AutoCAD Environment Variables

AutoCAD Environment Variables:

Variable Function
ACAD Specifies which directories to search for support files if they are not in the current directory. Can include more than one directory in the path.
ACADCFG Controls where AutoCAD stores and searches for the hardware configuration files created when you configure AutoCAD for your peripheral devices.
ACADALTMENU Specifies path and name of an alternate menu for the Change Template option on the AutoCAD Tablet menu.
ACADDISPLAY Specifies the display driver.
ACADDRV Specifies which directories to search for ADI drivers.
ACADLOGFILE Specifies the name and path of the log file used with the LOGFILEON command. The default is acad.log .
ACADMAXMEM (AutoCAD pager)Specifies the maximum amount of memory in bytes the pager requests from the operating system.
ACADPLCMD (plotting)Specifies the shell command to execute on completion of a plot-to-file. The shell command is usually a command to queue the plot to the plotter.
ACADRESFILE Specifies a different AutoCAD Display Resources file than the one in your home directory .Xdefaults file.
ACADSERVER Specifies the server from which to receive a license.
RENDERCFG (Render) Controls where AutoCAD stores and locates the AutoCAD Render configuration file,render.cfg , created when you configure AutoCAD Render for your rendering display and hard-copy drivers.
RHUADI (Render) Specifies the path and name of an ADI hard-copy rendering driver.
AVEFACEDIR (Render) Specifies the directory that holds the face file (a temporary file created on disk for faces and triangles).

Table: AutoCAD Environment variables.

Now that you have the basic list of environment variables, how about some trying to apply that knowledge into some powerful applications:

1. Dual Screen Operation:

Since the AutoCAD display drivers are X window applications, they have an inherent ability to display their output on remote screens. This ability is controlled via the ACAD*DISPLAY environment variables. If you do not specify any of these settings, the default is to direct display output to the system specified with the DISPLAY variable, which is usually the local machine (for local logins) and the remote machine (for remote logins). For example I could use:

setenv ACADDISPLAY localhost:0
setenv ACADTEXTDISPLAY remotehost:0

to direct the graphics screen to my local machine (for speed) and the text display to a different machine to free up screen real estate on my local machine. Of course this only makes sense if the remote machine is close enough to see. The major drawback to this base level functionality is that a full-fledged X display is required (even for the text window).

The GL Driver has extended the concept of remote display to allow for more economical dual screen operation. Specifically, you can set the ACAD*DISPLAY variables to certain other values (aside from legal X display settings) to affect certain results:

Setting Action
unsetenv ACADDISPLAY Graphics window on $DISPLAY
setenv ACADDISPLAY localhost:0 Graphics window on localhost:0
setenv ACADDISPLAY remotehost:0 Graphics window on remotehost:0
setenv ACADDISPLAY . Null graphics window
unsetenv ACADTEXTDISPLAY Text window on $DISPLAY
setenv ACADTEXTDISPLAY localhost:0 Text window on localhost:0
setenv ACADTEXTDISPLAY remotehost:0 Text window on remotehost:0
setenv ACADTEXTDISPLAY . Text window on terminal window
setenv ACADTEXTDISPLAY /dev/ttyd1 Text window on ASCII terminal connected to /dev/ttyd1

Table: GL Driver display options.

The task is to use AutoCAD with a separate text display screen, which can be either a text window on the the local or a remote workstation or via an ASCII terminal connected via a serial port to the local workstation.

Here's a screen shot of the dual screen feature in operation.

Notice the "garbled" text in the AutoCAD graphics window's command prompt area as opposed to the ANSI text window. It is recommended that in using this approach, you turn off the Motif and GL command prompt areas as they do not correctly handle ANSI escape sequences or IBM-PC character graphics text.

Do this via:

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[Last updated: 18.JUL.2001]