AutoCAD Tutorial

AutoCAD 2004 Customization Tutorial: Search Paths

By Alireza Parsai, May 2, 2003

If you attach a raster image or an Xref to a drawing, and later change the location of the attached file, AutoCAD will search for the file in its search paths. The same action applies for locating a drawing file. In general, AutoCAD searches the following locations respectively: current directory, drawing directory, directory specified in the support file search path, and directory containing the AutoCAD executable file, acad.exe.

Users are allowed to define or modify AutoCAD Support File Search Path. This can be handled with OPTIONS command.

1. Download the following files:

R16 – 2D House.DWG

Note: If you are using AutoCAD 2002, 2000i, or 2000, download R15 – 2D House.DWG.

2. Open the drawing file in AutoCAD. Zoom into the lower-right corner of the drawing [Figure 1].

Figure 1 - Click on image to enlarge

3. From Insert menu click Raster Image. The Select Image File dialog box appears [Figure 2].

Figure 2 - Click on image to enlarge

4. Locate and open Farvahar.BMP.

5. The Image dialog box appears [Figure 3]. Click OK.

Figure 3 - Click on image to enlarge

6. Locate and scale the image properly [Figure 4].

Figure 4

7. Invoke IMAGEFRAME command. Select OFF to remove the image frame [Figure 5].

Figure 5

8. Save and then close the file.

9. Start My Computer. Move the "Farvahar.BMP" to "Program Files" folder on drive C (i.e. C:\Program Files).

10. Back to AutoCAD, open the drawing file. The image is missing [Figure 6].

Figure 6

11. Invoke OPTIONS command.

12. Select Files tab.

13. Click the + sign to the right of Support File Search Path option [Figure 7].

Figure 7 - Click on image to enlarge

14. Click Add button to add a new path.

15. Click Browse.

16. Locate C:\Program Files [Figure 8].

Figure 8

17. Click OK in both dialog boxes.

18. From Image menu select Image Manager. The Image Manager dialog box appears [Figure 9].

Figure 9 - Click on image to enlarge

19. Select the image name in the list.

20. Click Reload.

21. Click OK. The image is now visible [Figure 10].

Figure 10

About the Author

Alireza Parsai is the founder of 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 or visit his website

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