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Another way to align a rectangle with a line on the fly–using AutoLISP

This is a guest post by Sanjay Kulkarni, an AutoCAD programmer. You can read more about him at the end of this post.

In an earlier post, Ellen showed how to align a rectangle with a line on the fly. You can easily create the same effect using AutoLISP. This AutoLISP routine is simple, and […]

Access related files with search paths

All AutoCAD drawings are connected to related files. At the very least, all drawings need access to a customization user interface (CUI) file. Some drawings also need to access fonts, plug-ins (such as AutoLISP and VBA files), linetypes, and hatch patterns. Drawings may have externally referenced drawings (xrefs).

You can make your AutoCAD life easier […]

“AutoCAD Block Best Practices,” an e-book by Edwin Prakoso

Edwin Prakoso has written an excellent and thorough e-book on AutoCAD blocks. In 69 pages, he covers the following:

Creating, inserting, modifying, and replacing blocks Creating and using attributes Creating annotative blocks Creating dynamic blocks, including visibility states, parameters, and constraints Extracting data from blocks Best practices examples Managing and sharing blocks

The book is […]

Create a custom keyboard shortcut

Would you like to create a keyboard shortcut to your favorite command-option combination? For example, I would like a version of the COPY command that doesn’t repeat, that is, that ends after one copy operation. Here are the steps:

Enter cui to open the Customize User Interface dialog box. In the Command List pane, […]

Productivity boost ideas

Note: This is an article by Fran Golding, Senior Drafter at Parsons Brinckerhoff, a large planning, environment and infrastructure firm with offices in Australia and New Zealand. Perhaps you can add your own productivity boost ideas.

When I first started to drive a car, I had the feeling that I was not the one in […]

Tutorial: 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 DL for DIMLINEAR or RVC for REVCLOUD.

AutoCAD comes with a large number of aliases already made for you. You edit the […]

Extract data from objects in AutoCAD 2008 and later

One of the new features in AutoCAD 2008 is data extraction. This might make you think of block attributes and data connectivity, but it combines features of both. It’s both simple and powerful.

You start with the new DATAEXTRACTION command, or by starting the TABLE command and choosing the From Object Data in the […]

Tutorial: Use fields to automatically label dynamic blocks

You can use fields (AutoCAD 2005 and later) to create automatic labels that provide information about objects.

I’ve covered aspects of this topic before. In “Tutorial: Display the area of an enclosed figure,” I show how to use fields to create a label that displays an area.

In “Tutorial: Create attributes,” I mention that you […]

Record macros with the Action Recorder

Since AutoCAD 2009, you can record macros for later use. You can include requests for user input and messages to make the macro work interactively.

When you save a macro, it has an ACTM filename extension. You’ll find it in your Support\Actions folder of your AutoCAD installation. You can share ACTM files with others.

Start […]

How do I get all my AutoLISP routines to load themselves?

Question: B.N. asks how he can get his AutoLISP routines from an earlier release into AutoCAD 2007 so that they’re always loaded and ready to go.

Answer: An easy way is to type the AutoLISP routines in a file and save it as anything.lsp. Then choose Tools> AutoLISP> Load Application. Browse to anything.lsp and drag […]