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AutoCAD Tutorial

AutoCAD Menus: Building a Menu Template, Part 5

July 17, 2003

The following tutorial shows you how to enhance menu macros with the help of special characters and/or DIESEL expressions.

If you are not familiar with menu files read the following tutorials first:

AutoCAD Menus: The Base Menu
AutoCAD Menus: Partial Menus
Building a Menu Template, Part 1
Building a Menu Template, Part 2
Building a Menu Template, Part 3
Building a Menu Template, Part 4

Note: This tutorial is designed for AutoCAD 2004 though might be applicable for other releases.

1. Download the following files


2. Copy the files to AutoCAD search path.

Note: Refer to the following tutorial for more information on AutoCAD search path:

AutoCAD 2004 Customization Tutorial: Search Paths

3. Open sample.mnu in Notepad.

4. Add some options to the pull down menu [Figure 1].

Figure 1


  • ^ is equivalent to pressing Ctrl key. Therefore ^G means press Ctrl+G and ^E is equivalent to pressing Ctrl+E.
  • AutoCAD will not add Enter to those lines that end to control characters.

5. Save the file and load it as a partial menu.

Note: To learn more about partial menus read the following tutorial:
AutoCAD Menus: Partial Menus

6. On Main menu click Toggle Grid a few times and view the result [Figure 2]. Click Switch Isoplanes to change the current Isometric plane.

Figure 2

7. In Notepad make some modifications to the sample.mnu [Figure 3].

Figure 3 - Click on image to enlarge


  • !. puts a tick mark beside the menu option.
  • ~ disables the menu option.
  • $(getvar,isolines) will return the current value assigned to the ISOLINES system variable.
  • $(=, val1, val2) If val1 and val2 are equal the string returns 1 otherwise 0.
  • $(if,statement,then,else) If statement returns a nonzero value then will be done otherwise else will be used. The else action is optional.

8. Save the file.

9. From Main menu select Reload Menu [Figure 4]. The menu will be reloaded automatically.

Figure 4

10. Click Isolines to view the latest changes [Figure 5].

Figure 5

About the Author

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 alireza.parsai@cadpanel.com or visit his website www.cadpanel.com

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