AutoCAD 2014 - Command line enhancements

AutoCAD 2014 includes some new command line enhancements briefly covered in our launch time review titled AutoCAD 2014 in two minutes. Let's dive in and explore some of these new tools closer.

  • AutoCorrect - On the surface this is not a bad idea. If I type in LIME (instead of LINE), the LINE command will run instead of it saying "Unknown Command: LIME". Not bad, I can see the usefulness to this. However, I do not understand the need for a new PGP file (AutoCorrectUserDb.pgp) to hold user defined misspellings. If you misspell a command so often that you need to tell AutoCAD "Hey, I'm going to misspell this, so here is what I really mean" - it's time to create a shortcut key, or use a graphical UI element. Moreover, even it you did want to create an alias (say you misspell ARC a lot by typing in ARV), you can already do this using the old standard "Acad.pgp" file. You can manage this file if needed by going to the Manage Tab of the Ribbon, on the Customization panel, and then look for an entry to edit the AutoCorrect List.
  • AutoComplete - Anyone with a smartphone who sends texts, understands this feature. Start typing PD for example, and commands that start with or include the string PD are suggested for you (i.e. PDFAttach, PDFClip, etc.). Fortunately, you can configure these suggestions based on frequency of usage vs. alphabetical. I'm sure most people will want the former. This feature was in AutoCAD 2013, but for 2014 they added a built in option to perform mid-string searches. In other words, typing in LIN will not only bring up suggestions for LINE and LINETYPE, but also PLINE. You can actually do this in 2013 also, but you have to include your own wildcard characters (i.e.: type in *LIN*). 
  • Synonym Suggestions - This is a feature that allows you to define a string such as "Length", and have it execute an actual command such as "Dist". I suppose the idea behind this is that if you use a different CAD program with different phrases for things, you can continue to use those phrases by defining a synonym suggestion. However, I'm going to pick on this one even more. Why does this require a new and different PGP file (AcadSynonymsGlobalDB.pgp)? This is a "new" feature that isn't really new at all. You have been able to do this for over 20 years using the normal "acad.pgp" file. Interestingly, there are some synonym suggestions defined in the default file like "connectpolyline" (runs the PLINE command) and "constructionline" (runs the RAY command). I have to say that if you are typing in 15+ character command names, it's time to create a shortcut in the "acad.pgp" file anyway. 
  • Command Help - This is a nice feature. When you do get a full command name to show up, either by typing it out or letting AutoComplete work, there will be two icons on the right side. A help symbol and a globe symbol. Click the help symbol to launch AutoCAD help on that command or click the globe symbol to launch a Google search for that command. The Google search will open in a new window in your default browser.

  • Content Search - This is another nice feature that allows you to type in the name of certain content such as a block, and when a match is found the appropriate command is launched. For example, say you type in "Window2" (which is a block in your drawing). Then when you press enter the Insert command is launched and the Window2 block is ready for insertion. The same thing works for Layers, dimstyles, hatches and other named items. 

These items can be configured using the dialog shown below, which itself can be launched from the wrench icon on the command line.


Sounds pretty cool, how about a live demo of AutoCAD 2014 at our next in-house CAD seminar?

All the new command line funtions that everyone is heralding in ACAD 2014 are great if it saves you time. Personally, I don't find it that much of an improvement.

Unfortunately, while they've been adding all these functions, have they inadvertantly created a problem?

Initiall, after installing 2014, a couple of our machines suddenly developed an "unknown command" error where even the X in the software window would not work to shut down or close files. I tried re-installing, but that hasn't worked. It's now happening on an almost daily basis.

Any suggestions or has anyone else encountered this guys?

This has happened to me as well 3 times now and is frustrating. Your not the
only one out there and unfortunately, I haven't come across anyone who has an
answer. One suggestion was to try a LISP command when it "locks up" and you
can't run any command like SAVE. The suggestion said that the LISP routing
setvar "savetime" to 1 will still work and that at least your work will get
saved in 1 minute before CAD crashes or you eventually give up like I do and
ctrl-alt-del to kill the program. I haven't tried it myself since finding
this suggestion since my Civil 3D 2014 hasn't locked up yet, but I'm willing
to give it a go the next time it does.


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