Distribute custom tabs using a firm or environment folder

Tekla Structures
Tekla Structures

Distribute custom tabs using a firm or environment folder

As an alternative to customized ribbon files, which override the existing ribbon, you can import external custom tabs to the ribbon. The custom tabs are automatically appended to the end of the ribbon for all users who use the same firm or environment folder. This means that an administrator can distribute customizations to all users in the company while still allowing individual users to customize their ribbons as well.

Note that these custom tabs do not appear in the customization tool, so the users are not able to edit them. If the administrator has updated the contents of a custom tab, the users will receive an update when they restart Tekla Structures. Tabs are not configuration specific, so they are imported regardless of the user's Tekla Structures license. If the tab contains commands that are not available in the user's configuration, they will appear dimmed on the ribbon.
  1. Create the following folder structure in your company's firm folder or in the \system folder, which is located under your environment folder: ..\ProgramData\Tekla Structures\<version>\Environments\<environment>\system.

  2. In the ribbon customization tool , create a custom tab and add some commands to it.
  3. Save the ribbon.
  4. Go to the ..\Users\<user>\AppData\Local\Trimble\TeklaStructures\<version>\UI\Ribbons folder.
  5. In a text editor, open the ribbon file which contains the tab you wish to share with other users.
  6. Remove all the other content from the ribbon file except the first row and the description of the tab you wish to share.

    For example:

    <Tab Header="My Tab" IsCollapsed="false" IsUserDefined="true">
        <SimpleButton X="0" Y="0" Width="3" Height="4" Command="Common.Interrupt" Text="command:ShortText" Icon="command:BigIcon" ShowText="true" ShowIcon="true" />
  7. Save the file with a new name in the ..\CustomTabs\Modeling or ..\CustomTabs\Drawing folder.

    Tab files have the file name extension *.xml. We recommend that you use the same name as for the tab. For example, MyTab.xml. The file name is not case sensitive.

    The tab will be added to either the modeling or drawing mode ribbons, depending on the folder it is located in. Note that there can be several custom tab files in the same folder. They are added to the ribbon one after the other. Note that if the same tab file exists in both the environment and firm folders, the firm version overrides the environment version.


    To avoid file name conflicts, we recommend that administrators prefix all custom tab files with the company name, and that extension developers prefix all custom tab files with the name of the extension (for example, MyExtension_TabName.xml ).

  8. If the tab contains user-defined commands, copy the UserDefined.xml file from the ..\Users\<user>\AppData\Local\Trimble\TeklaStructures\<version>\UI\Commands folder to the \Commands folder created in step 1.
  9. Restart Tekla Structures.

    The custom tab now appears at the end of the ribbon.

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