Auto Loading Lisp Routines

Access to custom programming is one of the great strengths of the AutoCAD platform, Lisp is one of the oldest of these. Even if you don't wish to write your own, there are countless routines available on the internet or from other draftsmen. Several useful routines are available here for download( Move/Copy 1 Axis, Detail Editing, Xref Control and Auto Scale Dimensioning are all Lisp routines). This page will show you how to add them to your system.

There are 2 main ways to add a routine to load automatically when you start AutoCAD, you can add them to the "Startup Suite" or you can create "acad.lsp" and place it in your support path.

Adding A Routine to the Startup Suite

This procedure is easier to manage in a networked environment, you can place a single Lisp file with standard routines on the office server and point each workstation at it.

  1. Place the lisp file in your file system, either locallly or on a server.
  2. Call the "Load/Unload Applications" dialog box in AutoCAD.
  3. Click the "Startup Suite" butto, then "Add", then browse to the file.
  4. This routine will now load every time you start AutoCAD. Surprisingly, adding a file to the "Startup Suite" doesn't load the routine in the current session, you will need to load it manually or restar AutoCAD to have the new routine available for use.
  1. Browse to any type of AutoCAD macro and load the file into the current session
  2. Loaded applications are listed here.
  3. This is where you access the Startup Suite dialog.
This is the "Startup Suite" dialog. I have 4 files set to load when I start AutoCAD, mapped from the "CADLibrary" folder on my "T:" drive. Click the "Add" button to browse to new files, select a file and click "Remove" to remove a file from the autoload list.
Create an "acad.lsp" File

AutoCAD is designed to load 2 Lisp files by default, "acad.lsp" and "acaddoc.lsp". "acad.lsp" is the file intended to be loaded in each session. There are many ways to accomplish this, here are instructions to download "Move/Copy 1 Axis", rename it, and place it in your Acad installation folder.

  1. Download the routine by rt-clicking this link and selecting "Save target As".
  2. Browse to your Acad installation folder.
  3. Change the file name to "acad.lsp"
  4. To add new routines into acad.lsp, simply open the file in notepad or AutoCADs Vlisp IDE and copy/paste new code to the end.
Right click the download link, and select "Save Link As" in Firefox or "Save Target As" in IE.
Browse to your AutoCAD installation or support folder, typically "C:\Program Files\Autodesk Architectural Desktop 2007\Support". Your actual path will vary with your installation and AutoCAD version. Do not rename the file and over-write any existing acad.lsp file--if you already have an acad.lsp file in use, follow the procedure below to add code to it.
To add new code to your acad.lsp file, simply open the new routine in Notepad, copy the text to the clipboard, then open acad.lsp in notepad and paste the new text to the beginning or end of the file. Don't paste text into existing commands, and make a backup of your original acad.lsp before you start the procedure. Just in case.