Customizing AutoCAD – Making it Work for You

Customizing AutoCAD – Making it Work for You

Customizing AutoCAD – Making it Work for You

One nice thing about AutoCAD is how incredibly easy it is for individuals to tailor it to suit their specific needs. Customizing AutoCAD can range from changing the color of the background to modifying the menu content to creating programs that instruct AutoCAD to perform certain tasks in a certain order; with the vast number of elements of the program that can be customized, every user can potentially “customize” AutoCAD to some extent.


Customizing many components of AutoCAD can be done by the user, without needing administrator rights to the computer or a programmer’s degree to understand the process. Those changes can be as simple as adding company specific content paths to the Support File Search Path or as complex as creating or modifying ribbon or toolbar content. Either way, you quickly become dependent on the way AutoCAD works for you, so moving to the next version only to have to make all the changes again gets old… fast!


One reason companies don’t adopt every new version of AutoCAD as it is released is because of the perceived learning curve that comes with getting users up to speed on the newer version. Migrating the environment that the user is already comfortable with from the old version of AutoCAD to the newer version will give them a step up on that learning curve, greatly diminishing, if not eliminating, it. Autodesk has made great strides in automating the process of migrating a user’s settings, but it is a good idea to know what components are stored in which locations to facilitate the transition to a newer version of AutoCAD.


Depending on the component, there are different sites where the AutoCAD customizations are located – the profile in the system registry (arg), the custom user interface file (cuix), the program parameters file (pgp) and the drawing file (dwg), to name a few. Each customized component has a unique location with the necessary tools provided to help migrate the data from the old version of AutoCAD to the newer version. With the user’s specific customization as the starting point in a new version of AutoCAD, the hurdle has been removed and the sky is the limit.


For over 27 years, the technicians at CAD-1 have helped thousands of CAD users navigate the unparalleled world of Autodesk software. Contact CAD-1 at 303-427-2231.



By Deni Cox
CAD-1 Technical Specialist

Share this post