Utilizing Command Tools on Palettes in AutoCAD Architecture

Since Autodesk added tool palettes to AutoCAD-based products in the 2004 release, they have been an important feature to the products.  Tool Palettes provide an easily customizable and readily accessible means of utilizing important tools to increase speed and “encourage” company standards.  While Autodesk provides a few tool palettes to get a user started, there are endless possibilities for usages of tool palettes.

In this article, we will look at some methods of adding a Command Tool to an existing palette in AutoCAD Architecture, and modifying the properties of the Command Tool.  A Command Tool allows any command string to be executed, whether that is AutoCAD Architecture related or AutoCAD related.

Note that the following steps assume that a tool palette exists that allows new tools to be added to it and is not a palette shared from the server.  If a new palette is needed, right-click in the tool palette title bar area (the vertical side that says “Tool Palettes”) and select the New Palette option.

Adding a Command Tool to a palette

Through the CUI

  • Right-click in the title bar area (the vertical side that says “Tool Palettes”), or pick the small properties icon at the top of the title bar.  Select the Customize Commands… option from the pop-up menu.
  • Highlight the desired command(s) from the list and drag it to the tool palette.

Copying an entity from within a drawing to a palette

  • Highlight an entity (only one item is to be highlighted) in a drawing and release the mouse button.
  • After the entity is highlighted, again pick on the entity with the left mouse button.
  • While holding down the left mouse button, drag the entity to the desired palette and release the button.  A Command Tool will be added with the appropriate properties so that when the tool is used in the future, that entity will be placed in the drawing with the same properties as the original entity.
    • This includes adding the layer with the appropriate layer properties to the drawing where this tool is used in the future.

Copying a command tool from another palette

  • Navigate to a tool palette that contains a similar command tool.
  • Highlight the tool, right-click, and select Copy.  Navigate to the desired tool palette to contain the new tool, right-click, and select Paste.  Highlight the new tool, right-click, and select Properties.  Modify the properties as desired, such as the command name, layer, etc.

Through the Content Browser

  • Open the Content Browser, navigate to the Autodesk AutoCAD Architecture Stock Tool Catalog, then select Helper Tools from the list on the left side of the Content Browser.
  • The Helper Toolscategory contains 2 generic command tools.
    • Command Tool
      • Contains only a command line (similar to a toolbar button).
  • Command Tool with Properties
    • Contains a command line with several other available settings.
    • Pick on the i-drop icon for the desired tool.  While holding down on the mouse button, drag it over the Tool Palette that is desired to get the tool and release the mouse button.

Modifying the Properties of the Command Tool

  •  Highlight the new tool, right-click and select Properties… from the pop-up menu.  Modify the properties as desired.  To change the command (even to a different command name), enter the command string in the Command box under the Basic category.
  • The command string is similar to information added to a menu toolbar button and can include LISP formulas.
  • There are many different options available for pre-setting on the command tool, with most of them being a setting of “Current” or “ByLayer”.
  • When adding a line, arc, etc as a command tool, there is an option for a flyout.
    • If YES is selected in Use Flyoutoption, then the user will have a choice from the following commands when selecting that tool:
      • Line, Arc, Circle, Ellipse, Polyline, Ray, Splice, Construction Line
  • The user creating the command tool can determine which of the above types of “lines” can be placed by the tool.

See some examples of some command tools

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One thought on “Utilizing Command Tools on Palettes in AutoCAD Architecture

  1. Pingback: Understanding the Autodesk Content Browser – Part 2 | Applying Technology to Architecture

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