How to reduce AutoCAD file size by using Purge and Audit

How to reduce your AutoCAD file size to a smaller size? that is the predicament an AutoCAD Draftsman and any CAD practitioner alike always face. Recently this question comes back to my attention when a colleague of mine ask me regarding his file becoming so big in size and ask me how to reduce it. Good thing I encountered that same predicament of him many times before, and I can still remember the process on how can an AutoCAD file be reduce.

Reducing AutoCAD file size involve a series of commands and it is not easily to remember the first time, specially if you seldom uses it. That’s why it is important that I should blog about this.

Any how… as the title of this article says, yes you can reduce your AutoCAD file by using command purge and audit.  Here is how..

  • First thing is audit your AutoCAD files by typing AUDIT on your command prompt. Then after you audited it click “Save as” and save it in DXF file format and then close without saving it again.

Re-positioning the Hatch within the Boundary

Most of the time when we do hatching in our drawing the result is not the exact hatch that we desired within our drawing. So to be able to achieve what we desire, we just have to re-position our existing hatch.

This tutorial I did which I discover, while playing on hatch made the desire task easier.

Select the existing hatch with the boundary [Fig.01]

Existing Hatch

[Fig.01] Existing Hatch with Boundary

Select the Hatch.. [Fig.02)

Hatch Selected

[Fig.02] Selected Hatch


Then while still within the selected HATCH right click and select the Origin Point. [Fig.03]

Editing Hatch objects using Grips

Last time I blog about the usefulness of the Grips function of AutoCAD, I showed how this simple yet effective component of AutoCAD to be of great help in doing everyday task of an AutoCAD Professionals like me. I showed on that post how in one operation you can perform multiple task and can do multiple command, such as mirror, copy, stretch, move, rotate, etc. With that function imagine how fast you can modify your drawing.

When I wrote that article I’m only using AutoCAD 2008 version, right now I’m using AutoCAD 2014 and I just discover that this Grips function not only do multiple things that I mentioned above, but now, this same Grips function can edit the hatch object as well.


The Case of the Invisible Point Symbol

Why is it in my drawing the Point symbol is not visible? but when I open the other drawing the Point Symbol is visible?. That is the question thrown at me by my colleagues while doing her assigned task. 

To answer her question, the Point Symbol became invisible because of the POINTSTYLE. Perhaps  the default point style in her drawing was the first two point style type. [Fig.1]


Anyway to set your point style and size, just click Format menu then Point Style. [Fig.2]

How to Draw a Straight Angular Line

Normally in AutoCAD you can only draw two types of straight lines, one is vertical line, the other is horizontal line, provided you’re working on ortho on mode. However you can always draw a straight angular line by turning your cursor to ortho off mode. But inspite of this, you cannot specify the exact angle of the line you’re going to draw.

So the easiest way in drawing a straight angular line with specific angle is by using another AutoCAD command, and one command I know that can be useful to perform this certain task is the SNAPANG command. SNAPANG is an AutoCAD command that sets the snap and grid rotation angle for the current viewport relative to the current UCS at your own specifc angle.

At the command prompt, just type, SNAPANG, then enter. Then enter the new value (e.g. 45). the current UCS will turn to 45 degrees. You can always get you cursor to the original rotation by entering 0 angle to your new value of SNAPANG.

snapang @ 0 degrees

snapang @ 0 degrees


snapang @ 45 degrees

snapang @ 45 degrees

Thats all for now.

How to Load an AutoLISP File

If you’re using AutoCAD for long period of time and you know how to use the AutoLISP and the importance of it. You probably know how to load the AutoLISP file in AutoCAD, and you certainly don’t need to read this tutorial. But if happens that you are relatively new on using the AutoCAD and you want to expand your knowledge in this drawing application software, then this tutorial is for you.

AutoLISP a Brief Description

AutoLISP is based on the LISP programming language, which is simple to learn and very usefull in everyway. AutoLISP Applications or routines can interact in AutoCAD in many ways. These routines can prompt the user for input, access built-in AutoCAD commands directly, and modify or create objects in the drawing database. By creating AutoLISP routines you can add discipline-specific commands to AutoCAD. Actually, some of the standard AutoCAD commands are AutoLISP applications. Knowing how to load and use these routines can enhance your productivity.

Loading the AutoLISP

There are two methods to load an AutoLISP file, one is loading it by using the Customize User Interface editor or CUI, the other is by using the command Load Application or simply APPLOAD. Customize User Interface editor can be found by clicking the CAD Manager pulldown menu, then Customize, then Interface (fig.1).



Alternatively at the command prompt, key-in CUI. Then in the Customize Interface editor tab, in the Customizations in all CUI files pane, right-click LISP files, then click Load LISP. Then in the Load LISP dialog box, locate and select the AutoLISP file you want to load. Remember only files with the extension LSP can be selected here. After you selected the AutoLISP file that you want, click OPEN.



Load Application or simply APPLOAD, using this command is the easiest method in loading an AutoLISP file. You can find this command under CAD Manager pulldown menu on the same place where the Customize User Interface can be found. Or at the command prompt key-in APPLOAD. The good thing in using this method is, not only the AutoLISP files can be loaded but also some other AutoCAD Application files as well. Such as ObjectARX files (arx), VBA files (dvb), ObjectDBX files (dvx), Visual Lisp Executables (vlx), and Fast-load AutoLISP Format (das) [Fig.3].



More of this method here in this post Free AutoLISP Routine.

How to Hide/Unhide Command Line

Sometimes while doing our job in AutoCAD there is some instances that happens unexpectedly. And one of that is the accidental turning off of the command line, and with that, you are unable to see the command that you’re keying-in.




There is two way actually to hide the command window of AutoCAD or in these case to unhide.  One of these is on the keyboard shortcut, by pressing CTRL+9. The other is at the Tools pulldown menu, then Command Line (fig.1). Alternatively if you are using AutoCAD Architecture 2008 and beyond, you can find the command line in Window pulldown menu as well (fig.2).



Thats all for now.

Using REFEDIT Command

REFEDIT or Reference Edit, is a command that modify blocks and external references  or Xref, and redefine block definitions within the current drawing. So if there something you want to modify, some portions of the blocks or external reference from your drawing. Then REFEDIT is the command you can always trust in doing so.

By editing the Block or Xref in place, you can modify the reference within the visual context of your drawing. With REFEDIT you can modify the external reference, without going back and fourth between the reference itself and to you drawing, where the Xref was currently inserted. Therefore, making your life more easier in  doing your work, or for this case editing some portions on your drawing.

The downside in using in-place reference editing of Xref is, it can increase the size of your current drawing files significantly during the in-place editing session. Making your drawing file size more bigger than you expected to be. So even if it is useful for us AutoCAD users, the in-place editing of the external reference or Xref, it is not advisable to do it, only if you are concern about the file size of your drawing. While Xref, has this small issue regarding the file size, the block reference doesn’t have this same issue, making the block more suitable from using the in-place editing or the REFEDIT.



You can access, Edit Reference In-Place or REFEDIT command, by clicking the Tools pulldown menu, then Xref And Block In-Place Editing, then Edit-Reference In-Place (fig.1). Alternatively, at the command prompt, type REFEDIT. Then from within the drawing, select the block or external reference that you would like to modify. Thenafter selectiong the block or Xref a Reference Edit dialog box will appear (fig.2), in the Reference Edit dialog box, select the specific reference that you want to edit.



After selecting the specific reference the REFEDIT toolbox will appear (fig.3), then from there you can save it after you finish editing th object reference in your drawing. The object in the working set are saved to the reference and the Xref or the Block is updated. All Blocks that inserted in the drawing withthe same names as the block that has been modified, will also be updated.



Using Drawing Recovery Command

I know all of us AutoCAD users, has experienced losing our drawing files when a program system failure came unexpectedly. Or sometimes when a power failure or a software problem happens right in the middle of doing our work. And because it is too sudden, most of the times we haven’t saved our drawings.

So in order to avoid losing much of our work, we tend to use Automatic Save so that even we forget to save our work, the AutoCAD automatically save it for us, albeit it only saved some of it from the time frame we had set.

Some years ago, when I’m just using the previous version of AutoCAD notably the  AutoCAD 2002 (this version has the most program error I had encounter), when this system error unexpectedly happen and the AutoCAD shutdown unexpectedly. I used to look for my automatically saved drawing ($) on temporary folders using the window explorer.

So now if you are using latest version of AutoCAD, just as I am using the not so latest AutoCAD Architecture 2008. Recovering our drawing is not that  complicated anymore. Because this version of AutoCAD has this command, DRAWING RECOVERY.


This command, recovered our drawing automatically for us. After a system failure, or the AutoCAD program failure unexpectedly came, the Drawing Recovery Windows Manager will open the next time we start AutoCAD session. The Drawing Recovery Windows display the list of all drawing files that were open. However unsaved drawings that are open at the time of an unexpected failure are not tracked by the drawing recevery manager. So it is always safe that we always save our drawing from time to time, even if we had set Automatic Save for file precautions.

If happens that you close the Drawing Recovery Window,  before recovering all files tha you want to recover, you can always access Drawing Recovery command at all times by accessing from the Files pulldown menu, then Drawing Utilities, then Drawing Recovery. Or at the command prompt, type DRAWINGRECOVERY.

Creating Regions by using Boundary Command

Regions are two-dimensional enclosed areas that have physical properties such as centroids or centers of mass. Two or more existing regions can be combine into a single, complex region to calculate an area.

A region can be created from an bojects that form closed loops. Loops can be a combinations of lines, polylines, circles, arcs, ellipses, elliptical arcs, aand splices. Regions can be used for, applying hatch and shading. Regions can also be used in analyzing properties, such as area by using command Massprop and List. Regions can as well be used in extracting design information, such as centroid.

Boundary dialogue box

Boundary dialogue box

There are lot of ways in AutoCAD to create regions,but the easiest way I know of creating regions are by using Boundary command. This command can be found under the Draw pulldown menu. Or at the command prmopt, type Boundary or BO for shortcut. After keying-in Boundary command, a dialogue box will appear, just click the Region or Polyline on Object type, then click Pick points, and the n select the internal point you want to be created as region.

Selected Boundary

Selected Boundary