The ribbon allows you to quickly access tools and standard functions, and is located along the top of the user interface. Click on an icon to open the related tool. Hovering over a group of icons may reveal additional tools.

Tip: Individual ribbons can be turned on or off from the View menu or by right-clicking in empty space in a ribbon.
Ribbon Hints
Ribbon hints are small indicators that appear in the ribbon between a tool’s icon and label. They help identify tools that have multiple pick targets or open a secondary ribbon.
Figure 1.

The number of dots represents the number of pick targets in a tool, including some that are hidden until hovering over the tool.
To control this option, go to File > Preferences > Common > Application > Show ribbon hints.

Layout of a Tool Icon

Tool icons can have different states when you hover your mouse over them, allowing you to perform multiple tasks from a single tool icon. The blue highlighted areas are called pick targets. Satellite icons only appear on mouse-over and generally provide access to functions of lesser importance.

Multi-State Tool Icons

Conventional icons consist of a single image which, when clicked on, usually perform a single function. Some icons provide access to multiple functions depending on the cursor hover state. The tool icon in the following image is an example of this multiple-state behavior.
Figure 2.

Notice in the above images that the blue highlighting around various parts of the icon changes depending on where the mouse is pointing. From left to right:
  • The first image (far left) shows the tool icon in its unselected state
  • The second image highlights the piece of paper pick target, which allows you to create a new model
  • The third image highlights the folder pick target, which allows you to open an existing model
  • The last image (far right) highlights the disk pick target, which allows you to save your work
In addition, some icons have the option to display a drop-down menu of items that allow you to select an alternative, but related, tool. For example, the SN tool icon in the following image allows you to select alternative, related, fatigue tools by clicking the drop-down arrow in the lower-right corner beneath the icon image.
Figure 3.

These tool icons, which allow you to perform multiple tasks, help to streamline the application's interface and provide for a more efficient work flow.

Satellite Tool Icons

Satellite icons provide additional functionality to a tool when moused over. The following image shows an icon in its unselected state and when moused over.
Figure 4.

In the images above, the Evaluate tool on the left is not moused over. The image on the right shows the mouse-over state and displays a satellite icon. Satellite icons differ from multi-state icons in that the additional tools are not readily visible on a satellite icon. Also, the additional functionality they provide is generally with lesser used tasks.

Hover your mouse cursor over different parts of the tools you use most to discover additional functionality.