AutoCAD 2004 Customization Tutorial: Operating
By Alireza Parsai,
May 29, 2003
AutoCAD Program Parameters file or rather ACAD.PGP enables users
to call external operating system commands through AutoCAD
command line. You can edit ACAD.PGP with the help of Notepad or
any other text editor. Follow the instructions to open ACAD.PGP
in Notepad and add a new external command to AutoCAD. The
current tutorial has many common steps with the following one:
Defining a New Command Alias
Start AutoCAD 2004 if necessary.
Invoke OPTIONS command.
Select Files tab.
Click the + sign beside Support File Search Path.
Select the long path that leads you to the Support file
Figure 1 -
Click on image to enlarge
Press F2 to make the path text selectable.
Press Ctrl+C to copy the path to Windows clipboard.
Click Cancel to close the Options dialog box.
command line enter Notepad and then press Enter twice. The
Notepad window appears.
Notepad press Ctrl+O to open a file. The Open dialog box appears
Figure 2 -
Click on image to enlarge
Double-click in the File name box.
Press Ctrl+V to paste the content of clipboard in the text box
Add \acad.pgp to the end of the text [Figure 4].
Click Open. The ACAD.PGP file appears in Notepad window [Figure
The file consists of two sections: external commands and command
aliases. To find the external commands section press Ctrl+F. The
Find dialog box appears [Figure 6].
Find what box type external command format and
then click Find Next.
Close the dialog box and scroll down. Read through the comments
to learn more on defining external commands.
Press Ctrl+End to jump to the end of the file. Press Enter twice
to insert two blank lines.
Type the following comment. Note that comment lines start with
semicolon and are for your reference only.
; My Custom External Commands
Add the following alias definition [Figure 7]. The blank spaces
EXCEL, START EXCEL, 1,,
Save the file.
Switch to AutoCAD.
put the changes into effect you may exit and restart AutoCAD or
use the REINIT command. Invoke REINIT. The Re-initialization
dialog box appears [Figure 8].
Select PGP File option and then click OK.
command line type EXCEL and then press Enter. The Microsoft
Excel window appears.
Note: If Microsoft Excel is not installed on your
computer, replace the line with the following one. Thus the
Notepad will start by entering NP in command line.
NP, START NOTEPAD, 1,,
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
firstname.lastname@example.org or visit his website