AutoCAD Tip – Convert old style AutoCAD leader entities to Multi-leader objects

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by Dennis Collin


Remember AutoCAD 2008? That release of AutoCAD introduced many new features like smart annotation scaling, multi-leader objects and many other enhancements.


Fig. Old style quick leader objects are limited in editing and style options

Leader annotations generally are text or symbolic notes used to label elements in busy drawings with an indicative arrow to show where the reference applies. Whilst the old legacy commands of Leader and Quick-leader still work in AutoCAD, they are considered obsolete tools as the new Multi-leader function introduced in 2008 provides much more functionality and are quicker to create and edit.

My colleague Martin Phelps, outlines the functionality Multi-leader objects offer in a previous post here:

Despite this, there will still be many old, legacy drawings that will still contain the old leader objects and a question that often arises during training is whether you can convert these old leader elements to the newer multi leader type. The answer is of course, yes using LISP!

I have posted in the past working with Lisp routines here:


Fig. Using lisp routines to convert legacy AutoCAD objects

A good source of Lisp routines can be found at with a link to a Lisp routine here: - Credit: Lyle Hardin

This lisp routine can be accessed via the Appload function which provides a new command ‘LeadertoMleader’. Simply select the leader line and the text and they will be converted to a multileader element of the current style.


Fig. Sample of Lisp code which converts legacy leader objects to their newer forms.

Multi-leaders provide benefits of additional arrow references, enhanced control points, right click menus and display controls. In a similar way to how Polyline objects offer additional functionality over simple AutoCAD Line objects.


Fig. Multileader objects support multiple arrow references which can be added or removed with a right click menu

For more information on loading Lisp routines, start-up suites, Lisp websites and the Appload command itself read a previous Cadline Community post here:


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