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    By Dennis Collin


    AutoCAD can be started in several ways, from clicking on a file within Windows Explorer, via the windows application menu or a shortcut icon on your taskbar or desktop.

    AutoCAD Architecture (ACA) is one of the vertical AutoCAD toolsets has quite a lengthy command string which loads AutoCAD with a lot of extra functions. These can be useful if working in an Architectural Practice. There is also a Mechanical, Plant Electrical flavour of AutoCAD which also have industry specific tools, as well as AutoCAD Raster Design which is useful for any organisation which needs to work with scanned drawings.

    The target field shown in the image above, shows a link to AutoCAD Architecture application along with a range of switches that load extra applications and apply some bespoke settings.

    If you wish to customise this icon, to enable some bespoke settings or have AutoCAD Architecture to behave more in a ‘vanilla’ fashion, this string can be customised to suit.

    AutoCAD Architectures target command string looks something like this;

    "C:\Program Files\Autodesk\AutoCAD 2020\acad.exe" /ld "C:\Program Files\Autodesk\AutoCAD 2020\AecBase.dbx" /p "AutoCAD Architecture (UK)" /product "ACA" /language "en-US"

    But if you want just a plain AutoCAD icon, create a shortcut icon and set the target command string to;

    "C:\Program Files\Autodesk\AutoCAD 2020\acad.exe"

    The descriptive comment can also be edited to suit. The oblique symbol ‘/’ is a switch and is used to enable or disable certain AutoCAD features for specific workflows or diagnostic purposes.

    /language for example, sets the desired language

    /p loads a specific user profile which has AutoCAD configured to a specific user requirement. In AutoCAD Architecture there is a ‘vanilla’ AutoCAD profile which will make ACA run and behave as plain AutoCAD.


    Typical syntax is the switch with the name of the profile or setting or a file folder location in quotation marks “


    "C:\Program Files\Autodesk\AutoCAD 2020\acad.exe" /p” AutoCAD” /nologo /b “Cadline Startup Script”

    This string will run AutoCAD with a vanilla style profile, no splash screen and will execute a bespoke script to perform some repetitive tasks.

    Some other common switches are listed below;

    • /t 'template file name'
    • /ld ‘path name for arx/dbx application’
    • /v 'View name' - specify a named view for display at startup
    • /w 'Workspace name' - specify bespoke ribbon, icon interface layout
    • /nologo disables logo, for slightly improved startup time
    • /safemode disables all executable code for diagnostic purposes
    • /nohardware disables hardware acceleration
    • /b 'script name' specifies a script to be run after the program is started. (b refers to batch process)

    Just add these to the command string and ensure that any path locations are valid and contained within quotation marks.



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