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CADpilot – Key-in Window (MicroStation)

by Lorrie Mattor,

Do you prefer keying in a few shortcuts over clicking on menu items?  Then CADpilot’s Key-In functionality is just for you!

The CADpilot key-in window is used primarily to issue menu and button shortcuts but may also be used to issue MicroStation commands.

To bring up the key-in window, select the “\” (backslash) key.

Note:  For the CADpilot key-in window to load with the “\” key the current View needs to have focus and the Dialog With Focus 

icon is activated.  



Type the command shortcut into the Textbox and then select the Enter button.





CADpilot menu or button shortcuts require the “\” (backslash)

Standard MicroStation commands are executed without the “\” (backslash).


Lorrie is a Technical Consultant for specializing in CADpilot integration, system’s analysis, technical writing and data manipulation.

CadPilot – Menu Item Help Files

by Lorrie Mattor,

Create help files for any command within CadPilot menus!

Toolbar menus are loaded from menu xml files as specified by your current configuration and appear in CadPilot toolbars.





If a Help File command is associated with the menu icon then the cursor will appear as a hand while floating over the menu icon.  When the icon is selected the Help file will open.  To execute the menu command simply slide your cursor over the command text until the cursor displays as an Arrow.






There may be times when a Help file is not associated with the Menu icon, in these cases the cursor will be displayed as an Arrow and the Menu command will be issued (even when selecting the icon).







If your command does not have a help file associated with it and you feel it would be helpful, contact your CadPilot Administrator (Cad Manager) to add it to the CadPilot menu.

Lorrie is a Technical Consultant for specializing in CadPilot integration, system’s analysis, technical writing and data manipulation.

Relocating the CadPilot Menu

by Lorrie Mattor,

Don’t like the location of your CadPilot Menu? 

Simply click and drag the Toolbar Anchor to a new location on your screen.



You like the new location and would like to keep it in the same place next time you load your CAD application?  No problem, right click on the Toolbar Anchor to display the Context menu, and then select “Save Settings”.









Stay tuned for more blogs on how to incorporate other user settings in CadPilot.




Lorrie is a Technical Consultant for specializing in CadPilot integration, system’s analysis, technical writing and data manipulation.

Using TabLists in CadPilot

by Lorrie Mattor,

We’re introducing a new blog post this month for our CADpilot users. I will be adding at least one new tip per month and if there is a topic you would like me cover send me an email at or fill out our contact us form located on our main page.

Do you prefer to work with lists of information?  Do you have many levels or cells/blocks to chose from and need a quick and easy way to organize…with non-cryptic descriptions?  TabLists are the answer to display and execute commands in a list format.  Ask your CadPilot administrator to setup a TabList for you.

The following is an example of a TabList and instructions on navigating and using TabLists. 

Use your mouse to select the applicable category tab, then click on the desired name (level name in this example) to execute the command.

ADA compliant commands also available:

The arrows keys may also be used to navigate the tabs and commands within the list(s).

 Left arrow  key navigates between multiple tabs

 Right arrow key navigates between multiple tabs

 Down arrow key navigates down through the current list.

 Up arrow key navigates up through the current list.

Additional key commands available:

 <PageUp> key navigates up through the list a page at a time.

 <PageDn> key navigates down through the list a page at a time.

 <Enter> key activates the currently selected item.

Lorrie is a Technical Consultant for specializing in CadPilot integration, system’s analysis, technical writing and data manipulation.

Launching External Programs and CADpilot

by Mark Stefanchuk,

Yesterday I was looking at launching external applications from my favorite CAD programs. Launching standard Windows office applications are generally supported, but I wanted to see if I could launch an executable developed by someone other than Microsoft. Sure enough, there are several posts out there that document how to do this, but I thought it might be helpful to see how to handle it in both MicroStation and AutoCAD. And many of our CADpilot customers have asked the same thing, specifically “how do I launch an external application using CADpilot?” So, I’ve included a couple of CADpilot examples too.


In MicroStation this is easy. Use the “%” symbol before the application name. For example,


As long as snagit32.exe is found in a PATH folder the program will launch. If it’s not in the path then you can always be explicit. For example,

%"C:\Program Files (x86)\SDJElectra\SegmentTables\Program\segmenttables.exe"

The quotes are necessary because there are spaces in the path spec.


In AutoCAD it takes a little more effort, but you can do it. The START command will launch most windows programs found in PATH. If it’s not found in path you will need to use the SHELL command. For example,

SHELL "C:\Program Files (x86)\SDJElectra\SegmentTables\Program\segmenttables.exe"

These will start a command window which then executes the request.

You can also set up an alias by editing the acad.pgp file. To open this file in Civil3d go to the Manage tab on the ribbon menu and click “Edit Aliases”. This will open the file in notepad. You can find more information on how to add aliases for external programs from the knowledgebase article, Starting Windows programs from the AutoCAD command line.

The interesting thing about the alias file is that it is user specific. If you do a Save-As from notepad you will see that the acad.pgp file is located in the users AppData folder. It will move with the user’s roaming profile, but everyone could have a different acad.pgp.

That’s great. It gives your users control over their personal CAD environment. On the other hand, you will have to do some planning if you, as the CAD Manager, make changes to this file and want to deploy it to everyone on the team.


A somewhat biased plug – this is one of the many reasons I like CADpilot. The user can create her own aliases and you can deliver program launch commands for the whole team, or for segments of your team to a single location. Also, since CADpilot is a delivery and deployment platform you can make global changes very easily without making users exit their design session.

Ok, so for those of you already using CADpilot, launching commands is really easy. You use the “cadpilot ui run” command. In MicroStation it will look like this,

cadpilot ui run snagit32

and for AutoCAD,

(cadpilot-ui-run snagit32)

If you need to spec the whole path then use the following format.

(cadpilot-ui-run "C:/Program Files (x86)/SDJElectra/SegmentTables/Program/segmenttables.exe")

In the editor it would look like this.

On my development menu I’ve just added it as a test – like this,

It looks the same in both MicroStation and AutoCAD, there’s no DOS command shell opened when the command launches, and I only had to deploy it to one location.

I also discovered, today, that I can add my own variables to cadpilot.ui.cfg file. I added,

MYPATHVAR = C:/mydevpath/

The new commands for MicroStation and AutoCAD,

You don’t have to exit the CAD application either, just reload the menu.

If you’re not already a CADpilot user, download the demo version from

About Mark Stefanchuk: Mark is a VP and senior consultant with CAD Management Resources, Inc. He divides his time between developing innovative custom software solutions and helping clients navigate complex design automation environments. If you would like to find out how he can assist you with your design technology he can be reached by contacting us at