In Part 1 of this
tutorial you created a simple menu file with status line help
messages and access keys. The following tutorial shows you how
to make a more complex menu template by adding separator lines
and cascading menus. You will also add shortcut keys and accept
If you are not familiar with menu files read the following
► AutoCAD Menus: The Base Menu
► AutoCAD Menus: Partial
► Building a Menu
Template, Part 1
This tutorial is designed for AutoCAD 2004 though might be
applicable for other releases.
2. Open the file in
3. Make proper
modifications [Figure 1].
- Backslash (\) refers to user entry.
- [--] creates a separator line on menu.
- SingleLN is a name tag. You could replace it with any
other name. This name is used as a reference between the menu
item and the status line help string.
4. Save the file.
5. Start AutoCAD.
6. Invoke MENULOAD
(Tools > Customize > Menus).
7. In Menu
Customization dialog box click Menu Groups tab [Figure 2].
8. If you have
already loaded the SAMPLE menu group, select it from the list
and then click Unload.
9. Click Browse.
Locate and open "sample.mnu".
10. Click Load. A
warning message appears.
11. Click Yes to
load the menu group.
12. From the list
click SAMPLE and then click Menu Bar tab.
13. Insert the Main
menu before Help.
14. Close the
dialog box. Open the main menu [Figure 3]. A separator line is
inserted between Single Line and Erase All options.
15. Click Single
Line. The option will draw a single line segment.
16. Open Notepad.
17. Make some
modifications [Figure 4].
The -> shows the beginning of a cascading menu and <-
indicates the end of it.
18. Save the file
and reload the menu with the method of steps 8 to 13. A
cascading menu is added to the Main menu [Figure 5].
19. Let's add a
shortcut key. Open Notepad and add ***ACCELERATORS section to
define a shortcut key for Single Line [Figure 6].
- The name tag is used to link the key with menu option.
- CONTROL stands for pressing Ctrl key. Therefore you should
press Ctrl+Alt+S to invoke Single Line.
20. Reload the
menu. Press Ctrl+Alt+S to invoke the menu command.
To be continued.
Alireza Parsai is the founder of cadpanel.com. He is a
mechanical engineer with more than 12 years experience with
AutoCAD. Alireza is an Autodesk Authorized Author, the AutoCAD
consultant for Al Khawarizmi Institute, a contributing editor
for Augiworld magazine, a writer for CAD Digest, an instructor
for AUGI Training Program, and an elected speaker for Autodesk
University 2002. He has written 7 books in Farsi, 3 booklets in
English, and more than 30 articles for different magazines and
newsletters. You can reach him at
firstname.lastname@example.org or visit his website