Using Tasks and Workflows
A task is a collection of referenced tools grouped to facilitate a particular job. A sequence of tasks can be grouped into a workflow. By defining and grouping tasks into workflows, you can create a task-based user interface. The referenced tools grouped into a task can be standard tools, custom tools, or a combination of both types. A task's referenced tools can be grouped into standard toolboxes, custom toolboxes, or a combination of both types. Therefore the interface will contain all the tools and toolboxes you need to complete your work, grouped the way you want them.
When you are creating custom tools and toolboxes, you do not do this directly in tasks. Instead, you create them separately and reference them into one or more tasks. (You also should not create the same tool in multiple toolboxes. Instead, you should create one copy of a tool and place it in one toolbox.) This is because tasks can use overlapping sets of tools and toolboxes. For example, you can create one custom drawing tool and include it in two tasks.
- When you need to perform task number 1, you select the task and the tool appears automatically, along with the other tools that are needed for task 1.
- When you need to perform task number 2, you select the task and the tool appears automatically, along with a different set of tools that are needed for task 2.
If you need to modify the tool you do so once, and both tasks are automatically updated to reflect the modifications.
An analogy is that toolboxes are like the drawers in a tool chest. You have one drawer for screwdrivers, one drawer for pliers, one drawer for wrenches, and one drawer for hammers. Your first task is "work on the lawn mower." Your second task is "hang a picture." In each task you have already defined which tools are needed from each drawer. You might need the hammer for both tasks. Whenever you are ready to perform one of the tasks, your task is automatically populated with the proper tools from each drawer. You do not have to open every drawer to find the tools you need, nor do you have to roll out the entire tool chest to perform your task.
Tasks and workflows are created and managed on the Tasks tab in the Customize dialog.