Where is my dialog?

If you run the OPEN or SAVEAS command and you don’t get the expected dialog box, but instead receive an invitation to provide the path on the command line… don’t worry, you just need to change a system variable. Type in FILEDIA and set it to 1 to restore the dialogs.

FILEDIA controls whether or not FILE DIAlogs appear for commands such as OPEN, SAVEAS, EXPORT, RECOVER, and NEW.

So if you didn’t set FILEDIA to 0, how did it get changed? Sometimes external (lisp, vba, etc) commands may set FILEDIA to avoid dialogs and fail to set it back to 1. Civil 3D itself is known for mysteriously setting FILEDIA to 0 also. The PUBLISH command also sets FILEDIA to 0, but I have only heard of rare cases where it doesn’t get restored.

Along these same lines, there is a less used system variable for CoMmanD DIAlogs named CMDDIA. According to AutoCAD documentation, CMDDIA only controls whether or not the in-place text editor appears for the LEADER and QLEADER commands, but it also controls dialog vs. command line prompts for many AutoCAD Map commands. A setting on 1 enables dialogs, and a setting of 0 means you will be prompted at the command line.


  1. Eric Colburn

    We used to keep this command taped to a wall on a sticky note. It would happen infrequently enough that it always took awhile for us to remember to use the command on the wall. It got to be a joke and always made us laugh.

    Then one day, a client that uses autocad called all in a panic because the dialogue box was missing. After a few seconds for my memory to kick in, I laughed and told him to hold on while I went to look at the note on the wall. He was so happy that it was so easy a fix.

    What is it that resets the command? I’ve never been able to pin it down.

  2. Alex A

    What does it mean when all the regular dialogues work on CAD 2002 except for New. To get that dialogue I have to enter “~” at the command line.

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