Resources, Resources, Where are My Resources (AutoCAD)?

by Seth Cohen,

When using CAD, you need to know what resources to use, and how CAD “finds” those resources.  CAD, is not like Word or Excel, and requires resource management at a much higher level.  So what are resources, and how do you find them.  Well, resources are items like blocks (cells), linetypes (linestyles), layers (levels), text styles, etc.  How do you find resources, well that’s a tough question to answer and depends on many variables such as the client or company your work for.  Ask your CAD manager or the client you are working for to get a good grasp as to the resources you will need to use.  In this article, let’s look at AutoCAD and how it finds resources to make them available to you.

In AutoCAD, you use an AutoCAD Profile to point to your resources and define settings.  To view/define the current AutoCAD profile, right-click in the drawing view and choose Options from the shortcut menu (or type OP in the command line).

Access the Options Dialog Box

Access the Options Dialog Box

To put it simply, the Options dialog box is the GUTS of AutoCAD.  it defines many settings such as the paths to resource files, and many, many display settings.  The tab that you will most be interested in to have AutoCAD point to your resources is the Files tab.  The Files tab lists the folders that AutoCAD will use to search for resource files (a.k.a. Support Paths), drivers, CUI files, tool palettes, and so on.  There are also user-defined settings such as the  dictionary file used for checking spelling.  Paths are searched in the order that they are listed in the Options dialog box, and if the same file exists in different folders, the first instance found is used.

In the image below, I am in an AutoCAD profile using the Ford Motor Company standards.

The Files Tab of the Options Dialog Box

The Files Tab of the Options Dialog Box

A quick little tip to having AutoCAD load the desired AutoCAD profile automatically is to use a command line parameter.  To do so, first, in AutoCAD, click the Export button on the Options dialog box, and save the .ARG file (AutoCAD Registry File) to a location on your server for other users to access.  Next, copy the default AutoCAD icon, and rename it to something that is related to the standards that you will be using.  Next, right-click on the icon and choose Properties from the shortcut menu.  In the Target field, at the end of all the paths defined in it, type /p <the path to the .ARG file>.  Note, the first time AutoCAD does this will be the only time it loads the profile file.  If you update the .ARG file on the server, it does not automatically update the AutoCAD profile.  You will need to physically delete it from the Options dialog box and reload it through the icon.

/p Command Line Parameter

/p Command Line Parameter

We will discuss other ways to access your resources in future posts, and talk more of the things you can set in the Options dialog box.

“Now you know, and knowing is half the battle.”  …………G.I. Joe

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  1. Multiple Resources (AutoCAD) « CADmanage Blog - September 30, 2012

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