About Entering Commands in the Command Window

About Entering Commands in the Command Window

Commands are the instructions that tell the program what to do.

There are many ways to initiate a command:

  • Make a selection on a ribbon, toolbar, or menu.
  • Enter a command in a dynamic input tooltip.
  • Enter a command in the command window.
  • Drag a custom command from a tool palette.

The dockable, resizable command window accepts commands and system variables and displays
prompts that help you complete a command sequence (including commands that were initiated
at another location such as the ribbon).

Respond to Command Prompts

After you enter a command, you may see a series of prompts displayed at the command
line. For example, after you enter PLINE and specify the first prompt, the following
prompt is displayed:

PLINE Specify next point or [Arc Halfwidth Length Undo Width]:

In this case, the default is to specify the next point. You can either enter X,Y coordinate values or click a location in the drawing area.

To choose a different option, click the option. If you prefer to use the keyboard,
specify the option by entering the capitalized, colored letter. You can enter uppercase
or lowercase letters. For example, to choose the Width option, type w and press Enter.

Sometimes the default option (including the current value) is displayed after the
angle-bracketed options:

POLYGON Enter number of sides <4:

In this case, you can press Enter to retain the current setting (4). If you want to
change the setting, type another number and press Enter.

NOTE:When you click a ribbon option to start commands that change property settings such
as color, layer, lineweight, dimension style, and multileader style, the command line
prompts are hidden. This reduces the display of unnecessary text.

Display Suggested Commands and System Variables

By default, the name of a command or system variable is automatically completed as
you type it. A suggestion list of commands and system variables that use the same
letters is also displayed. You can control the settings for these features in the
Input Search Options dialog box.

If the automatic completion features are turned off, type a letter on the command
line and press the Tab key to cycle through all the commands and system variables
that begin with that letter. Press Enter or Spacebar to start the command or system

Enter Command Aliases

Some commands have abbreviated names, or command aliases, that you can enter at the command line. For example, instead of entering circle to start the CIRCLE command, you can type c and press Enter. The command Suggestion List (if displayed) indicates the alias in
front of the command name:


Command aliases are defined in the acad.pgp or acadlt.pgpfile.

Interrupt a Command with Another Command or System Variable

Many commands can be used transparently. That is, they can be entered on the command line while you use another command.
Commands that do not select objects, create new objects, or end the drawing session
usually can be used in this way.

To use a command transparently, enter an apostrophe (‘) before entering the command
at any prompt. On the command line, double angle brackets () precede prompts that
are displayed for transparent commands. After you complete the transparent command,
the original command resumes. In the following example, you turn on the grid and set
it to one-unit intervals in the middle of the LINE command.

Command: line

Specify first point: ‘grid

Specify grid spacing (X) or [ON/OFF/Snap/Major/aDaptive/Limits/Follow/Aspect] <0.5000:

Resuming LINE command

Specify first point:

Changes made in dialog boxes that you have opened transparently cannot take effect
until the interrupted command has been completed. Similarly, if you reset a system
variable transparently, the new value cannot take effect until you start the next

Aids for Entering Commands

The program offers several ways to remember which commands to use:

  • Automatic completion. Completes name of a command or system variable as you type it.
  • Command line suggestion list. Displays a list of commands or system variables that match or contain the letters
    you have typed. The order of this list changes as you use the program, so that the
    commands you use most frequently are displayed at the top of the list. The program
    also offers suggestions for misspelled entries.
  • Automatic correction. Commands that you frequently misspell. The program automatically adds words that
    you misspell and correct a specified number of times to the AutoCorrectUserDB.pgp file. You can also update this text file manually.
  • Command cycling. Cycles through commands you have already used in the current session when you press
    the Arrow keys. An arrow button on the left end of the command line also displays
    this list.

You can change the settings for these options from the command line Customization
button or shortcut menu.

Learning AutoCad

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