Below is a listing of a few characters that you might encounter when creating your own macros, or when you are trying to create a basic script to automate AutoCAD or AutoCAD LT.

– (Hyphen) – Command displays command prompts instead of a dialog box, in most cases the commands that support a version of the command are ones that display a dialog box. A few examples are the -PLOT vs. PLOT, -LAYER vs. LAYER, and -ARRAY vs. ARRAY commands.

+ (Plus) – There are a couple different types of commands that use the plus symbol in front of commands. The most common commands that have a plus symbol in front of their name are the ones with tabs, such as the Options dialog box or UCS dialog box. A few examples are the +OPTIONS vs. OPTIONS, +DSETTINGS vs. DSETTINGS, and +UCSMAN vs. UCSMAN commands. When the +OPTIONS is typed at the command line the prompt Tab index : is displayed. If you want to display the User Preferences tab you would enter a value of 5, the leftmost tab is 0. Another version of a command that can use the plus symbol is the variation of the PUBLISH command. If a plus is placed in front of the command you are able to browse and select an existing DSD file from a standard file navigation dialog box.

‘ (Apostrophe) – The apostrophe symbol is used by some commands that can be used while another command is already in progress, in this state a command is known as a transparent command. Most commands can not be used transparently when other commands are running. The most commonly used commands that are used transparently are ZOOM, PAN, and -VIEW. There are many other commands that can be used transparently, as well and those are often used to control entity property settings such as COLOR, LTYPE, and SETVAR. To use a command transparently, simply start another command that displays a command prompt such as the LINE command, and then enter ‘ZOOM at the command prompt while the LINE command is still in progress. AutoCAD indicates that you are in a transparent command with the display of >> in front of the command prompt. Once the transparent command has ended or been cancelled you are returned to the previous command prompt of the original command, in the example it is the LINE command.

Command: l
LINE Specify first point: ‘zoom

>>Specify corner of window, enter a scale factor (nX or nXP), or
[All/Center/Dynamic/Extents/Previous/Scale/Window/Object] :

>>Press ESC or ENTER to exit, or right-click to display shortcut menu.

Resuming LINE command.
Specify first point:
Specify next point or [Undo]:

Hyphen Commands
Command Name Added Description
-3DCONFIG 2007 Configures hardware or software acceleration for the graphics display and any of the specific settings for each type.
-ARCHIVE 2005 Archives the active sheet set.
-ARRAY 2000 Creates a polar, circular or rectangular array of selected objects.
-ATTDEF 2000 Creates s new attribute definition.
-ATTEDIT 2000 Manipulates attributes that have been created with a block or inserted into the drawing.
-ATTEXT 2000 Generates an ASCII file that contains specific information from attributes that are contained in the drawing file.
-BEDIT 2006 Opens a block in the Block Editor.
-BHATCH R13 Creates a hatch filled area.
-BLOCK 2000 Creates a block in the current drawing.
-BOUNDARY R13 Creates a region or a polyline of an enclosed area.
-BVHIDE 2006 Allows for hiding objects visibile in the current visibility state.
-BVSHOW 2006 Allows for setting objects visibile in the current visibility state.
-BVSTATE 2006 Creates, deletes and sets a visibility state current.
-COLOR 2000 Sets a color current that should be used when creating new objects in the drawing.
-COLOR 2000 Sets a color current that should be used when creating new objects in the drawing.
-COPYTOLAYER 2007 Copies selected objects from one layer to another.
-DIMSTYLE 2000 Creates and modifies a Dimension Style.
-DWFADJUST 2007 Adjusts the fade, contrast and monochrome display properties of a DWF Underlay.
-DWFATTACH 2007 Attaches an external DWF as a new insert reference in the form of a DWF Underlay.
-EATTEXT 2004 Allows for creating a table or external file containing attributes from blocks in a drawing.
-ETRANSMIT 2000 Creates a transmittal package.
-GROUP R13 Allows for the creation of objects to be manipulated into a single object, but not a block. This allows for fast manipulation and object creation.
-HATCH 2006 Creates a hatch filled area.
-HATCHEDIT R13 Edits hatch objects.
-HYPERLINK 2000 Allows a URL to be added to an object for an area in the drawing.
-IMAGE R14 Allows the user to attach an image file to the drawing file.
-IMAGEADJUST R14 Allows the user adjust the contrast, brightness and fade for an image.
-INSERT 2000 Allows to user to permanently insert an external drawing file to AutoCAD unlike Xref.
-INTERFERE 2007 Allows for checking the interference of 3D solids.
-LAYDEL 2007 Deletes a layer and all the objects on that layer from the drawing and then purges the layer out of the drawing.
-LAYER R14 Allows for layer management such as, creation, renaming, reassigning values and controlling display features of a layer.
-LAYMCH 2007 Changes the layer of an object to a different layer based on a selected object.
-LAYMRG 2007 Merges the layers of selected objects onto the layer of a selected object.
-LAYOUT 2000 Allows for the creation and manipulation for drawing layout tabs. Copy, Delete, New, Template, Rename, Saveas, Set and ? (list).
-LINETYPE or -LTYPE R14 Allows for linetype management such as, creation, loading, and setting linetypes.
-LWEIGHT 2000 Allows the user to specify the current lineweight that should be used when creating new objects in the drawing.
-MLEDIT R13 Allows for the manipulation of multiline objects.
-MTEXT R13 Allows for the creation of multiline text objects.
-OLDMTEXT R14 Allows for the creation of multiline text objects, AutoCAD R13 version of the command in AutoCAD R14.
-OPENSHEETSET 2005 Allows for the opening of a sheet set file.
-OSNAP R14 Controls the running object snap modes and changes the target box size.
-PAN R14 Moves the drawing display in the current viewport, without changing the zoom scale factor.
-PARTIALOAD 2000 Allows for the loading of geometry in a drawing file based on layer, view or selected area.
-PARTIALOPEN 2000 Allows for the loading of a specific view or layer geometry for a drawing that has been saved in the current release of AutoCAD.
-PLOT 2000 Allows for creating a hard copy or electronic print of a drawing file.
-PLOTSTAMP 2000 Allows the user to specify the current plotstyle that should be used when creating new objects.
-PUBLISH 2004 Allows for publishing a number of drawings at one time.
-PURGE 2000 Purges unreferenced named objects out of a drawing.
-REFEDIT 2000 Opens a insert reference for editing, such as a block or Xref.
-RENAME 2000 Changes the name of named objects, Layers, Linetypes, Blocks, Text Styles, Dimension Styles, Table Styles, Materials, Views, Viewports, and UCSs.
-RMLIN 2004 Loads a Redline Markup file created with Autodesk VoloView and Autodesk VoloView Express.
-SCALELISTEDIT 2006 Adds or removes scales from the scale listing.
-SHADEMODE 2007 Sets the current shademode style.
-STYLE R14 Creates or modifies a named text style.
-TABLE 2005 Creates a table object.
-TEXT 2000i Creates a single line text object.
-TOOLBAR R14 Displays and manipulates a toolbar for the AutoCAD environment.
-UNITS 2000 Sets up measurement and angular unit formats.
-VBALOAD 2000 Loads a DVB file into the Visual Basic for Applications IDE and AutoCAD.
-VBARUN R14 Runs a macro from a loaded VBA project file.
-VIEW 2000 Creates or modifies a named view.
-VISUALSTYLES 2007 Creates, modifies and sets a visibility style current for the active viewport.
-VPORTS 2000 Creates or modifes tiled viewports in Model Space.
-WBLOCK 2000 Creates a new drawing file from selected objects or block name in the current drawing file.
-XBIND R14 Attaches an external drawing as a new insert reference in the form of a Xref.
-XREF R14 Adds information to the drawing that is located in the an attached Xref. This information includes Blocks, Text Styles, Dimensions Styles, Layers and Linetypes.

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