Create a Command Alias (Keyboard Shortcut)
March 16, 2007
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
Follow these steps:
- Choose Express > Tools > Command Alias Editor.
- 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.
- 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.
- If your command isn't listed and your alias isn't being
used, click Add.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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
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.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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
More AutoCAD Step by Step Articles by Ellen Finkelstein