the top is mostly wasted.

                                On the customized computer, I have given up on the CM and just use flyouts, along with a couple toolbars (sketch, standard and view) and a lot of hotkeys. The flyouts are the same amount of clicking as the CM, but it saves a lot more space than the CM. I will never use the S toolbars because pressing S then picking a button is a waste of time compared to hotkeys for the commands on the S menu. I am starting to like the shortcut toolbars available on left click, but still don't like the split RMB menus.

                                Getting rid of the scroll bars and splitters i know just saves space, but people use those things.

                                I think SW has seen all the praise for the new interface that its gonna see from the "change for the sake of change" crowd. But now the house of cards will start to fall as everyday users start to get into it. I hope some reality is setting in, and you see that we aren't just going to magically start liking all of the functionality we've lost.

                                I'm betting against you with my book, because I'm not publishing a 2008 version. I think the early interface is going to change too much, and the adoption rate of this release by existing users is going to be low because of it.

                                But on the other hand, I know you guys can hold on to a bad idea almost indefinitely. Stuff like the PropMgr covering over the FeatMgr instead of flying out is a bad idea that has persisted for years. The Insert Component interface, mate interface, Undercut Detection, Full Rad Fillet, Mold Tools, Routing, and Toolbox are examples full of bad ideas with a life of their own.

                                  • Command 'sometimes' Manager
                                    Neal Rusy
                                    I think what aggravates me the most is that you cannot move the CM, the Monitor gets wider not taller If I had my druthers I would rather waste space on the sides rather than the top
                                      • Command 'sometimes' Manager
                                        Toby Robinson
                                        When solidworks makes new things why not leave the old ones alone and let the users decide what they like best to use. Back in the old days when I was using AutoCAD I loved the fact that you could customize it anyway you want. When ever they came out with something new they still left the old stuff there. If you wanted you could even go back and use the menu screen on the right back when AutoCAD was still DOS based. Why can solidworks not do the same thing?
                                          • Command 'sometimes' Manager
                                            Neal Rusy
                                            Well that's on the same lines as in AutoCAD you have say 2008 you can save it to 2000 Gee that's a novel idea isn't it.
                                              • Command 'sometimes' Manager
                                                Jim Wilkinson
                                                Hello All,

                                                Thank you for all of your comments and feedback. Based on this and other feedback, as long as all testing of these new enhancements goes well, the CommandManager in SolidWorks SP02 will have two new behaviors while you are in customize mode:
                                                1) When you RMB on a tab, you can choose to add an empty tab as you could earlier in SolidWorks 2008 or you can select from a list of any of the stand alone toolbars. When you choose from the list of toolbars, it will copy all of the buttons and separators from the standalone toolbar to the new tab. The buttons are copied with the text turned on below the icon (if you have the text entirely turned off in the CommandManager, of course it will not show). You can then customize the tab contents as much as desired (and it is not linked to the standalone toolbar to provide complete flexibility).
                                                2) When you RMB on a tab, you can choose to copy the definition of the tab to the other document types. When remaking the CommandManager, we purposely did not force definition of the tabs to be the same between document types because it provides extra flexibility. For instance, many of the sketch tools you want in part and assembly modes, you do not want in drawing mode, so they are just grayed out in drawing mode if they all share the same definition. In any case, based on feedback, it is obvious we should have provided at least the ability to copy a tab definition from one document type to another so it has now been added.

                                                I understand concerns over placement of the CommandManager and ability to dock toolbars next to the CommandManager. We are investigating these issues, but as mentioned in the Beta forum previously (for those that were involved during beta), it is unlikely we will be able to make modifications of that extent in a service pack.
                                                  • Command 'sometimes' Manager
                                                    Rich Osterreicher
                                                    Are the Tabs going to be Sizable? Or at least a little bigger..
                                                    Glad that CM is being worked on..
                                                      • Command 'sometimes' Manager
                                                        Jim Wilkinson

                                                        Rich Osterreicher wrote:


                                                        Are the Tabs going to be Sizable? Or at least a little bigger..

                                                        Hi Rich,

                                                        The tabs have been made slightly bigger in SP02. Please try it out when you get it and let me know your thoughts.

                                                        What resolution are you using and what size monitor? One thing we could consider is sizing the tabs based on the resolution and monitor size.
                                                          • Command 'sometimes' Manager
                                                            Rich Osterreicher
                                                            Currently, I'm on Dell 19"' (2) @ 1280x1024.
                                                            In a few weeks i'll be getting my new Dell 22" Widescreens.
                                                            (Have a lot of extra room on side for the CM.. hint hint)
                                                              • Command 'sometimes' Manager
                                                                Joe Rochinski
                                                                Hopefully I don't get a pile of hate mail for this, but I personally like the new CM simply because I don't have 11 different toolbars clogging up my screen anymore. The old interface used to drive me absolutely nuts, with toolbars constantly rearranging themselves and creating havoc on my workspace. It wasn't changed for the sake of change, it was changed for the sake of sanity. The most common stuff is in ONE PLACE, and anything that isn't on the CM is easily available on the insert or tools menus, just a few pixels away.

                                                                Additionally, the engineering department where I work just recently began using Solidworks in lieu of Autocad and everyone here besides myself is going in with 0 prior experience. I have been absolutely amazed by how quickly and easily they have been able to pick it up. I attribute this very heavily to the new CM. Commands with icons that are not self explanatory have text that makes them crystal clear.

                                                                If SW had the 2008 interface all along and then tossed it in favor of 15 toolbars, everyone would be just as steamed about the change. If you absolutely must have 237 icons on your screen at any given point in time, just turn off the CM. All the old toolbars are still there, and you can drag them anywhere you like.
                                                                  • Command 'sometimes' Manager
                                                                    Rich Osterreicher
                                                                    Joe, maybe you missed part of the point...
                                                                    I don't like tons of toolbars either..
                                                                    Just my take on it.. (CM)
                                                                    it's NOT about "To have CM or Not"
                                                                    It about moving it.. (My main gripe at least) but there are others...
                                                                    True, if you don't like it, you can turn it off... That's great..
                                                                    For me at least, I like having a CM.. i just want it on the left edge of screen rather than the top..
                                                                    As in, previously, you could simply MOVE the CM.. If you wanted it at Top.. Fine, move it to top.. If you wanted it on side.. fine, move it on the side.. if you Didn't want it at all.. no prob, turn it off.. Everyone Happy... NOBODY was upset about the placement of it...
                                                                    Well, Now you either have it at top, or not at all...
                                                                    CM is a great thing, it just happened to take a step backwards for '08 in funtionality.. In my humble op..
                                                • Command 'sometimes' Manager
                                                  Andy Sanders
                                                  Also, in the 07 CM, I liked how you could dock another toolbar next to the CM. Now, if you attempt that, it just pushes it up to a level above, wasting space on both lines.

                                                  So you have a bunch of wasted space next to whatever the last button is on the CM.