AutoCAD has a long history, and we go back all the way.  Our primary developer started using AutoCAD with version 1.0 on the original IBM PC with a 10mb hard drive and CGA graphics (now we have mp3 files larger than that).  Here is a detailed history, including corresponding drawing versions, .NET framework used, etc.

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Some dialogs (like the AutoCAD INSERT command) can show a tiny preview image.  These are not always created or updated by the CAD engine.  To create/update these, you need to manually use the BLOCKICON command.   Following the command is a prompt allowing matching names.  If you have a large collection you may want to use this, otherwise simply take the default <*>.

Be very careful when using the ALIGN command if your destination points contain varying elevations (Z values).  The ALIGN command is a 3D command!  If your destination points vary only slightly you won’t see the distortion but when you list your results, it will have a “Extrusion direction relative to UCS:”

You can work around the problem with point filters.  When prompted for destination points, enter .XY, then use your object snap, then CAD will prompt for a Z, enter 0.0.  This way you will get the alignment without the extrusion problem.

Sometimes users want to capture AutoCAD command line output for parsing into a report.  The quick easy way if you don’t have too much content is right clicking the command line area, choosing Copy History and pasting that into an editor to remove the unnecessary parts.  However sometimes your content exceeds the history buffer or you just want more control.

AutoCAD LOG controls allow you capture what you want, here are the details.

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Recent versions of AutoCAD change the default behavior of newly created Mtext objects.  After creation you can’t change the Width in the Properties dialog!  Users often want to set the width to 0.0.

For existing Mtext objects, change the Columns setting (just below the width) to “No Columns”.  You will have to commit this change by pressing ESC, then reselect the Mtext to be able to change the width.

To restore previous behavior for all newly created Mtext, change the MTEXTCOLUMN to 0 in your current (and prototype) drawing.

There may be times on listing of objects (like polylines) when you don’t want AutoCAD to prompt to press enter.  This prompt also gets included in a copy/paste of the information.

Set the QAFLAGS system variable to 2 when you want continuous listing without prompt.  Set it back to 0 to restore default behavior.

Users often report that menus (or ribbons) from our products come up missing in AutoCAD.  This has been a problem for many years and isn’t limited to our products (customers with their own custom menus can have the same problem).

Try this procedure to restore the menu(s).

  1. Issue the MENULOAD command (do not issue the MENU command).
  2. Carefully make sure the PRODUCTNAME is highlighted in the top list (not ACAD, etc).
  3. Click the [Unload] button.
  4. Choose the [Browse] button.
  5. Navigate to the PRODUCTNAME folder and select the menu (CUIx file).
  6. Choose the [Load] button.

Also be aware that AutoCAD will only remember roughly 21 pulldown menus.  If you have close to this number of menus and AutoCAD is regularly dropping one, that is the reason.