100 AutoCAD commands you should know

In this massive list of AutoCAD commands, I have tried to include some of the most useful commands which every AutoCAD user must know. Some of the commands in this list are very basic commands which are used very frequently and also there are commands which are not often used despite their great features.

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For easy classification, I have divided all commands into four categories. The detailed description of these commands is available at the end of this AutoCAD command list.

  General Commands
1BCOUNTTo count number of blocks
2TXTEXPTo explode text
3XLINE(XL)To make infinite construction lines
4POINT(PO)For making points
5REVCLOUDFor making revision cloud
6SKETCHFor making freehand sketch
7MULTIPLETo repeat a command multiple times without pressing enter
8NCOPYTo copy nested objects from Blocks and xRef
9'CALTo make calculations on command line
10BURSTExplodes attributed block keeping attribute value retained
11SPSpelling check in AutoCAD
12ARCTEXTTo make arc aligned text
13OOPSRestore last deleted object in drawing
14CHSPACETo change space from model space to paper space and vice versa
15DIVIDETo divide an object in equal number of segments
16RENAMETo rename named objects in AutoCAD
17BREAKTo break an object into two or more segments
18TIMETime related information of the drawing
19QSELECTFor making intelligent selection sets from your drawing
20DITo find distance between two points
21COPYBASETo copy an object from a base point
22PASTECLIPTo paste the object from clipboard to your drawing
23LISTTo list most of the properties of a selected object
24DIMSingle command to do most of the dimensioning tasks
25TOLERANCECommand for entering feature control frame in drawing
26SCALETEXTTo change scale of existing Text or Mtext
27BASETo change or assign base point in the drawing
28DWGPREFIXTo find the location of saved drawing
29TJUSTTo change the justification of Text and Mtext
30UNITSTo set the display units of the drawing
31MLFor making multiline in AutoCAD
32TINSERTTo insert block or drawing in an AutoCAD table
33MIRRTEXTTo make mirrored copy of Text
34AREATo find the area of a closed space
35TORIENTTo orient selected text entities in best readable position
36IDTo find the coordinates of a point
37MINSERTInsert blocks as rectangular array
38BOUNDARYExtract boundary from closed regions of the drawing
39DIMROTATEDFor making a dimension line inclined to a particular angle
40BREAKLINEFor making a breakline symbol on the line
41TXT2MTXTConvert text to Mtext
42SAVEALLTo save all open drawings
  Performance based commands
43PURGETo remove all unused objects from drawing
44LAYDELTo delete stubborn layers
45FILLMODETo toggle visibility of filled areas like hatch and solid fill
46APERTURETo change influence region of object snap
47OVERKILLTo remove redundant objects from drawings
48ISAVEPERCENTChange the time taken by AutoCAD to save the drawing
49SELECTIONPREVIEWShow or hide highlight preview when hovering cursor over object
50HIGHLIGHTShow or hide highlight when object is selected
51RECOVERALLRepair a drawing and it's attached xRef's
52LAYMCHTo change layer of one object with reference to other
53PICKBOXChange the size of pickbox which appears on the cursor
54STARTMODETo show or hide start tab
55CLOSEALLTo close all open instances of the drawing
56SELECTIONCYCLINGTo cycle your selection between different overlapping objects
57AUDITTo remove errors from the drawing
58RECOVERTo repair a drawing
59MATo match properties of one object with other
60CLOSEALLOTHERTo close all open tabs except the current one
61TEXTFITTo fit the text within selected region
62WIPEOUTTo create a wipeout object that cleans underlying area
63TEXTMASKTo create automatic masking behind text to make text legible
64LAYMRGTo merge multiple layers into one
65DSTo open drafting settings window
66LAYWALKTo create a layer walkthrough in your drawing
67CENTERMARKTo add centermark on a circle or arc
68CENTERLINETo add a centerline between parallel or intersecting lines
69TABLETTo use a tablet as a pointing device instead of mouse
  Drawing Management
70TEXTSCRTo open history of commands in a text window
71BATTMANTo modify attribute information of blocks
723DCONFIGUsed to change graphics related properties
73SEEKTo open online CAD and BIM object library
74FSMaking selections with reference to the connected objects
75TEXTTOFRONTTo bring text, Dimensions and Leaderlines on the top of every underlying object like hatches
76ISOLATETo hide all objects from drawing except the selected one
77HIDEOBJECTSTo hide only selected objects
78GROUPTo make a group of many dissimilar objects
79ADCENTERTo open the design center palette
80IMPORTTo import drawings of different cad formats into AutoCAD
81FIELDTo add Fields in the drawing
82WBLOCKTo export certain parts of the drawing as an external file
  3D Commands
83THICKENTo change a surface into solid by adding thickness
84CONVTOSOLIDTo change a watertight surface or 3D mesh to solid
85DELOBJControl the behavior of 2D curves when 3D tools are used
86VOLUMETo find the volume and other solid related information
87REGEN3To remove graphics related anomalies from drawing
88SECTIONPLANETo create a section plane on a 3D
89FLATSHOTTo create 2D views from 3D solid
90INTERFERETo check the interfering parts among mating solids
91PROJECTGEOMETRYTo project a 2D curve on a 3D surface
92Shell (SOLIDEDIT)To create a shell or hollow shape
93SURFPATCHTo create a closed patch on the open part of the solid
94HELIXTo create a helix
95Moveface (SOLIDEDIT)To move faces like a hole or fillet
96SURFTRIMTo trim surfaces
97SURFOFFSETTo create offset surfaces
98IMPRINTTo imprint 2D geometry on planar 3D objects
99SOLIDHISTTo record the history of solids on which boolean operations are performed.
1003DALIGNTo align a 3D object with respect to another 3D object

 

BCOUNT

This command is useful for counting number of blocks in your drawing. It reports the number of each instance of block used in the drawing along with its name. To count the block it should be visible in the drawing area.

TXTEXP

Using this command you can convert single line as well as multiline text into geometries.

XLINE (XL)

Using this command you can make infinite lines starting from the point of selection. When you trim or break this infinite line to a finite length it becomes a simple line geometry.

POINT (PO)

This command makes a single point geometry in the drawing. To modify the type of point created by this command you can use PTYPE command and choose te desired point type from Point Style window.

REVCLOUD

Using this command you can make a revision cloud geometry by freehand sketching.

SKETCH

You can make a freehand sketch using this command. You can use Line, Polyline or Spline as the object type for making this freehand sketch.

MULTIPLE

If you want to repeat any command without pressing enter key then use MULTIPLE command. To cancel repetition of command press ESC key.

NCOPY

Use this command to copy nested objects from a block or Xref without exploding them.

‘CAL

Using this subcommand you can perform calculations directly on the AutoCAD command line even when you are in the middle of a command. You can start this subcommand by entering ‘CAL (don’t forget to add an apostrophe before CAL) while running any other command.

To know more about this subcommand refer the related article.

Related: Six tips to make you more productive in AutoCAD

BURST

Explodes the block containing attributes retaining the attribute setting and its layer definition. This is especially helpful if you want to retain the text of attribute after exploding the block.

SP

Using this command you can check the spelling of selected text and correct the spellings from Check Spelling window.

ARCTEXT

This command can be used to write arc aligned text in AutoCAD. You can use this command to even write text aligned to a circle. More about this command can be found in this related article.

Related: How to curve text in AutoCAD, along Arc and Circle

OOPS

This command can be used to restore the last deleted object in your drawing. After deleting an object if you made many other changes in the drawing and realized that you might need to restore the deleted object then simply type OOPS and press enter.

CHSPACE

This command can be used to change the space of an object from model space to paper space and vice versa. See the animated image shown below for reference.

DIVIDE

You can use this command to divide any 2D geometry into many equal parts. At each point of division, a point geometry will be added on the 2D curve. More about this command can be found in this related article.

Related: Divide AutoCAD objects into equal parts

RENAME

If you need to rename any named object like layer, block or linetype simply use this command to rename it. More about this command can be found in this related article.

Related: How to rename named objects in AutoCAD

BREAK

This command can be used to break 2D geometries at one or two points. It is helpful if you want to break a curve at the point of intersection with other curve or if you want to create a gap by breaking a part of the geometry.

TIME

Using this command you can find a lot of information about your drawing like the date when the drawing was created and total editing time consumed on the drawing.

QSELECT

This command can be used to make the selection from your drawing with filters. As an example, you can use quick select to make a selection set containing all circles of the drawing with the radius of a particular value.

DI

It can be used to find the distance between two points in the drawing.

COPYBASE

Using this command you can copy any object using a base point.

PASTECLIP

You can paste the copied objects from clipboard to your drawing using this command. If you use COPYBASE to copy the objects then you will be able to paste it in the same or another drawing with the selected base point.

LIST

Using this command you can find lots of properties of an object like the layer they are on, area, length or radius, perimeter or circumference and a lot more. To use this command simply type LIST on the command line then press enter and select the object from drawing area about which you want to know and press enter again.

DIM

This command was introduced in AutoCAD 2016 version and it can be used to make most of the dimensions like Linear, aligned, radius, diameter and baseline. To access this command you can use DIM command or select the DIM tool from dimensions panel of Annotate tab.

TOLERANCE

If you want to add feature control frame representing tolerance related information in your drawing then you can use this command.

SCALETEXT

Using this command you can change the scale of existing Text or Mtext object in the drawing. To use this command type SCALETEXT on the command line press enter and select the text from drawing area and press Enter again.

Now select “Existing” option from the command line and then select “scale factor” option and then type the scale in which you want to convert the text height and press enter. When the scale of these text entities are changed the base point will remain fixed.

BASE

Using this command you can change the base point of a drawing without changing its origin. This is especially helpful in the situation where you want to insert the drawing into another as a Xref. By default, AutoCAD takes origin as the base point which can be modified using this command without changing the origin.

DWGPREFIX

If you have a drawing open in AutoCAD and you don’t know the location where it is saved you can simply type DWGPREFIX command to look it. This command can be used to quickly find the location of Xref’s attached in the drawing.

TJUST

Using this command you can change the text justification of Text and Mtext elements in the drawing.

UNITS

Using this command you can set the drawing units and other settings like the precision of linear and angular dimensions and default rotation angle.

ML

Using this command you can make a multiline geometry which contains multiple parallel lines.

TINSERT

You can insert a block or a drawing as a block in the table using this command. You can also fit the block in the table cell and also justify its location automatically with TINSERT dialogue box. I have made a simple table by importing blocks of design center as shown in the image below.

MIRRTEXT

By default, AutoCAD does not mirror text in the drawing but if you want to mirror the text of your drawing then change the value of MIRRTEXT system variable to 1.

AREA

As the name suggests this command can be used to find the area of closed or open shapes in the AutoCAD drawing. To know more about finding the area in AutoCAD drawings refer this related article.

Related: How to find area in AutoCAD drawings, here are three different ways

TORIENT

Using this command you can reorient text entities in best readable position. In the image A below the text is oriented at different angles and in some of the situations, the text is not properly readable. Whereas in image B below TORIENT command has been used to make the text readable for all angles.

ID

This command can be used to find the coordinate values of a point in AutoCAD drawing.

MINSERT

Using this command you can insert existing blocks of a drawing as a rectangular array component. An array added using MINSERT command can’t be exploded.

BOUNDARY

Using this command you can extract closed boundaries from any enclosed area. This boundary can be used to find the area of the enclosed region or for many other applications. In the image below the boundary of the area mentioned as A has been extracted as a polyline using BOUNDARY command.

DIMROTATED

This command can be used to make a dimension line inclined to a particular angle with respect to the positive side of the X-axis. In the example shown below the dimensions are made with DIMROTATED command.

BREAKLINE

You can use this tool to make a Breakline symbol on a line. Type BREAKLINE on the command line and press enter then click on scale option of the command line and apply an appropriate scale to the breakline.

Select the starting and end points of the breakline then click at any point on the line to specify the location of breakline or directly press enter to place it exactly at the center of the line.

TXT2MTXT

Using this command you can convert a text object into a Mtext object and you can also combine multiple separate Mtext objects into a single Mtext unit.

SAVEALL

As the name suggests this command can be used to save all of the open drawings in AutoCAD window.

PURGE

This command can be used to remove unused named objects like layers, blocks and dimension styles from the drawing.

LAYDEL

Using this command you can delete some of the most stubborn layers from your drawing which can’t be removed using PURGE command. This command can also remove Defpoints layer and also layer containing objects but I would not recommend that.

FILLMODE

Using this system variable you can turn off or on the visibility of filled area in hatches or wide polylines by changing its value to 0 or 1 respectively. By turning the FILLMODE to off you can enhance the performance of AutoCAD by limiting resources consumed on regenerating the filled geometries.

You need to regenerate the drawing using REA command after changing this system variable to see its effect on the drawing.

APERTURE

This system variable controls the area of influence of object snap. The aperture size as defined by this system variable is the area of the square under which the point will be selected if the cursor is brought into it. The default value of this aperture is 10 but depending on the complexity of the drawing you can change this value between 1-50.

The size of the aperture is relative to the current scale of the screen and it is not an absolute value. In the image below the red box (not visible in AutoCAD) is the aperture size for two values 10 and 50 respectively.

OVERKILL

Use this command to remove overlapping or unnecessary geometries from the drawing.

ISAVEPERCENT

You can change the value of this system variable to reduce the time it takes to save a drawing. This system variable also affects file size of AutoCAD drawings and its compatibility with other softwares.

By decreasing the value of this system variable you can increase its compatibility with other softwares and it also decreases the size of the CAD file but the time consumed in save operation generally increases. When you increase the value of this system variable opposite happens.

The default value of this system variable is 50 and it can be changed from 0 to 100.

SELECTIONPREVIEW

When hovering the cursor over any object a preview will appear if the value of this system variable is set to 3. You can remove this preview thereby improve the performance by changing the value of this system variable to 0.

HIGHLIGHT

This system variable is also similar to SELECTIONPREVIEW but in this case, the object will appear highlighted when selected. Its default value is 1 but you can turn off this highlight effect by changing its value to 0.

RECOVERALL

This command repairs a corrupted or damaged drawing along with all of its attached Xref’s.

LAYMCH

Using this command you can change the layers of selected objects. To use this command type LAYMCH on the command line and press enter key then select objects whose layer assignment you want to change and press enter then select any object of the layer which you want to apply on selected objects and press enter key again.

PICKBOX

Using this system variable you can change the size of Pickbox which appears at the cursor of AutoCAD. The default value of this system variable is 3 and you can change its value from 0 to 50.

In the image below the size of Pickbox is 3 for first cursor and 10 for the second cursor.

STARTMODE

This system variable will toggle the visibility of start tab at the beginning of the AutoCAD application. By default the value of this system variable is 1 which allows start screen to appear, you can change this value to 0 if you don’t want to see the start screen.

CLOSEALL

If you have multiple tabs open in your AutoCAD window and you don’t want to manually close them one by one then you can simply use CLOSEALL command to close all the open windows. AutoCAD will prompt you with the save dialogue box before closing all unsaved drawings and it will take you to start screen after closing all of the drawings.

SELECTIONCYCLING

Using this system variable you can make a selection of overlapping objects very easily. When the value of this system variable is set to 2, an overlapping icon and a menu containing a list of overlapping objects appear and you can select the required object from this list.

If you set the value of this system variable to 1, only the overlap icon appears not the menu. You can turn this off by changing the value of this system variable to 0.

AUDIT

This command should be used for removing errors from your drawing. It is always a good practice to keep checking your drawing file with AUDIT tool for errors.

RECOVER

This command is similar to the AUDIT command but it is useful for the drawings which are corrupted to such an extent that you can’t even open it. More about drawing repair tools can be found in this related article.

Related: How to repair corrupt AutoCAD drawings and fix its errors

MA

This command is a great time saver if you want to copy properties of one object on other without changing its geometry or contents.

CLOSEALLOTHER

Using this command you can close all open drawing windows except the current drawing window.

TEXTFIT

Using this command you can shrink or expand the text entities in a drawing to fit in required area. In the example below I have fitted the AutoCAD text within the rectangle using TEXTFIT command.

WIPEOUT

Using wipeout command you can clean background in a crowded drawing to make overlaying objects clear against the background. In the image shown below Wipeout command has been used to clean the area around the second hook. You can use WIPEOUTFRAME system variable and change its value to 0 to remove wipeout frame boundary also.

TEXTMASK

Using this command you can automatically create a masking behind the text to make it clearly visible against the crowded background. In the image below Textmask has not been applied for the first case and in the second case, it has been applied.

LAYMRG

If you want to merge layers of multiple objects then this command is for you. Type LAYMRG press enter key then select the objects whose layers you want to change then press enter again. Select any object of target layer on which you want to transfer the selected objects and press enter again.

All the objects of selected layer will be transferred to the end layer and also the selected layer will be removed.

DS

Using this command you can open the drafting settings window which can be used to change settings related to status bar options like object snap, polar tracking, snap and grid settings.

LAYWALK

Using this command you can check all the objects which are on a particular layer. When you use LAYWALK command a list with all layers appears on the screen and you can click on any of the layer(s) from the list and objects from that layer(s) will only become visible in the drawing area. The original status of layer and object visibility is restored once you close LAYWALK window.

CENTERMARK

This tool was added in the AutoCAD 2017 version and it allows you to create center mark easily on a circle or arc.

CENTERLINE

As the name suggests you can add a centerline easily between parallel or intersecting lines using this tool. See the related article for more on Centermark and Centerline tools.

Related: The Center Mark and Centerline tools of AutoCAD

TABLET

If for some reasons you are looking to use Tablet as pointing and navigation device in AutoCAD then you can use this command to turn the Tablet input on and off. The Tablet can be turned on and off using TABMODE system variable also.

You can learn more about this command in this AKN page.

TEXTSCR

This command will open a text window which has a history of recently used commands.

BATTMAN

This tool can be used to modify the attribute information of blocks containing attributes.

3DCONFIG

You can use this command to Turn on/off hardware acceleration or change the graphics related properties of AutoCAD like smooth line display and high-quality graphics display.

SEEK

This command will redirect you to BIMobject.com page (formerly Autodesk seek) which is a CAD and BIM object catalog. It is one of the great places to get blocks for your projects.

FS

Using this command you can select objects which are connected to the selected object in the drawing area. The behavior of this command is controlled by FSMODE system variable, if the value of FSMODE is OFF then FS command will select only the selected object and one object that is directly connected to the selected object.

If the value of FSMODE is ON then FS command will select the selected object as well as all the objects connected to it and its next connected object in the series. This selection series continues as long as the command finds connected objects.

TEXTTOFRONT

Using this command you can bring TEXT, Dimensions and Leader lines on the front of all underlying objects like hatches. This command is especially helpful if you want to bring multiple annotations to the front of all drawings objects without changing their draw order selectively.

ISOLATE

Using this command you can hide all objects from the drawing area except the selected objects. By hiding unnecessary objects from drawing you can get a clean work area. To bring back all the hidden object back to the drawing select UNISOLATE or UNHIDE command.

HIDEOBJECTS

This command is similar to ISOLATE command but in this case, you can hide selected objects keeping remaining objects visible. In this case also you can bring back hidden objects by using UNHIDE or UNISOLATE command.

GROUP

Using this command you can group multiple objects as a single unit. This command is great for making groupings of the similar type of objects like a group of similar blocks. To break this group you can use UNGROUP command.

ADCENTER

This command can be used to bring Design Center palette in the drawing area. You can also use CTRL+2 key to open the design center palette. To know more about design center go to the related article.

Related: Search Objects like Blocks and Layers within AutoCAD drawings

IMPORT

Using this command you can import drawings of many different formats in AutoCAD, the list of all supported formats is shown in the image below.

FIELD

Fields are dynamic text information which can add a lot of intelligence in your drawing by keeping data interlinked and updated. Fields are extensively used in the sheet set and layout drawings and they can be used to automate a lot of information in AutoCAD drawings.

You can start the Field window using FIELD command of AutoCAD.

WBLOCK

If you want to export certain part of your drawing or any of its blocks to an external file then you can use write block tool or its command equivalent WBLOCK.

THICKEN

Using this command you can convert a surface into a 3D solid by adding thickness to it.

CONVTOSOLID

Using this command you can convert 3D mesh and watertight objects made with surfaces to 3D solid and you can also control whether converted solid is smooth or faceted.

DELOBJ

This system variable controls the behavior or 2D curves when 3D tools like Extrude, Presspull and Sweep is used. You can change the value of this system variable so that AutoCAD either retains or deletes curves after converting them to 3D.

More about this system variable can be found in this AKN article.

VOLUME

Using this command you can find the volume of a 3D solid as well as lots of other information like its moment of inertia, radius or gyration, centroid and products of inertia.

REGEN3

This command was introduced in AutoCAD 2017.1 update and it is especially helpful in removing the 3D graphics related anomalies and surface tessellations.

SECTIONPLANE

Using this command you can create a section plane in the drawing that can be used to see the 3D drawings by sectioning them along different planes.

FLATSHOT

This command is great for converting a 3D drawing into 2D and using this command you can also create multiple views of a single 3D drawing like the front, top and isometric on a single plane. To know more about this command follow the related article.

Related: How to make 2D from 3D drawing in AutoCAD

INTERFERE

This command can be used to detect intersecting 3D solids. The command is especially useful in situations where you want to detect clashes between different solids like pipes and walls.

PROJECTGEOMETRY

Using this command you can project a 2D curve on a 3D surface, solid or region as shown in the animated image below.

Shell (SOLIDEDIT)

Using this command you can convert a 3D solid into a hollow solid with a wall thickness. To use this command type SOLIDEDIT on the command line press enter type B press enter again type S and press enter again. Alternatively, you can also select the shell tool from Solid editing panel of the Solid tab.

SURFPATCH

Using this command you can fill the open areas of a surface like the top of a cylinder as shown in the animated image below.

autocad commands

HELIX

As the name suggests this command can be used to make a helix in AutoCAD drawing.

Moveface (SOLIDEDIT)

Using this tool you can move faces like a groove of a 3D solid from one point to other as shown in the animated image below. For using this tool type SOLIDEDIT on the command line press enter then type F press enter then type M and press enter again.

SURFTRIM

This command is similar to the trim command of 2D drawings but in this case, it will trim surfaces instead of 2D geometries.

SURFOFFSET

Using this command you can offset any surface inside, outside or on both sides of the surface as shown in the animated image below.

IMPRINT

Using this command you can imprint 2D drawings on planar faces of a 3D solid or a surface to create additional faces for 3D tools like Presspull.

SOLIDHIST

Using this tool you can record the history of solids on which boolean operations are performed and you can modify these solids later.

In the image below Subtract operation is performed on two solids and then the amount of removed part is changed by selecting the Cone by pressing CTRL key then changing its base radius.

autocad commands

By default, the value of this system variable is 0 which keeps this feature off but you can turn it on by changing its value to 1.

3DALIGN

Using this command you can align a 3D solid object with respect to another 3D solid, this video explains the use of this command in detail.

Do you think we missed any command that should be included in the list? Let us know in the comments below.

32 comments

  1. Hello Jai,i have to design piping for fire protection system in building(2D),have you any course that can help me?

  2. Find it very informative, But want to ask that how to reset all the settings of AutoCAD or in other word how to bring AutoCAD to it default mode?

  3. Hi Pandey,

    How can one bring back xref command if it does not show? Tried “Insert\ ExReference” but nothing is showing. We using AutoCAD Maps 3D 2016.

    Thanks

      1. Sir I request one solution for solve my printing issue my plotter is HP designer 510 when I make print autocad automatically closing.its bcs of one logo I attached here.its necessary in that drawing.its size only 30 kB so please give me a answer

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