Guide Bars

Guide bars guide you through a series of commands, required inputs, and options necessary to complete a workflow that is specific to a tool.

Guide bars consist of different parts such as a command or a drop-down menu with additional options. In addition, all guide bars have an action button on the far-right of the bar which executes the tool's primary function. You work through a guide bar from left to right, generally filling out options first on the left side of the guide bar, working your way through the workflow, until finally executing the tool function on the right side of the guide bar.

Guide bars are displayed when you click on the main tool on the ribbon, though not all tools feature guide bars. If the task you are trying to perform requires you to apply a series of commands or complete a set of options, the tool will have an accompanying guide bar. The following image shows an example of a guide bar that displays when you click on the Drag/Spin tool.

Figure 1.
Notice the text below the guide bar in the image above. It is designed to help you get started using the tool workflow. Additionally, some guide bars also feature a short video that shows you how to get started with the workflow, and may also contain a drop-down menu with further instructions, as in the following image. You can toggle workflow help from the View menu.

Figure 2.

Guide bars help to focus and streamline the work you are trying to accomplish with each tool.

Layout of a Guide Bar

Guide bars share a typical layout although the specific workflow of the guide bar will vary depending on the tool it is associated with.

The image below shows some guide bar example layouts.

Figure 3.

Notice that the individual buttons vary somewhat, but the left-to-right workflow remains the same for all guide bar layouts.

Guide Bar Buttons

Guide bar buttons can vary depending on the tool they are associated with. This section outlines some of the most commonly found buttons on the guide bars.

The following image shows an example of a typical guide bar.

Figure 4.
  1. Options - A drop-down menu which provides context tool specific controls or defaults. This can include a number of things including but not limited to:
    1. Search criteria: Find Larger, Find Smaller, Find Similar (± 5%), and Find Options. Selecting Find Options opens a dialog, where you define the minimum and maximum size of the feature to be found.
    2. Default selection filter types.
    3. Enabling automatic meshing, morphing, etc. actions.
    4. Controlling various numerical defaults like mesh size, contact or connector search tolerances, and so on.
  2. Find - Finds and selects all instances of the feature on the selected object, based on the search criteria defined using the Options button.
  3. Filter - This drop-down menu allows you to select a feature to filter the search or change selection type filter.
  4. Go to Previous - Zooms in on each previous feature located by the search.
  5. Go to Next - Zooms in on each next feature located by the search.
  6. Clear Selection - Deselects (resets) all features.
  7. Apply
  8. OK
  9. Cancel