Opening up the old mail bag to take a look at some questions from readers…
My company has heavily customized ADT2004, ALL the tool palettes, menus, toolbars, dimscale etc!
When we jump to Architecture 2008 this year we would like to install it right out of the box and just add our Cad Standards (layers, linetypes, font style, etc.), custom routines, and LayerStates.
How hard is this? I am not a programmer.
I think that the emerging flavor of running CAD is to use it as much as possible “Out of the Box” (OOTB). The heavily customized installations tend to be those that have a long history of customizing and have nurtured their tools along for many years. Some even run custom routines in place of the OOTB tools and have not moved to the OOTB commands because they have habits that will not die.
My advice is to run as much as you can OOTB and customize when you need to or when it really saves time. Another reason to customize is that there is a need for a fix to a consistent problem. Customizing the tools that support your standard and make it easier for users to comply.
When you customize you should not remove any of the OOTB commands or tools. You should separate your custom tools from the standard tools. Clearly mark the custom stuff so everyone knows whats what.
All in all, a blending of some custom and mostly standard tools is the best. New hires can come up to speed quickly and old hands can have some custom tools.
Creating custom menus and such is fairly easy once you understand the flow of creating them. It is different now with the CUI tools. Tool palettes are easy to make, menus are a little tougher. It is not impossible, but you will need to focus some time to the process.
Get some good solid information on customizing and have a go at it. You will learn quickly. Sign up for AUGI at www.augi.com and go to the link at http://www.augi.com/education/auhandouts.asp to get some good customization tips.