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CCAD's AutoCAD Tutorials

Creating Keyboard Shortcuts

AutoCAD has numerous ways to choose commands: Ribbons, Toolbars, Menus, Palettes and the good old keyboard. Using the keyboard you can type in the full command name or a one or two letter keyboard shortcut called an alias. An alias is usually a one, two or three letter shortcut for a command. For instance, type L and press ENTER to begin the LINE command. When commands are retired or improved aliases are included to quietly direct users to the replacement command.

command aliasesOne of the Express Tools provides a simple way to create, modify and remove aliases. In this example I'll add BL as a shortcut for the BREAKLINE command.

add a command aliasOnce you select the Command Aliases button the Alias Editor appears. You can jump to a section of the Alias list by typing in a letter.

To add a new Alias, select the Add button.

name the new keyboard shortcutType the desired characters in the Alias edit box. The Alias is not case sensitive. No spaces allowed!

Next, type the command in the AutoCAD Command edit box. AutoCAD will give you a list of commands based on the characters you have typed.

assign a command to the aliasYou can type the complete command or select it from the list when it appears.

Once you've defined the alias keystrokes and selected the command to link to the keystrokes, press the OK button.

update the alias fileNext choose the Apply button to update the ACAD.PGP file.

The ACAD.PGP file is a text file that contains the aliases. PGP stands for ProGram Parameters.

finish creating the aliasThe next window that pops up is a warning that you are about to overwrite the existing ACAD.PGP file. No worries, a the old file will be saved as Backup of acad.pgp.

Select the Yes button to complete the creation of the alias.

finish creating the aliasFinally, select the OK button to close the message window and then choose the OK button in the Editor window.

If you are using AutoCAD LT or enjoy manually editing the ACAD.PGP file you can do so. Here are the locations of the ACAD.PGP file for several recent releases of AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT:

AutoCAD 2008
C:\Users\profilename\AppData\Roaming\Autodesk\AutoCAD 2008\R17.1\enu\Support

AutoCAD LT 2008
C:\Users\profilename\AppData\Roaming\Autodesk\AutoCAD LT 2008\R17.1\enu\Support

AutoCAD 2009
C:\Users\profilename\AppData\Roaming\Autodesk\AutoCAD 2009\R17.2\enu\Support

AutoCAD LT 2009
C:\Users\profilename\AppData\Roaming\Autodesk\AutoCAD LT 2009\R17.2\enu\Support

AutoCAD 2010
C:\Users\profilename\AppData\Roaming\Autodesk\AutoCAD 2010\R18.0\enu\Support

AutoCAD LT 2010
C:\Users\profilename\AppData\Roaming\Autodesk\AutoCAD LT 2010\R18.0\enu\Support

AutoCAD 2011
C:\Users\profilename\AppData\Roaming\Autodesk\AutoCAD 2011\R18.1\enu\Support

AutoCAD LT 2011
C:\Users\profilename\AppData\Roaming\Autodesk\AutoCAD LT 2011\R18.1\enu\Support

AutoCAD 2012
C:\Users\profilename\AppData\Roaming\Autodesk\AutoCAD 2012\R18.2\enu\Support

AutoCAD LT 2012
C:\Users\profilename\AppData\Roaming\Autodesk\AutoCAD LT 2012\R18.2\enu\Supportt

AutoCAD 2013
C:\Users\profilename\AppData\Roaming\Autodesk\AutoCAD 2013\R19.0\enu\Support

AutoCAD LT 2013
C:\Users\profilename\AppData\Roaming\Autodesk\AutoCAD LT 2013\R19.0\enu\Support

AutoCAD 2014
C:\Users\profilename\AppData\Roaming\Autodesk\AutoCAD 2014\R19.1\enu\Support

AutoCAD LT 2014
C:\Users\profilename\AppData\Roaming\Autodesk\AutoCADLT 2014\R19.1\enu\Support

open the acad.pgp fileUse Windows Explorer to navigate to the proper folder. The ACAD.PGP file is a text file. Double-click the file to open and edit it.

open the acad.pgp file

Note: If you manually edit the ACAD.PGP file remember to include the asterisk (*) before the command name. Also, only a command can be aliased. You cannot add options as in ZW for Zoom Window.