Distribute customized tabs by using a firm or environment folder

Tekla Structures
Tekla Structures

Distribute customized tabs by using a firm or environment folder

As an alternative to customized ribbon files, which override the existing ribbon, you can distribute customized tabs to other users in the company by placing the tab files in a firm or an environment folder (not in a project folder). The customized 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 customized tabs do not appear in the Ribbon editor, so the users are not able to edit them. If the administrator has updated the contents of a customized 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.

If you use a firm folder to distribute the custom tabs, you need to set the firm folder path in an .ini file, for example, in user.ini, teklastructures.ini,project.ini or in company.ini. If you set the firm folder path in the advanced option XS_FIRM, the tab file does not work correctly, because the XS_FIRM definition in advanced options is made on the model level and it is too late for the custom tab to be initialized.

  1. Create the following folder structure in your company's firm folder or in the system folder.

  2. In the Ribbon editor, create a customized tab and add some commands to it.
  3. Save the ribbon.
  4. Go to the ..\Users\<user>\AppData\Local\Trimble\Tekla Structures\<version>\UI\Ribbons folder.
  5. Open the ribbon *.xml file, which contains the tab you wish to share with other users, in a text editor, for example, Microsoft Notepad.
  6. Remove all the other content from the ribbon file except the first row and the description of the tab you wish to share.

    Alternatively, you can copy the needed content in a new text file.

    For example:

    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" standalone="yes"?>
    <Tab Header="My Tab" IsCollapsed="false" IsUserDefined="true">
      <SimpleButton X="0" Y="0" Width="3" Height="4" Command="Common.Interrupt" Text="command:ShortText" Icon="myicon.png" ShowText="true" ShowIcon="true" />
      <SimpleButton X="3" Y="0" Width="3" Height="4" Command="RibbonEditor.Open" Text="command:ShortText" Icon="somefolder\myicon2.png" ShowText="true" ShowIcon="true" />

    The button icons use relative paths. The icon path is relative to the *.xml file where tab is read from. For example Icon="myicon.png" refers to an icon in the same folder as the *.xml file, and the Icon="somefolder\myicon2.png" refers to an icon in a sub-folder.

    Alternatively, you can also go folders back: Icon="..\myicon.png".

  7. Save the *.xml 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. 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\Tekla Structures\<version>\UI\Commands folder to the \Commands folder created in step 1.
  9. Restart Tekla Structures.

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

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