I've created a custom CUIx file that is loaded on our users' machines as the Enterprise Customization file, which mostly consists of custom routines and tools on a custom ribbon tab.
Many of them are just drop-down buttons with options to insert specific blocks from a discipline, so we don't have to browse the library for the block we want. For instance, a drop-down on my "Symbols" ribbon panel is labeled, "Electrical". Clicking the drop-down reveales a list of blocks from that discipline that can be inserted. Naturally, a few of the disciplines have a pretty lengthy list of blocks. Long enough, in fact, that the list runs off the bottom of the screen.
Here's the problem; the list doesn't scroll! Not if I try using the arrow keys, not with the mouse wheel, nothing! So there's no way to bring the items near the end of the list into view to select them.
There are a few ways this could be resolved, and I'm trying to find out if there's a way to set it to do any of them:
1) the list could scroll, using an arrow at the top and bottom a'la Windows 95 and ACAD's annotative scales menu, or with a scroll bar like the layers drop-down.
2) the list could "wrap" to a second column
3) the space between the commands listed in the drop-down could be reduced so more could fit in the space; there's a LOT of blank space currently.
Are any of these settings that can be modified in any way?
Failing these, I can always create two separate menus next to each other, like Electrical(1) and Electrical(2), but that's a pretty poor band-aid.
Rather than have single, massive lists break them down into smaller groups of related items. Not sure but your users are like mine they don't like dealing with lists longer than 10-15 items on things they use frequently.
You are switching terms a bit between "menu" and "ribbon", so its hard to tell which one you are using. For actual menus, make flyouts for the different groups but include a few duplicate entries at the top level for the most commonly used objects. For actual ribbons, do the same thing using panels and tabs as appropriate.
I would be tempted to reduce that even further by creating a standard dialog interface similar to the old slide-based IMAGETILE system and calling it with different arguments from the top level of the interface. That way they aren't overwhelmed with interface objects at the top level and don't have to dig through multiple nested flyouts to get what they are looking for.
If you are going to fly by the seat of your pants, expect friction burns.
Adopt. Adapt. Overcome. Or be overcome.
Sorry about the terminology confusion- I am actually using real ribbon tabs and panels, so I should have said that the poor band-aid solution would be to provide two drop-downs next to each other.
What you suggest is what I plan on doing- breaking things into two or three shorter drop-downs, but is much less desirable for our particular office than a single longer list. I'm hoping someone either knows how to compress the space each item takes up in the expanded drop-down, or else how to modify the drop-down to be able to show more items than can fit in the height of the window.
Thanks for your input and time!
Folks, thanks for the ideas and sorry for not posting back here.
DesignCenter didn't do the trick because as far as I could see, that's JUST a list of blocks - our items have other routines associated at insert-time; scale, parameters, etc. Tool Palettes would probably work, but I didn't try it out because we've already got so much visible on the screen- I wanted something on the ribbon, not another floating window.
Eventually, what I found that actually answered my original question was to check the SplitButtonListStyle - I'd been setting it to "Descriptive" because most of our macros don't have icons, and that was the only one that didn't look like it was expecting an icon.
In reality, the "Descriptive" style is why there was, as I called it, "a LOT of blank space". Once I changed the style to IconText, all the items are as small as they used to be in the old classic menubar menus. I can probably fit three times the number of items now.
I still hope that eventually AutoCAD will let longer lists scroll or wrap, but for now, this'll work.