LAYWALK, an efficient tool for managing drawings and layers Laywalk is a very primitive command in AutoCAD but it is mostly ignored or overlooked by most of the CAD users despite its great features and user friendly behavior. LAYWALK allows you to view objects of a particular layer(s) without using On/off or freeze/thaw features of […]

AutoCAD Base Drawing

Have you ever worked with multiple drawings that have xrefed ones among them and found that they are not lining up? You are working with multiple floors, for example. When you xref one floor to the other and they are not lined up. It could be that they were not drawn at the same origin […]

Edit PDF Drawings in AutoCAD with Able2Extract PDF Converter

CAD design software and, namely, AutoCAD, is used in many industries for all sorts of projects. For example, it’s used in professions such as architecture, design engineering, construction, landscaping or office building design. AutoCAD supported formats are DWG and DXF. However, when it comes time to share plans and drawings with clients and other stakeholders, […]

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Proxy AEC objects in CAD

In AutoCAD we often get an error message about proxy AEC objects when we open a drawing.


Proxy objects are objects that were created by an unavailable ObjectARX application such as Revit software. These proxies carry information that is not supported in AutoCAD. However, you do not need the original application to display the object in AutoCAD. You can get rid of the proxy objects by creating a new version of the drawing with all the AEC exploded.

To do that:

  1. Type AECTOACAD or –EXPORTTOAUTOCAD in the command line.
  2. Hit Enter for filename.
  3. Type the new name for the new file.

When you open the new file you have just created, the annoying proxy error pop up will not show anymore.

Merge layers

A lot of times people encounter the situation where they have so many layers in a drawing and some are duplicated with slightly different layer names; for example: M-WALL-N, M-WALL-NEW or M-HVAC-EQPM, M-EQPM-HVAC. Sometimes the layer is occupied by an inserted block that is not used on the plan. Other times, the layer is not occupied by an object. If you try to purge the drawing the layer still will be there.
In AutoCAD, you can merge unused layers into another used layer by using the LAYMRG command. It is helpful in cleaning up your layers and organizing them, especially when you need to convert your drawing standard to a different given standard. That might happen if you are working with someone else or another firm who has a different layer naming convention.
To merge layers:
1. Type LAYMRG in the command prompt.
2. Select the layer you need to merge.
3. Hit enter or the spacebar on your keyboard.
4. Select the target layer you want to merge to.
5. Select or type “yes” when asked.
6. Press enter or the space bar on your keyboard.
The old layer should now be deleted and purged out of the drawings. You can merge more than one (1) layer at a time to a target layer. Simply select the layers to be merged one after the other before you hit enter or the space bar.
NB: To use this command, your merging layer should not be set as current.

Unexploded Block

To prevent a block from being exploded when inserting the block use the command MINSERT. When prompted, set the number of row or columns to any numbers except 1. Then go to the property of the block and change that row or column back to 1. This will prevent the block from showing as an array. This command is also good if you want to create an array with a block.
NB: You cannot use MINSERT with annotative blocks.

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Reload Xrefs

If you need to reload quickly all xrefs (external references) in a drawing without going to the External Reference dialog box,
right-click on the xref icon in the status bar tray located in the lower right-hand corner of your screen reload-xrefs

and select “Reload DWG Xrefs“.

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Function keys

The following table lists the 12 default function keys in CAD. You can override  them temporarily as you need or change their settings.

F1 Displays Help

F2 Toggles Text Window

F3 Toggles OSNAP

F4 Toggles TABMODE






F10 Toggles Polar Tracking

F11 Toggles Object Snap Tracking

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Open multiple drawings

You can open multiple drawings and attach multiple xrefs at once in AutoCAD, providing that you have enough memory and your machine is powerful enough to handle all the files.

Here is how to do that: In the Open File dialogue box, simply hold down the SHIFT button on your keyboard and select the first and the last files from the list of drawings that you need to open. Hit Open. If you need to open multiple files, but they are not in sequence, use the CTRL button instead of SHIFT.

The above procedure works also with your Windows Explorer, just hit ENTER instead of OPEN.

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