Automate repeating tasks using Action Recorder in AutoCAD

Updated on October 23, 2023 by Jaiprakash Pandey, Affiliate Disclosure

AutoLISP is a great tool for automating many CAD tasks, but for a non-programmer, (like me :)) Action Recorder can be used to automate repetitive tasks of AutoCAD without using LISP at all.

Using Action recorder Some of the repetitive tasks in AutoCAD can be recorded as action macro and it can be repeated whenever needed.

Let me show you this with an example.

Suppose you need a particular type of array in many drawings and you don’t want to create array manually in each of those drawings then you can record your actions in one of the drawing and simply play that action for all drawings.

In the following action we will create a macro for making a hex nut in AutoCAD and then we will make it of deferent sizes.

Recording Action

Start AutoCAD and go to Manage tab and click the Record button on the Action recorder panel as shown in the following image.

The record button will be replaced with stop button and your cursor will now a red stop icon will your cursor.

Type C for circle command and then press enter key.

Now click anywhere in the drawing area and that point will be recorded as the center of the circle.

Now type the radius of circle and press enter again.

In this case I am using a radius of 5 unit.

Now type POL for polygon command and then type 6 for number of sides and press enter.

For center of polygon click at the center of the circle that we created in the previous step.

Next type I for inscribed polygon and press enter.

After that type 10 for the radius of the polygon and press enter again.

Our macro is now complete and its time to stop it and save it for reuse. 

Click the Stop icon on the Action recorder panel and give this macro a name.

I am naming it "Hexnut" and then click OK button as shown in the following image.

This macro is saved with .actm extension in this path C:\Users\<user name>\AppData\Roaming\Autodesk\AutoCAD 2015\R20.0\enu\Support\Actions.

Modifying Action Macro

Before we use this macro we need to make some changes in it to make it useful.

Select the "Hexnut" macro from the list of macros and expand the Action recorder panel as shown in the following image.

In the list of actions of action tree right click on the coordinates of the circle and then select "Pause for user input" from the context menu.

This will ensure that the macro will prompt for a point where the hex nut will be added in the drawing.

Additionally, I will also right click on number of sides option of the polygon and select "Pause for user input" there as well.

Now our action macro will only show two prompts, one for location of center and then other for number of sides.

Running the macro

To run the macro select it from the list of macro and then click the Run button as shown in the following image.

AutoCAD will show you a prompt that says "Specify center of circle" click at any point and then the next prompt will be "Enter number of sides" type 5 in this case.

And now you will have a 5 sided nut instead of a hex nut using the same macro.

You can repeat the same steps as many times as you like to create several variations of this action macro.

Summary

This was just one example where you can automate your actions to create a variation of same type of drawing.

As you can imagine it can be used in several other ways to save time in your drafting workflow.

If you have questions related to this article let me know in the comments section down below.


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