The Upcoming ZWCAD Gets a Smart Ribbon UI

April 30, 2012 -- Recently there has been a lot of speculation about the next version of ZWCAD because of information released in an official statement this March. We are confident to say, that the next release of ZWCAD will be a game changer. It will greet users firstly with new user interface features, including an application menu button, new capabilities for palettes and most notably, SmartMouse and a different Ribbon Interface. Now let's take a sneak peek at the new user interface.

1. Switch Between Classic and Ribbon Menu

In the new version of ZWCAD, the classic menu bar is retained for users who prefer to stay with this familiar interface. It is, however, turned off by default. To display the menu bar, click the arrow at the lower-right corner of ZWCAD. From the popup menu, choose the Classic/Ribbon option to display either the menu bar or the ribbon.

2. Using Classic Dropdown Menus with the Ribbon You don't need to switch to the classic menu; you can enjoy the ribbon as well as the classic menu in one environment. The Classic Menu Access Button lets you access menu items while working in the ribbon environment. You find this button in the top-right of the ribbon. (See the figure below for its location.)

3. Hide the Ribbon to Gain More Room The ribbon presents many icons, but its large size reduces drafting space. There is, however, no need to worry about this, because you can minimize the ribbon any time. At the right end of the ribbon's tab names, there is a down-arrow button: click it to minimize the ribbon; click it again to bring back the ribbon.

4. Three Skins for ZWCAD The default color scheme of ZWCAD's skin is Black, but there are two more options: Light Blue and Silver. These let you choose between dark and light motifs. The skin options button is atthe topright corner of the interface, as illustrated below.

5. Auto-hide Palettes All palettes in ZWCAD, like the Properties palette, Design Center, and Tool palettes, have a new feature: they are all hidable. Just right click on a palette, and then check the Auto-hide option, as illustrated below. From now on, palettes are hidden when your cursor is not over them. This gains you more room for drafting.

6. SmartMouse = Mouse Gestures for ZWCAD Mouse gestures are common among Web browsers for performing browsing actions, and now this useful technology has been added to ZWCAD. We call it "SmartMouse", and you can customize commands for each gesture. To do so, choose the Tools tab in the ribbon, and then in the Mouse Gesture panel, click the Settings button. This opens a dialog box for modifying the commands associated with different gestures.

7. Thumbnail Views of Recently Opened Drawings In the upper left corner, there is a ZWCAD logo. It's the application menu button(see figure below), where you can find a list of all of the drawings that were recently opened -- or that are currently open now. You can also view them as icons or as images. When you choose the Large Image option, then the drawings are shown as thumbnail images, which let you instantly recognize the drawing contents.

8. Search All Related Commands The ZWCAD application menu button contains a search box, as shown below. When you input a keyword, it lists all related commands that you can select from to use in your drawing. This is a quick way to find functions whose name you don't exactly remember.


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