Set the Options Dialog to Specific Tab

Here is a quickie.

You can use this as a script or macro for a custom tool…

If you go to the OPTIONS dialog box often, you may want to open on a specific tab for whatever task you are doing.

Here’s how:

  • +OPTIONS <enter>
  • The default is <0> (zero) and if you simply hit <enter> again it will open the last tab that you were on. So if I want the Options dialog to open on the “Files” tab I would enter the following at the command line:
      1. +OPTIONS <enter>
      2. 0 <enter> (zero)

The thing to remember about this tip is to use the + (plus sign) at the beginning of the command….

Refer to the picture below that shows what tabs equal what number equals what tab.
Note that the Options dialog box shown below is from AutoCAD 2013


(See below for the many ways to open the OPTIONS dialog “the normal way”)

  • Right-click anywhere in the drawing area and select “Options”

Options 1

  • Click on the Application Menu (Big Red A)
  • Then click Options at the bottom of the menu

Options 2

  • Type in either OP <enter> or OPTIONS <enter> in the command line

Options 3

Posted in Customization, Manage, TIPS | 3 Comments

Pre Selection Highlight

Here is how to change the setting that allows you to highlighting objects prior to selection. This feature is useful so that you can visibly see what you are about to select prior to actually selecting them.

OPTIONS <enter> or OP <enter>

Make the “Selection” tab current

To turn this feature on, make sure that the check marks are checked under the “Selection Preview” area  of the “Selection” tab (orange area shown below)

In the “Visual Effect Settings” dialog, you can define how the pre-highlighting is displayed: 1) Dashed lines, 2) Bold, 3) Both (the default = both)

Pre Selection Highlight


The Advanced options button will display a little dialog box that shows what items are excluded from being pre-highlighted

Prehighlighting 3


Shown below – hovering the cursor over objects with pre-selection highlighting turned OFF

Prehighlighting 1 OFF


Shown below – hovering the cursor over objects with pre-selection highlighting turned ON

Prehighlighting 2 ON

Posted in Customization, Manage, Settling In, TIPS | 4 Comments

How to show hidden folders

This might seem like an odd post but it is helpful because there is an AutoCAD support path that might be hidden thus preventing you from navigating to this location through Windows Explorer.

The desired support location is located within the “AppData” folder. This folder is unique for each user for a computer. The location is C:\Users\UserName\AppData\Roaming\Autodesk\AutoCAD 2013 – English\R19.0\enu\Support

If you navigate to C:\Users\Username folder you may not see the folder called “AppData”

(Note: My username folder is called “Trog”)

Hidden Files 1

  • If you press the ALT button you will see the below menus appear.
  • Click the tools button from the menu and then click “folder options”

Hidden Files 2


Click the “View” tab to make it active

  • Then scroll down and click to toggle to “Show hidden files, folders and drives”
  • This menu is also where you can change how the file types are shown, A file type is the three-letter file extension that is at the end of a file name. For example, a .dwg is an AutoCAD drawing file. Or a .pdf file is a PDF file…

Hidden Files 3



Click OK when you are finished.

You should know see the below folder “AppData”

Hidden Files 4

Posted in BASICS, Manage | Leave a comment

2013 Command Line Width

I really like how little space the new command line takes up in the drawing area (vertically), but did you know that the new command can be sized horizontally?

Simple move your cursor over the right edge to the command line and then click, hold and drag to re-size its width. Now it takes up even less room!!!

(Note that it stretches/shrinks about its mid point)

Posted in AutoCAD 2013, BASICS, Customization, New In 2013, Settling In, Tool Palletes | 2 Comments

Control the Display of The View Cube and Navigation Bar

Why is it that some drawings show that cube thingy and other drawings dont? Well here is how to control both the “cube thingy” (ViewCube) and the Navigation Bar (NB) that sits just below the View Cube (VC).


The Navigation Bar and ViewCube also show up when a viewport is activated (double-clicked) in Paper Space.


To control the display of these tools in a View Port or in Model Space the method is the same. Just make sure that the the setting will only affect the current space (model or view port)

View tab > User Interface panel > User interface dropdown > Check or uncheck as needed


A possible configuration is to have the ViewCube be available in the Navigation Bar. This happens by default when you turn off the ViewCube. Notice in the picture below that the top button in the Navigation Bar is a toggle that quickly turns on the ViewCube.


The System Variable for these tools are shown below:

ViewCube System Variable = NAVVCUBDISPLAY
I don’t know how my current value is a negative one. Please notice however that this system variable is saved in the drawing. That is why it might be displayed in one drawing and not displayed in another.


Navigation Bar System Variable = NAVBARDISPLAY

Notice that this system variable is saved in your computer’s registry and will display the same (on or off) in any drawing you open.

Posted in BASICS, Customization, Settling In, TIPS, Viewports | 6 Comments

AutoCAD 2013: Adding the Layout Tab to the ribbon

Today’s tip shows how to add the new ribbon tab called “layout” to the ribbon if it doesn’t exist. If your installation of AutoCAD 2013 doesn’t display this tab it is most likely because during installation, settings were migrated. Because AutoCAD seems to change so much year after year, I suggest not migrating many settings (or any). It might take a while to rebuild the settings for a new version of AutoCAD but I think that it might work better in the long run because those settings are geared around that particular build of AutoCAD.

  • To turn on the “Layout” tab of the ribbon:
  • Set current the workspace to which you want the tab applied
  • CUI <enter>
  • Select the workspace from the upper-left list in the CUI
  • Click “Customize Workspace”


  • Expand the plus sign next to “Ribbon” (shown below – please forgive the typo)
  • Expand the plus sign next to “Tabs” (shown below)


  • Scroll down in the list of tabs and find “Layout”
  • Check the box next to “Layout.” This will display this tab in the current workspace. If there are other tabs you would like displayed, check them now.
  • When you are finished turning on tabs, click “Done” (as shown)
  • To exit the CUI, click “Apply” and “OK”

Posted in AutoCAD 2013, Customization, Layout, Manage, Viewports | 2 Comments

Lost Command Line

With the new command line being a toolbar that is easily drag-able, it is just a matter of time before you lose your command line by dragging it either too far down or dragging it completely off the screen. But don’t worry, you can get it back.

Here’s how:

  • CUI <enter>
  • Select the current workspace (as shown)
  • Expand “Palettes” (as shown)
  • Select “Command Line” (as shown)
  • Then under the “Properties” click the flyout next to “Orientation” and select where you want the position of the command line to be.

Don’t forget to save a custom workspace when you get your tools place where you want them. A workspace will remember the placement of your toolbars and palletes…

You can also lock these item’s position through the through the LOCKUI system variable.

Posted in AutoCAD 2013, BASICS, Customization, Manage, Settling In, TIPS | 8 Comments