Tool palettes are a great tool that offers quick access to many AutoCAD tools and commands. You can expand the usability of AutoCAD tool palettes by making your own palette to store favorite blocks, dimension style, hatch patterns and even commands.
In this article, I will tell you about Making, Modifying, Exporting and importing tool palette. Let’s start with making a new tool palette.
Making tool palette:
Press CTRL+3 to open tool palettes, you will see many tabs arranged in this palette like annotation, construction and modeling. Right click on any tab from this palette and select new palette from the contextual menu which appears. Give your palette a name, for our example, I am naming it as Custom palette.
Adding Tools to Palette:
Now you are ready to add your custom objects in the tool palette. In this article, I will show you how to add dimension style and block to the palette and you can add other objects using similar methods.
Open the drawing containing required dimension style and block. Make sure you have made at least one dimensionwith the dimension style which you want to add to the palette. Click on the dimension made with your custom dimension style then drag and drop it on the tool palette.
A new tool will be added to the palette and name of the tool will be same as the name of dimension used. Right click on the tool select rename from the contextual menu and give your tool a new name.
Although you will see only single dimension type added to the palette but when you click on the arrow beside that dimension tool on palette all other dimension options will appear and you can select any dimension command from that palette.
In a similar way drag and drop block from your drawing to the tool palette but make sure your drawing is saved before adding blocks to the palette.
To remove any tool from palette right-click on it and select delete from the contextual menu. Do not delete the drawing containing the block of tool palette otherwise the block will become inaccessible.
Adding custom icon to tools on the Palette:
You can add your own custom icon to the tool to give it a personal look. For that, you need an image in jpg, png, tiff, BMP or gif format. Right click on the tool for which you want to change the icon and select Specify image option from the contextual menu.
A new dialog box for selecting an image will appear with columns for selecting images for the light and dark theme. Select browse and locate image which you want to use for icon and click OK to close the specify images dialog box. Repeat the process for both light and dark theme images.
I am using AutoCAD logo in PNG format for my custom block, after modification, the tool looks like this.
Exporting and importing tool palette:
You can export this tool palette in a transferable format or you can also include this tool palette in the archive or e-transmit. For exporting this tool palette right-click in the blank area of tool palette and select customize palettes from the contextual menu. Alternatively, you can also use CUSTOMIZE command.
A new window will pop up with the list of all tool palettes listed on the left side of this window. Select your palette then right click and select export from the contextual menu.
A window will pop up where you need to specify a location for saving your tool palette or XTP file then click on save.
For importing any tool palette open customize window and right click on any tool from palettes panel of customize window and select import from the contextual menu. A new import palette window will pop up, locate your XTP file and click on open. Your new palette will be added to the list of existing palettes.
Do you have questions related to this tip? Let us know in the comments below.
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I am a mechanical engineer and I have worked with Design, Manufacturing and Training industries but now SourceCAD is my full-time work and I use it to train students all over the world. I also train corporate clients and help them develop the skill set of their workforce.
I am Autodesk AutoCAD Certified Professional and an Autodesk expert elite member. I am a regular contributor of AUGI World magazine and apart from SourceCAD I also develop AutoCAD video courses for Pluralsight and other E-Learning businesses.