• Blog posts


    By Justin Doughty 

    One of the new features of AutoCAD 2016 is the System Variable Monitor. In this blog I’m going to run through the basics of the tool, which is very straight forward, and then move on to something more advanced that can be done.

    This tool is used to monitor changes to a list of system variables that may change during operation of AutoCAD, and can notify you of these changes, and reset them back to your preferred setting.

    So first is the command SYSVARMONITOR, this brings up the dialogue box below, with a default list of system variables already set.

    You can edit the list, and Add or Remove items from the list using the transfer buttons:

    If any changes occur you will be notified:

    This will then tell you what Variable has changed from and to, and give you the option to Reset All:

    So on to some more advanced information on this tool. Firstly the list of “available” system variables, these are only system variables that can be changed and monitored while inside of AutoCAD, the full List of every variable can be found using the SYSVDLG command. So it would be a nice feature for Autodesk to add all these variables in future. 

    The next question is “How can this list be transferred between machines”? you may want to take the list you have created to another machine, or created a company list. There are 2 ways to do this. 

    For the majority of users, you can use the Export AutoCAD 2016 Settings from the Start Menu under Migrate Custom Settings:

    The MigrationDataFile.xml inside the .zip file created, contains the system variable monitor list. The settings can then be imported onto another machine. 

    The other method is to find where the list is created, and copy between installations. This is not easy, as this is contained within the registry key of the AutoCAD profile for the current user.


    This article contains information about editing the registry. Before you edit the registry, make sure you understand how to create a backup and restore it if a problem occurs (Microsoft Link), as this can render your system inoperable. You edit the registry at your own risk.

    For a default AutoCAD 2016 installation this is located here:

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Autodesk\AutoCAD\R20.1\ACAD-F001:409\Profiles\< <Unnamed Profile> >\SysvarMonitor

    Once the variables are set in AutoCAD the Registry Key could then be exported, and applied to other machines. Remember however you would need to have a matching AutoCAD Version and AutoCAD Profile Name.

    I have added some suggested variables and done this to the registry key below, if you have AutoCAD 2016 and the out of the box < <Unnamed Profile> > you can download, rename to .reg and run the following attachment:



Please sign in to leave a comment.