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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Say Goodbye to Captain Obvious

Here’s a tip for you… but before you can read it, I need to make sure you want to read it, so I’m going to prompt you first.  Just think your response.

Are you sure you want to read? <Y>

Ok, as long as you are sure, I guess we can continue.  Maybe from now on, I can assume that you want to read the tip.  After all, you are receiving this tip from a website called Please Login or Register to see the link.. You probably realize that this is a tip and that’s why you started reading it in the first place.  And the fact that you are reading the tip to begin with probably means you want to “read” the tip. Ok, I’ve made my decision; from now on, I’m not going to prompt you as to if you want to read the tip.

Now that we got that out of the way, I’m beginning to think it was pointless to even ask you in the first place.  You would probably agree with me.  Actually, I would guess that everyone on the planet would agree with me… EXCEPT FOR THE PROGRAMMERS AT AUTODESK.

In today’s tip, I’m going to show you how to get rid of some of the prompts that slow you down by making you answer stupid prompts. I’m actually going to show you how to affect 8 different prompts.

We will look at the most obvious of them all first.

But first, let’s take a little quiz and test your AutoCAD knowledge:

Question: You’ve drawn a series of lines, and you decide to join them together into a polyline.  What do you do?

A.    Erase the lines you’ve drawn and redraw using the PLINE command

B.      Trace over the lines using the PLINE command and then erase the lines underneath

C.     Execute the PEDIT command, select one of the line segments, convert it into a PLINE and then JOIN the other segments

D.    Turn off your computer and go home, there’s absolutely no way to fix it

What did you pick?  “C”?  Are you sure?  Are you really sure?

You are correct (although “D” probably sounded pretty good also).

For some unknown reason, when you select a line segment using the PEDIT command, you get the following prompt:

Object selected is not a polyline
Do you want to turn it into one? <Y>

Is this a trick question?  ATTENTION AUTODESK PROGRAMMERS…if I didn’t want to turn it into a polyline, I wouldn’t have selected it using the PEDIT command.  Why would you even ask?

To get rid of this irritating prompt, there’s a system variable called PEDITACCEPT.  Not only did the programmers of Autodesk write a stupid prompt into the program, they wrote an additional command to get rid of it.  They must have been bored.  Maybe they had a command quota and just couldn’t think of any other, more useful, commands.  I’ll bet it was after those all-night gaming sessions that I discussed in Please Login or Register to see the link..  The thing that makes this so crazy is that it’s turned off by default.

Anyway, type PEDITACCEPT, set it to 1 and it will never ask you again.  Say goodbye to Captain Obvious.

While we are on the subject of getting rid of prompts, here’s a few more you may want to use.

REGENAUTO:      If turned on, you will not be prompted before the drawing is regenerated, it will do so “auto”matically… ha-ha (you may want to turn this one off if your drawing takes a loooong time to regen so you are warned first).

PICKAUTO:   This system variable controls the automatic windowing at the “select objects” prompt.  They got the default correct on this one, it’s set to “1” which means if you pick a point on the screen that doesn’t have an object, it will automatically draw a selection window or crossing (depending on the direction you drag).

EXPERT:         I’m not giving you a job title here, so don’t go ask your boss for a raise.  This system variable has 6 different settings.

0     Issues all prompts normally.

1     Suppresses “About to regen, proceed?” and “Really want to turn the current layer off?” (-LAYER).  Overrides the REGENAUTO variable discussed above.

2     Suppresses the preceding prompts and “Block already defined. Redefine it?” (-BLOCK) and “A drawing with this name already exists. Overwrite it?” (SAVE or WBLOCK).

3     Suppresses the preceding prompts and those issued by the LINETYPE command line (-LINETYPE) if you try to load a linetype that’s already loaded or create a new linetype in a file that already defines that linetype.

4     Suppresses the preceding prompts and those issued by UCS Save and VPORTS Save if the name you supply already exists.

5     Suppresses the prompt, “That name is already in Use, redefine it?” issued by the -DIMSTYLE Save option when you supply the name of an existing dimension style. Suppresses the same prompt issued by the -SCALELISTEDIT Add option.

Note the “-“in front of the commands.  This means the EXPERT setting only affects the commands that are executed from the command line, not the dialog box.

If you are using an older version of AutoCAD, I can remember when the EXPERT command was very dangerous.  If my memory serves me correct, this variable used to be either “on” or “off”.  If it was “on”, all prompts stopped.  Including the “Save changes to drawings” prompt when you closed AutoCAD and the file had not been saved, resulting in lost work.  If any of you can confirm this, please let me know in the comment section below.

Also, you can only select one of the settings.  Setting EXPERT to a value of 3 doesn’t assume you also want to have 1 and 2 set also.  And you can’t set it to 1, 3 and 4 (or something like that).  Therefore, the primary purpose of this variable is to override prompts in scripts and AutoLISP programs.

Which brings up one final tip, most of the setting we talked about today will have an effect on scripts, menu macros and AutoLISP, so keep that in mind when using them.

I hope you found this informative, entertaining or hopefully both.  Please leave me a reply in the comment section below.  I’m going to leave some suggestions for some additional prompts in the comment section.  Maybe the Autodesk programmers will add them in future releases.

Are you sure you want to stop reading? <Y>


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


16 Responses to “Say Goodbye to Captain Obvious”
  1. Suggestions to AutoCAD Programmers for future prompts:

    You are attempting to launch AutoCAD. Are you sure you want to do some Computer Aided Drafting today? .

    Are you sure you want to execute the ERASE command? You may delete something with it:

    Here’s a prompt that they should include (since it happens so much anyway, they might as well prompt you):

    Your deadline on this project is approaching, I hope you don’t mind that AutoCAD is going to CRASH right now?

  2. Jesse Ogren says:

    Hi Mike,

    Thanks for all the AutoCAD tips, they are mostly helpful and some I never would have even thought of; especially this prompt blocker one. I really liked the suggestions for future prompts… although I’m not sure they will make the cut – sorry. = ) Anyway, again I really appreciate the daily tips so keep em’ coming.

    – Jesse

  3. Greetings,

    Just recently started getting your “tip of the day”..Great Stuff. I too started with ACAD release 2.1. I retired when 2002 was out…Now I’m back in the game, they’re using 2008.

    Do you have a site or a book that may contain your previous ones…



  4. Hey George,
    I just started this site 1 month ago, so there are not back log of tips. I am putting together some additional resources that should be ready soon. If you have some specific things you would like for me to address, let me know and I will try to answer them.

  5. Hey Jesse,
    I’m so happy you are finding the tips helpful. I’m sure my suggestions for prompts wont make the cut, but you never know. I have no idea what they were thinking when they put the PEDIT one in there.

  6. cesar says:

    Cool tips,
    How do you get rid off the prompt:
    Audit “Fix any errors detected? [Y/N]?
    or how to defaulted to Y (yes)?
    Thank you

  7. Cesar,
    I don’t think you can get rid of that prompt. Not as far as I know. If anyone out there knows a way, please let us know

  8. Freddy says:

    It will be nice to go straight to the tip, I don’t have much time to read huge e-mails, there use to be a command: PLJOIN, easier to use, some versions seam to lost it, any comments?
    Thanks have a great day.

  9. Eric Colburn says:

    YEAAAAAAH!!! Now I can defeat the PEDIT prompt. Of course I want to turn it into a polyline – That’s why I’m using the command!

    I always wondered if there were other dastardly options that I wasn’t aware of like: turn it into a dragon or a frog, or some other nasty monster. Certainly, using the command, as is, doesn’t turn it into more money or time.

    Once again, Mike, thanks for the informative post. You’re brilliant.

    Keep up the good work.

  10. I’ll try to be quick with the free tip… PLJOIN is built into PEDIT now. If you prefer the way PLJOIN worked, you can always copy the PLJOIN.LSP file from your old AutoCAD disk to use in your current one.

  11. Hey Eric,
    I know how you feel. That’s what makes this prompt so confusing.

    P.S. I really appreciate you comments.

  12. VanD says:

    I miss the pljoin too, but found with Pedit, using the M, multipule opion that I could pick all the lines that I wanted to join even if they several different lines, and pedit would join them all into their own polyline. The last job I started the previous cad person only drew with lines- no Plines. I found this out by accident.

    Another catch I have found that with new users or versions of CAD is that system variable skpoly is set to 0. set to one the sketched line is a pline.

  13. Roland says:

    Your daily tips are good ad informative. Your idea of maiking it weekly is better. It is tough getting bombarded with daily tips.

    More power to you and thank you for all the tips.

  14. Paul Foster says:

    Now if only they could get rid of the [Multiple]

  15. Max Dent says:

    I think the tips you give are great. I have been using AutoCAD since v 1.4 and have learned alot along the way. Some things you forget, some you take for granted (which I do alot). Some of your tips that I thought were common sense, the guys here are amazed at. Making me realize that just because you know how to do something that everyone else does not. Plus it reminds me of something I had forgotten and will now use again. I still learn something every day about AutoCAD (26+ years and still learning) and alot has come from your tips. Keep up the good work.

  16. Carl says:

    Thanks for the tip on the PEDIT, that one prompt has been annoying, to the point of frustration.

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