Chapter 34. Understanding AutoLISP and Visual LISP Basics


  • Understanding AutoLISP programming and the Visual LISP environment

  • Working with the Visual LISP editor

  • Getting help in Visual LISP

  • Creating your own AutoLISP expressions

  • Using AutoLISP on the command line

AutoLISP is a programming language supported by AutoCAD that can greatly enhance your productivity by automating often-used or repetitive tasks. AutoLISP provides a glimpse into the inner workings of AutoCAD and can serve as an excellent steppingstone to learning more advanced automation methods, such as .NET and ObjectARX. An AutoLISP routine gives you complete control over its interaction with the user and what it does after it's loaded.


AutoCAD LT does not support AutoLISP. This entire chapter is for AutoCAD only.

You can type AutoLISP expressions on the command line in response to prompts, or you can save your code to a file that you can load and use when needed. AutoLISP offers wide and varied possibilities for shortcuts.

AutoLISP intimidates many AutoCAD users, but the many benefits well justify the time that you invest to learn this full-featured programming language. Best of all, you do not need to learn all the complexities of AutoLISP to see productivity gains from its use.

You can find a tremendous number of AutoLISP routines on the Internet. Many CAD Web sites offer huge libraries of AutoLISP routines as free downloads. (For more details, see Appendix B.) Many CAD offices have created AutoLISP routines ...

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