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Monday, July 31, 2017

AutoCAD Tips of the Day – Command Line Dashes

Here’s a quick, simple little tip that many of you may not know about.  Most commands that bring up a dialogue box can also be controlled at the command line by placing a dash (-) in front of the command.

I really like to do this with the layer command.  For example, if I want to quickly isolate all the layers starting with “color”, I could do the following key entries (my keystrokes are highlighted in yellow and comments written in blue):

Command: -la (-la is the short cut key for the “Layer” command)


Current layer:  “0”

Enter an option [?/Make/Set/New/ON/OFF/Color/Ltype/LWeight/MATerial/Plot/Freeze/Thaw/LOck/Unlock/stAte]: of (of = off – to turn off layers)

Enter name list of layer(s) to turn off or <select objects>: * (* = all – to turn off all layers)

Really want layer “0” (the CURRENT layer) off? <N> (In this case, I press “return” key to accept default to not turn off the current layer)

Enter an option [?/Make/Set/New/ON/OFF/Color/Ltype/LWeight/MATerial/Plot/Freeze/Thaw/LOck/Unlock/stAte]: on (to tell it I want to turn on some layers)

Enter name list of layer(s) to turn on: color* (the layers I want to turn on is any layer beginning with “color”)

Enter an option [?/Make/Set/New/ON/OFF/Color/Ltype/LWeight/MATerial/Plot/Freeze/Thaw/LOck/Unlock/stAte]:   (I entered return to complete the command)

It may seem like a lot of keystrokes, but it really isn’t.  Once you get used to the sequence of the prompts, it literally takes just a few seconds.

Some commands, such as the ATTEDIT command to edit attributes, allows you options at the command line (global attribute editing in this case) that you don’t get in the dialogue box.  Dialogues are pretty, but sometimes, the real power still lies in the command line.

I hope you find this AutoCAD Tip helpful.  Please add your comments below or questions below.

Mike Williams

If you found this post helpful, do my a favor and please press the Facebook “like” button below. 


7 Responses to “AutoCAD Tips of the Day – Command Line Dashes”
  1. Farren says:

    Very helpful tip

  2. John says:

    This is greatly revealing thanks for this tip

  3. aileen says:

    its really help me, specially to me that i am a autocad operator. Thank you

  4. sastro says:

    thank you for your lesson…

    I’m have problem in UCS,
    how we can see picture / drawing in 3Dimension to 2 dimension, how much we can rotate X, Y, Z
    key thanks..


  5. Xiaomei says:

    I’ve never seen anyone use the trick like this before. It’s so smart and easy to follow. I love the tips like this and I’m going to practice this trick soon.
    thanks very much

  6. YKK says:

    Dear Mike,

    Fantastic. I have been in major angst with the layer command and short cuts.
    This one method of -la is going to save a whole of time and effort.
    I realized it’s kind of similar to the PE short but for Polyline edit where you get more
    options at once for selecting the command.

    You saved my day. I hope you give us more tips along the way.

  7. vivedhanandhan says:

    Nice tip. I know this from you only. Thankyou.

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