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  • Top AutoCAD Customization Tips



    Customization Tips Every AutoCAD User Should Know

    By Ellen Finkelstein

  • Top AutoCAD Customization Tips


    Ellen Finkelsteins Top Customization Tips Every AutoCAD

    User Should Know Published by Rainbow Resources

    2010 Coral Lane, Fairfield, IA 52556, USA

    Copyright 2014 For information, e-mail

    Manufactured in the United States of America

    No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means,

    electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, scanning or otherwise, except as permitted under Sections 107 or 108 of the

    1976 United States Copyright Act, without either the prior written permission of the Publisher, or authorization through

    payment of the appropriate per-copy fee to the Copyright Clearance Center, 222 Rosewood Drive, Danvers, MA 01923,

    (978) 750-8400, fax (978) 646-8600. Requests to the Publisher for permission should be addressed to or Ellen Finkelstein, Rainbow Resources Publishing, at the above address, or 641-472-1832.

    Limit of liability/disclaimer of warranty: the publisher and the author make no Representations or warranties with

    respect to the accuracy or completeness of the Contents of this work and specifically disclaim all warranties, including

    without Limitation warranties of fitness for a particular purpose. No warranty may be created or extended by sales or

    promotional materials. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for every situation. This work

    is sold with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional

    services. Neither the publisher nor the author shall be liable for damages arising herefrom. The fact that an

    organization or website is referred to in this work as a citation and/or a potential source of further information does

    not mean that the author or the publisher endorses the information the organization or website may provide or

    recommendations it may make. Further, readers should be aware that Internet websites listed in this work may have

    changed or disappeared between the time this work was written and when it is read.

    For general information on our other products and services, please go to This book is published in

    both electronic and print format.

  • Top AutoCAD Customization Tips


    About the Author

    Ellen Finkelstein has been using AutoCAD since 1986, teaching it since

    1989 and writing about it since 1992. She is the author of the best-selling AutoCAD & AutoCAD LT Bible, which started with Release 14

    and has been updated many times since then.

    Ellen has written extensively on AutoCAD, including articles for Autodesk's website and features for AutoCAD's Help system. Ellen's

    first book was AutoCAD For Dummies Quick Reference. Since then, she has written books on PowerPoint, Flash (including Flash CS5 For

    Dummies), and Web technologies (Syndicating Web Sites with RSS Feeds For Dummies).

    Her well-known website,, and blog, AutoCAD Tips Blog, are very popular among AutoCAD users. You can join thousands

    of other AutoCAD users and subscribe to her free AutoCAD Tips Newsletter.

  • Top AutoCAD Customization Tips


    Acknowledgments & Dedication

    Id like to thank my husband, Evan, for supporting me in my work,

    and my two children, who are the joys of my life. While most of the tips are mine, there are also contributions from my readers and I

    want to thank them for sharing their knowledge.

    *** To MMY, for teaching me that the Unified Field and the spirit of God

    are one and the same, and that anyone can experience it as bliss consciousness.


  • Top AutoCAD Customization Tips



    AutoCAD users are always looking for ways to be more productive.

    Thats why they love tips! AutoCAD is meant to be customized, but customization is one of the most complex features of AutoCAD. Ive

    been writing tips for years, so I thought I would compile some favorite customization tips so everyone can easily use them.

    One reason that I love writing AutoCAD tips is that people are so

    appreciative. They really want to learn more about this huge program. AutoCAD is not only useful its fun! I hope that this e-book will help

    you become more productive, less stressed, and more knowledgeable.

  • Top AutoCAD Customization Tips



    About the Author 3

    Acknowledgments & Dedication 4

    Introduction 5

    Chapter 1 Automation 7

    1. Create a command alias (keyboard shortcut) 7

    2. Automate tasks with a script file 12

    3. Record macros with the Action Recorder 14

    4. Use the command line to launch programs 22

    5. Create a custom command 22

    6. Create a custom keyboard shortcut 26

    Chapter 2 User Interface 29

    7. Add a button to the ribbon in AutoCAD 29

    8. Make the command line work the way you want it to 33

    9. Change the color of almost any AutoCAD screen feature 38

    Chapter 3 Linetypes and hatches 41

    10. Create a custom simple linetype 41

    11. Creating custom hatch patterns 44

    Chapter 4 AutoLISP 50

    12. Get all of your AutoLISP routines to load themselves 50

    13. Create a custom command for AutoCAD using AutoLISP 51

    Chapter 5 Miscellaneous 56

    14. Create a custom function in AutoCADs calculator 56

    15. Easily share tool palettes with colleagues 61

    Sign up to get the free AutoCAD Tips Newsletter! 64

    Dont miss! 64

  • Top AutoCAD Customization Tips


    Chapter 1 Automation

    One of the main reasons for customizing AutoCAD is to speed up your

    work. In this section, I cover

    Command aliases Script files

    Recording macros Launching programs from the command line

    Custom commands Keyboard shortcuts

    1. Create a command alias (keyboard shortcut)

    Many people like to use the keyboard to enter commands, but

    some of the commands are long, hard to type, or difficult to

    remember. You can create keyboard shortcuts for commands, such as


    AutoCAD comes with a large number of aliases already made for

    you. You edit the acad.pgp file to add to these, or change them.

    The acad.pgp file is a text file and you can edit it directly, but the

    easiest way is to use the Express Tools ALIASEDIT command.

    Follow these steps:

    1. Choose Express > Tools > Command Alias Editor.

  • Top AutoCAD Customization Tips


    2. After deciding the command and alias you want, check to

    see if the command already has an alias. Click

    the AutoCAD Command column to alphabetize the list by

    commands. Scroll to look for the command.

    3. If it doesnt have an alias, check to see if the alias is

    already in use. To do so, click the Alias column to

    alphabetize that column. Click any alias, and type the first

    letter of the alias to jump to aliases starting with that

    letter. Look for the alias.

    4. If your command isnt listed and your alias isnt being

    used, click Add.

  • Top AutoCAD Customization Tips


    5. Type the alias in the Alias text box and

    the AutoCAD command below it. All the commands are

    on the list, and as you start to type, the command

    appears on the list. You can click it as soon as you see it,

    or type the entire command. For example, I added rvc for

    REVCLOUD. Click OK.

    6. If your command is on the list, but your alias isnt, you

    can add the alias for the command. As before, click Add,

    enter the alias, and specify the command. A command

    can have more than one alias. I added dl for DIMLINEAR,

    even though there were other aliases for that command.

    7. If your alias is being used, you can delete or change it.

    Then you can use it for a different command. For

    example, rc is the alias for RENDERCROP, which you might

    rarely use. By deleting it, you could use rc for RECTANG.

  • Top AutoCAD Customization Tips


    To delete an alias, select it and click Remove, then click

    Yes to confirm.

    8. You can change an existing alias. For example, you might

    want to change the alias for RENDERCROP to rencr,

    instead of deleting it. To do so, choose the alias, and click

    Edit. In the Edit Command Alias dialog box (which looks

    just like the New Command Alias dialog box), enter the

    new alias and click OK.

    Note: You might be surprised to see some aliases on the

    list that are longer than their commands! Or completely

    different. AutoCAD uses this to map one command to another or to

    include command names that dont exist, but that people might still

    use. For example, the RECTANG command has an alias of rectangle.

    Tip: To print the alias list, choose File > P