11 Simple Steps to AutoCAD Classic Workspace in AutoCAD



Everyone knows and loves the AutoCAD Classic Workspace, for most of us its how we learned, it’s familiar and comforting. All of the tools that I need are right where I expect them to be, until of course Autodesk decides that I love the ribbon and no longer need my classic toolbars. This is exaclty what happened starting with the 2015 release, the AutoCAD Classic Workspace option was removed from the program.

But what if I don’t love the ribbon? How can I get my AutoCAD Classic Workspace back? This is one of the most common questions I get and the good news is that we can fairly quickly and easily bring back the interface that you’re used to.

By default, your screen should look something like this:


Click here or on the image to see a larger version

How to restore AutoCAD classic workspace

  1. Let’s start by adding Workspace back to the Quick Access Toolbar. Click the dropdown arrow to display the menu, then click on Workspace
  2. ketiv-ava-atudocad-classic-workspaceNow that we can see which Workspaces are available and more importantly what missing, click the dropdown arrow on the Workspace Menu, then click on the Save Current As button
  3. ketiv-ava-atudocad-classic-workspaceIn the new dialog box go ahead and name your new Workspace and then click Save
  4. ketiv-ava-atudocad-classic-workspaceNow let’s expand the Workspace Menu again and this time select Workspace Settings
  5. ketiv-ava-atudocad-classic-workspaceWhen the Workspace Settings dislog pops up ensure that the “Automatically save workspace changes” option is selected
  6. ketiv-ava-atudocad-classic-workspaceGo back to the Quick Access Toolbar menu one more time and select Show Menu Bar
  7. ketiv-ava-atudocad-classic-workspaceNow that we can see out Menu Bar, expand the Tools menu
  8. ketiv-ava-atudocad-classic-workspaceNow expand Toolbars
  9. ketiv-ava-atudocad-classic-workspaceAnd finally, expand the AutoCAD menu and then select the toolbars that you want to add to your workspace
  10. ketiv-ava-atudocad-classic-workspaceAfter you’ve added some toolbars to your workspace it should look something like this
  11. That’s pretty close but that pesky ribbon sure takes up a lot of real estate on my screen, so let’s get rid of it. Type RIBBONCLOSE into your command bar (usually at the bottom of the screen) and hit enter. (You can always bring it back by typing RIBBON into your command bar)


Much better!


That’s it! I told you it would be pretty quick. If anyone has any questions or comments please let me know below. Thanks for reading.

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16 replies to “11 Simple Steps to AutoCAD Classic Workspace in AutoCAD

  1. Thank you. Now I can get some work done. Probably, the “ribbon”, etc has value for a 3D power user. But I’m only using acad for 2-D work. All our 3D is in SW.

  2. Good point Dick but you probably should make the move to Inventor. It’s new interoperability with other Autodesk products is better than ever. We have many SW users who have made th he transition easily. Also Autocad, as we know it, is not far from the graveyard as 3D makes its way into most companies. Yes, we still have to create .dwg files for our deliverables, but even that is going by the wayside as more and more of us move away from traditional drawing files and import fabrication files directly to the tools that use them. Brave new world, huh?

  3. Michael I agree what you said up to a point. Yes there are companies that now use Inventor 3d for fabrication, however you miss the point that Auto CAD will never go away due to the ability of its programmable engine. Example in point. Revit, Civil 3d, MEP and even Inventor can now all collaborate with each other by the use of the Auto CAD base engine. Revit allows imports to it’s drawings using Auto CAD base engine. Auto CAD was developed to be modified by the customer in any configuration needed through lisp, scripts apps etc. Currently I take 3d drawings and import them into ACAD and do what is needed. I have used Inventor and you are right it has come a long way from its conception. But rest assured Auto CAD will still be around for a good long time because each and every program that Auto Desk creates uses the Auto CAD base engine for its foundation. Why recreate the wheel! The brave new world has always been there just some are just now getting to know it others have known it all along.

  4. anyway am new in using Auto Cad, but been working with it for some time now,am finding it difficult to create text in an arc or circular form.

  5. I’ve used Inventor for 10 yrs and solidworks for 19 yrs since 1998, I’ll pick Solidworks everytime, less key strokes and much better interface

  6. Randy – glad to hear you’re using both products and thank you for sharing your perspective. We’re here to make your experience better, and look forward to helping in any way you like.

  7. thank you very much admin for your important news to share with us. And more thanks for i get best idea read this article about this topics. many more days i was searched this topics, finally i got it.

  8. Hi! This was great to get my autocad back to classic view!
    Only issue I have is for whatever reason I cannot draw with ortho on in the Z axis unless viewing from the top.

    Any help would be really appreciated as its driving me crazy!


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