AutoLISP: Split Dimensions

This is a re-post of a previous post that deserves to be re-posted. The routine was posted at by Kerry and can be found here:

The routine simply splits an existing dimension and lets you click a point between the dimension to define a new inner dimension.

Here’s how:

  • SPLITDIMS [enter] to start
  • Select dimension to split
  • pick a new point


(defun c:LegLengthMod ( / ss dimobjs)
  ;; codehimbelonga KerryBrown@theSwamp 2010.05.28

  (if (and (setq ss (ssget '((0 . "DIMENSION"))))
           (setq dimobjs (mapcar 'vlax-ename->vla-object
                                 (vl-remove-if 'listp (mapcar 'cadr (ssnamex ss)))
    (foreach dim dimobjs
      (vla-put-extlinefixedlensuppress dim :vlax-true)
      (vla-put-extlinefixedlen dim (* 2 (vla-get-textheight dim)))

(defun c:SplitDims (/ sel newpt ent edata elist)
  ;; codehimbelonga KerryBrown@theSwamp 2010.05.28

  (if (and (setq sel (entsel "\nSelect Dimension to Split."))
           (setq newpt (getpoint "\Select new Dim Point"))
    (progn (setq ent   (car sel)
                 edata (entget ent)
                 elist (vl-remove-if
                         '(lambda (pair)
                            (member (car pair)
                                    (list -1 2 5 102 310 300 330 331 340 350 360 410)
           (entmod (subst (cons 14 newpt) (assoc 14 elist) edata))
           (entmakex (subst (cons 13 newpt) (assoc 13 elist) elist))
Posted in AutoLISP, AutoLISP: Dimensions, AutoLISP: Modify, Dimensions | Leave a comment

AutoLISP: EXTRIM Between Two Edges

The LISP routine featured today is by Marko Ribar and can be found at at the following Link: If you have any questions or requests or even saying a “Thank you” to Marko, about the routine, please post them at the forum. I am sure that Marko would like to know if he needs to tweak anything and would appreciate any gratitude.

Please copy the code from the CADTutor link above

The routine uses the concept of the EXTRIM command that is found in the Express Tools and applies this approach to trimming objects that cross both of the selected edges (boundaries).

Here’s how:

  • EXB2C [enter]
  • Select 2 separate objects to define the trimming edges
  • Click the cursor between the 2 edges that you selected to define the area that you want trimmed.



Note that if objects do not cross both of the edges that you select, the outcome seems to not want to trim certain objects (shown below).


But if this is the scenario that you encountering, you should just use the Express Tool EXTRIM to accomplish what you need (shown below). You might also find the following link to another LISP routine that puts a spin on the EXTRIM command as a helpful tool as well:


Posted in AutoLISP, AutoLISP: Modify, Express Tools | Leave a comment

Don’t Forget that CADWorx P&ID Cfm.shx file

This issue comes up rather often when dealing with projects that use CADWorx. Some users use CADWorx and other people in the same project don’t. Perhaps they want to simply open a P&ID drawing (or other drawing that uses this file for linetypes) with just “vanilla” AutoCAD and upon opening the drawing they are greeted with the ever-annoying prompt that says: “One or more SHX files are missing. What do you want to do?”

Cfm shape file 1A

If you don’t have CADWorx installed on your machine, simply ignore this so that you don’t alter the drawing and how it is supposed to look/display. Then go find someone who does have CADWorx and ask if you can copy the “compiled shape file” (That is what an .shx file is…) and copy it to you your AutoCAD support path.

Most likely the culprit is the .shx file called “Cfm.shx” and it is located in the default CADWorx support path on your C: drive as shown below.

In the example below, I am using AutoCAD 2013 with CADWorx P&ID 2013. Your versions will vary but the file name of “Cfm.shx” remains the same. Also not that when you browse to your AutoCAD support path, it will not be the same as mine after the “Users” portion…

Cfm shape file 2

Shown below are some of the linetypes that use this .shx file that are unique and therefore, you can see why you wouldn’t want to simply replace the linetype upon opening…

Cfm shape file 1

Cfm Shape File 3


Posted in CADWorx, Customization, Linetypes, Manage | Leave a comment

Issues With Using DEFPOINTS for Viewports

It may seem like a great idea to use the layer “DEFPOINTS” as the layer for your viewports since it doesn’t plot by default. And you may have heard from various posts that you shouldn’t do so but may have not understood why…

Here’s why:

It has to do with both Layer 0 (zero) and Defpoints.

Note: I am using “Layer 0 (zero)” because I dont want the zero to be confused as the capital letter O.

Layer zero is reserved for objects like blocks so if they are set to layer zero and you insert them into a drawing, the current layer could be set to anything, and that block will now be on that layer. So CAD managers might have Layer 0 (zero) turned off or even frozen so that people don’t use this layer to draw objects that should be on a designated layer.

If layer 0 (zero) is not turned off or frozen, you can select everything as normal (shown below

1 All Layers Selectable

Let’s say that you Freeze Layer 0 (zero) [shown below]

2 Freeze Layer Zero

Now try to select the same layers that were select-able prior to Layer 0 (zero) being frozen. You will notice that you cant select the objects that are on the DEFPOINTS layer. It’s like some sort of force field has been applied to these objects…

3 Try to select Objects on Defpoints


So how will this cause issues?
If your viewports are on the DEFPOINTS layer, and you want to later come and change the scale of the viewport, you will not be able to select the viewport. However, you can still double click inside the viewport to adjust the scale but some people use DEFPOINTS for placing other objects that they don’t want to plot like text that serve as notes or whatever. If they later what to erase them or move them or edit them, they wont be able to do so.

4 Example of viewport on DEFPOINTS

Posted in BASICS, Layers, Layout, Manage, Paper Space, Trouble Shooting, Viewports | 3 Comments

BASE Command – BEWARE of XREFs & Blocks

A perplexing issue crept its way into a project recently that revolves around the AutoCAD command BASE [enter].

This command can be found on the “Home” tab > Block panel (drop down – lower portion) “Base

Base 1

It can also be found on the “Insert” tab > “Block Definition” panel (drop down – lower portion) > “Set Base Point” button

Base 1-2


Note the description of the command as it is hovered over in the tool tip. It sounds like a description but it should also be a WARNING.

When you run the BASE command in a drawing note that the coordinates should be o,o,o (zero,zero,zero) [shown below].

Base 2

If the BASE command is run and these coordinates have been changed, notice the warning that appears (shown below). It seems to be more concerned about the Z coordinate not being set to zero than anything, but at least it lets you know that this has been changed.

Base 3


Using the BASE command can be useful for when you have a series of blocks that are in a folder and each drawing is an individual blocks. If for some reason, a block needs to have its insertion point moved, it might be easier to open the drawing and run the BASE command and then simply snap to a point to define the new “BASE” point, then trying to select all of the objects that make up the block and then move them to the coordinates (0,0,0).

But if you have dynamic blocks or properties of a block that require it to be opened and edited in the “Block Editor,” you are out of luck. The below warning will appear telling you that the BASE command will not work in the Block Editor.



Now here is the important thing to remember or at least try if you have a problematic drawing/model. Here is the scenario – An Electrical designer had a 3d model referencing all of the other disciplines (Piping, Structural, Civil, & Mechanical) and when he had his drawing opened, everything looked correct. But when every other discipline opened their model, everything was fine EXCEPT the electrical model. This is because somewhere along the process, the BASE command was used and was snapped to some random object. And as the description says, this will be the “Origin” or Base Point that other drawings will process and use when this drawing is inserted as a block or XREFed into their drawings.

Luckily, if the BASE has been changed, you can later use the BASE command and it will show the new coordinates – meaning it will not show (0,0,0) allowing you to easily enter these values thus fixing the XREF issue.

Posted in Blocks, Manage, Modifying, XREFs | Leave a comment

Turn On CADWorx Ribbon Tabs and Menu Bar

If you have lost your CADWorx Ribbon tabs or Menus (from the menu bar) you can simply load them by using the following in the command line:


CADWorx ribbon tabs and menu

CADWorx 2013 and AutoCAD 2013 are shown in the above pic

For loading the CADWorx Equipment palette or toolbars see the following post:

A friend of mine also has a great blog post explaining how to load both the CADWorx Plant and Equipment modules in the same session found here:

Please keep the Streamlined Design blog in mind for some terrific advanced AutoCAD customization tips & techniques for CAD managers and CAD admins. There are also some .NET programming examples available


Posted in CADWorx, Manage | Leave a comment

AutoCAD List of Command Aliases and Shortcut Keys

Today’s tip is simply a link to an excellent AutoCAD alias and shortcut reference guide provided by Autodesk & The AutoCAD team.

The link is found here:

I highly recommend learning command aliases like using XR in the command line instead of XREF or W instead of WBLOCK.

Note: There are many other useful examples in the linked resource. So don’t get overwhelmed or try to memorize all of them. If I could make a suggestion, skim the list of aliases or hot keys for the commands or tools that you use the most in your daily drafting routines and make a note of a few of them and try to utilize a couple one day at a time.

One more thing to note is that these are the default (out of the box) shortcuts and command aliases. Once you are comfortable with some of these default shortcuts you might realize that there are some default aliases that since they are assigned to an existing command. Luckily you can easily create brand new aliases and assign them to a command or you can assign an unused alias to a command.

A couple of examples of custom aliases that I use are CC = COPY, RR = ROTATE, SS = SELECTSIMILAR.

These aliases can be edited in the “Alias Editor” which appends the acad.pgp file.

For more help in running the ALIASEDIT command, refer to this previous post:



Thank you to the AutoCAD team for making this list of shortcuts & aliases available in such an easy and thorough format.


Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments