10 AutoCAD commands you have either forgotten or never knew

Ok, I know many of you know some of these, maybe even a few that know about all of them, but there are new AutoCAD users every day... Some of these are old and some are new.

So what is your favorite "obscure" command?

  1. CONVERTPOLY (R14-R2010) - This undocumented command will allow you to convert "heavy" polylines to LWPOLYLINE's and vice versa. "Heavy" polylines are the pre-R14 version. They still have uses today, and the PLINETYPE system variable controls what gets created by default.
  2. DBLIST (Version 2.0 - R2010) - This command will list every entity in the drawing. Useful when you think you have some entities that are not showing up. You can erase everything visible and then run DBLIST to see what else is still there.
  3. XOPEN (R2004-R2010) - Use this command to pick an external reference to open it. You don't need to know the name of the xref.
  4. TRACE (Prior to Version 1.4-R2010) - This is a really old one. It creates a TRACE object, which is sort of looks like a polyline, but each segment behaves more like a SOLID entity, which brings us to...
  5. SOLID (Prior to Version 2.0-R2010) - This command creates a 2D solid entity with three or four sides. Before solid hatch was introduced, this was about the only way to get a solid fill, and you had to do some tricks around curves.
  6. SETBYLAYER (R2008-R2010) - Pretty self-explanitory. Use this to set certain object properties to BYLAYER, including Color, Linetype, Lineweight, and Material.
  7. REVERSE (R2010) - Used to reverse the direction of a line, polyline, spline or helix.
  8. TPNAVIGATE (R2008-R2010) - Used to display a certain tool palette. If the tool palette is not visible, this command will make it visible also.
  9. SAVEIMG (R14-R2010) - If you just need a quick screen capture of your AutoCAD display, this command can do it. Plotting to Raster using the appropriate driver will usually result in better output with more options, but if you just need a quick file, SAVEIMG can do it.
  10. TSPACEINVADERS (R??-R2010) - This is an undocumented command. Essentially, you perform a selection and it will show you TEXT and MTEXT that has entities blocking it. It doesn't do the cleanup, but in a crowded drawing it can help you identity text under linework, etc.



type browser and url, Autocad will Open the page for you!!!

sketch - Creates a freehand line segments, useful for mapping (GIS).

qtext - When is on, text and attribute object is displayed as a bounding box around. Useful for finding "invisible" text objects.


These days REINIT Allows the ACAD.PGP file to be reinitialized. It used to do more, but people gave up some stuff along the way. It is useful when you make changes "on the fly" to the ACAD.PGP file and want to immediately make use of those changes without having to exit AutoCAD and get back into it.

That is a good one also... Thanks

Let's not forget some of us dinosaurs still using digitizers. Switching between windows into photoshop & back to acad can confuse autocad. Hence the digitizer buttons in reinit.

I like convertpoly, thanks. I have used convert for years but this saves a few keystrokes.

Sketch is another old command I sometimes use.

Love this command to convert 3D to 2D.
Create your 3D assembly in model space.
Go to Paperspace open a viewport click in the window and type solprof on the command line and answer the questions.
It creates a hidden layer and visable layer of your 2D drawing with out lossing the 3D.

Love this command to convert 3D to 2D.
Create your 3D assembly in model space.
Go to Paperspace open a viewport click in the window and type solprof on the command line and answer the questions.
It creates a hidden layer and visable layer of your 2D drawing with out lossing the 3D.

Sorry for the delay in publishing some comments. I was without access for a few days...

I use Reinit for a long time and often. What I want to know is how to Reinit PGP without having to check the 'PGP' check box each time?

Pedro, use the "RE-INIT" system variable instead. Take a look at it in HELP.

Does anybody still use the ssx command? I find it faster than using the quick select option in properties. I think it came out in ver 10, not sure about that.

Yes! Still use it! Still love it! Quick select and select similar are great but I still find SSX useful.

The orginal (v2.5 !!) style CHANGE command.

One of several, for lack of a better descriptive, AutoDesk-brand Swiss-Army-Knife type commands.

(Off the top of my head, I can only think of two other commands *STILL AROUND* that are also this "style" of usage - PEDIT and the command-line LAYER commands.)

The "old" CHANGE (or -CHANGE) command:

It can re-size circles.

It can stretch/trim/extend lines (and do so usefully, if you have ORTHO on).

It can change Properties: Layer, Linetype, Color, Scale, etc.

It can change just about anything in a TEXT or DTEXT entity - including the moving th entity to a new location.

Also, when modifying text, it will cycle through the options for each selected item - in the order in which you selected the text entities if not, of course, selected by window. (I.E., if you've selected five items from left to right, that's the order the come up in! You don't have to zoom in - necessarily.)

And, if you've selected a block, it will allow you to modify the rotation or the location of said block(s) - again, in the order selected (again, if not selected by window...).

Yes, we have a lot of other, more specifically focused commands (or there's palettes, let's not forget all of our wonderful palettes) to duplicate this old command's functionality...

Still, for my money, this is the best CAD "Swiss Army Knife" ever!

It slices. It dices. It phones for pizza...

Once you have the Autosnap configuration that you like working with, you can type "OSMODE" in to the command line, and it will give you a unique number that is assigned to your configuration.

If your snaps get reset, you can enter "OSMODE" then this number to automatically turn them back on the way you like working with them. I've made an OSMODE button, so it can done in one click.

"undefine" is a good one for April Fools day....


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