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January 04, 2012

Colours to use for contextual ribbon tabs in AutoCAD

Thanks to Matt Stein, Senior User Experience Manager in the AutoCAD team, for giving me permission to publish the following information.

In this previous post, we can see how it’s possible to display our own contextual ribbon tabs inside AutoCAD during custom operations. To help make applications consistent with AutoCAD, here are some guidelines around colours to be used contextual ribbon tabs (the “Theme” attribute you should set in your custom ribbon tab’s XAML file):

  • If it is an annotation object: Purple
  • Anything to do with blocks: Yellow
  • Anything to do with underlays or references (except blocks): Cyan
  • Text editor and other command modes not relating to blocks: Blue
  • Other geometry: Green

Let’s take a quick look at a few of these at work in the base AutoCAD product, to see how these guidelines are implemented:

Block editor contextual ribbon tab

PDF underlay contextual ribbon tab

Text editor contextual ribbon tab

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