M4 DRAFTING User Interface

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Ribbon menu

The ribbon menu has proved itself in many diverse applications within the software world. Navigation is easy because the functions are structured clearly and divided into context-sensitive groups. Drawings can now be created even faster as a result.


As one of the most popular and productive mechanisms in our systems we have continuously developed the dashboard. Not only does it now have a permanent position on the left side of the application, it now also includes all the properties and functions that are context specific to the current task. When drawing the dashboard displays all the relevant context sensitive information, such as properties for the drawing sheet or for lines, texts, dimensioning, and symbols.

Catalog and Symbol Browser

M4 DRAFTING includes a catalog and symbol browser. In the browser, users have a precise overview of the symbol catalogs and standards used. When selecting a catalog the symbol browser preview window now graphically displays all the available symbols. If a specific part of the catalog is selected, only the appropriate symbols will be automatically retrieved and the relevant symbol preview will be displayed. Symbols can thus be easily searched, the required element chosen and placed in a drawing. The preview size of individual elements can be scaled dynamically. The selection facility previously available continues to be at the user’s disposal.

Optimized for modern screens

The M4 DRAFTING user interface has been optimized for every common resolution used in modern screens, including the most common screen resolutions for laptops. The ribbon menu can be minimized to create extra space for the drawing area. The icons come in three different sizes, so they can be made larger or smaller as needed. The individual dialog boxes, such as the dashboard, the symbol manager, and the structure tree, can be detached from the user interface to free-up extra space for the drawing area, for example by moving them to a second monitor.

In Sheet Graphics toolbars

To reduce cursor movements to a minimum, and to ensure there are no functions duplicated in ribbons or the dashboard we have added two In-Sheet Graphics toolbars. These tool bars, are translucent, unless the cursor is over them, contain the most commonly used viewing tools, selection filters and sheet navigation tools.


In addition to the normal menus, M4 DRAFTING also offers users a menu that is optimized for tablets. It consists of a configurable area where individual functions can be placed, in the form of icons in various sizes. The tablet menu was designed for touchscreens and tablets, but it can also be used as a dialogue box on a second monitor.

Backstage area

In the style of software with a ribbon we have gathered together all of the common functions into a single “Backstage” area. Not only “Save” and “Save As”, but license management, Options dialog and printing.

User Interface customisation

The user interface is completely customisable at three levels. A user can show / hide / change button size of tools in the ribbon of dashboard. A user can also copy buttons to the tablet or shortcut area. A single command returns the interface to the startup state. Administrators can manipulate buttons, groups and even ribbons to create an optimal company or department user interface.
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