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Autodesk Tutorial

Create a Command Alias (Keyboard Shortcut)

March 16, 2007

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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 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.

  1. 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.
  2. If it doesn't 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.
  3. If your command isn't listed and your alias isn't being used, click Add.

  1. Type the alias in the Alias text box and the AutoCAD command below it. Alll 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.
  2. If your command is on the list, but your alias isn't, 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.
  3. 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. To delete an alias, select it and click Remove, then click Yes to confirm.
  4. 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 > Print from the AutoCAD Alias Editor's menu.

  1. When you're done, click OK. If the Confirm Changes dialog box is checked, you get a message asking you to confirm that you want to replace the configuration file (acad.pgp). Click Yes.

  1. AutoCAD doesn't recognize the change right away, because it doesn't re-check the acad.pgp file during a session. You could close and re-open AutoCAD, but there's an easier way. On the command line, enter reinit.

  1. Check the PGP File check box and click OK. Now your new aliases will work. Try them out!

Note: You can edit the acad.pgp file directly. It's in the Support folder. To find that folder, choose Tools > Options and click the Files tab. Double-click the Support File Search Path item and look at the first item. This file contains a User Defined Command Aliases section at the end where you can add your own aliases; these aliases override those in the main section. Use the same format as you see in the file, which is Shortcut,*Full_command_name. Save the file and use the REINIT command as just described.

About the Author

Ellen Finkelstein has been using AutoCAD since 1986. She has been consulting and teaching AutoCAD since 1993. Now she writes computer books and teaches management courses. She is the author of AutoCAD 2006 and AutoCAD LT 2006 Bible. You can find more tips and tutorials at www.ellenfinkelstein.com. Ellen can be reached at info@ellenfinkelstein.com






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