On the first day of an Inventor class I often find myself conflicted to the point of exhaustion when a student asks me the following question...
"Why is there a dialog box AND a Mini-Toolbar to work with the standard commands?"
To that I often reach back into my AutoCAD days and say...its just another way to do the same thing like in AutoCAD. I've always sorta hated that response because I want an interface that is consistent and complete and the Mini-Toolbar is not that. Now, I am not saying I don't like the Mini-Toolbar, I just wish that Autodesk would commit to it. There are many commands that do not use the Mini-Toolbar and some that ONLY have the Mini-Toolbar. If that is the case, why not just turn off all the dialog boxes altogether and just use the Mini-Toolbar? Well, Inventor 2017 R2 does not remove all dialog boxes for us, but instead gives users another option.
Now we can turn off the Mini-Toolbar when a dialog box is also present. If a Mini-Toolbar is needed for a command that has no dialog box, then it does not turn off. So, again, inconsistency remains. Let's look deeper at some of the methods in use with Inventor and this new option. First let's recall that if you do not like the dialog boxes alongside the Mini-Toolbar that you can roll them up. Not remove, just roll up. Just click on the little black triangle at the bottom of the dialog.
Now, what if the Mini-Toolbar is off? Well you still get some heads up tools like the in the case of an Extrusion, the Depth arrow and the Taper ball at the base of the arrow.
I like this new option for those that have complained about the Mini-Toolbar, but it really begs the question...why can't Autodesk just decide on one or the other? Some commands that use the Mini-Toolbar and the dialog box have inconsistency between what is available in the dialog and Mini-Toolbar. For instance, the Minimum Solution in Extrusion and the All Fillets and All Rounds in the Fillet command. Why not just make the Mini-Toolbar better?
Now with this new option there is already a slight bug that you should be aware of when you turn off the Mini-Toolbar. If you type entry a new value into the dialog box and you do not wait for the graphics to update before you hit OK, then the command will essentially do the same thing as a Cancel, nothing will happen. Read about it here...Autodesk Forums. Keep and eye out for this one and watch for the next hotfix, update or R3 when it comes out.