Using Visual LISP Documentation

The AutoLISP Developer's Guide explains how to use the Visual LISP IDE and how to build and run AutoLISP applications. This guide also introduces the constructs of the AutoLISP language.

All users should check the AutoCAD Readme file for notices concerning AutoLISP and Visual LISP. The Readme file is in the AutoCAD Help directory and contains information that became available too late to be included in this manual.

If you have developed AutoLISP applications in earlier releases of AutoCAD, it is important that you refer to the Readme file for information on AutoLISP changes that may affect your applications.

Additional AutoLISP and Visual LISP manuals are available online through the Visual LISP and AutoCAD Help menus:

This AutoLISP Developer's Guide assumes you have some experience with AutoCAD and have basic user-level skills with Microsoft. Windows.. Prior experience with AutoLISP is not required.

The AutoLISP Developer's Guide is divided into the following sections:

The following are a few guidelines to help you get the most out of the AutoLISP Developer's Guide:

The following table summarizes the organization of this manual:

Chapter organization





Getting Started

Provides an orientation to Visual LISP.


Developing Programs with

Visual LISP

Shows you how to use the VLISP text editor to enter AutoLISP program code, format the code, and check the code for AutoLISP syntax errors. Also shows you how to run the code you've developed from the VLISP editor window.


Debugging Programs

Shows you how to use VLISP to trace program execution, watch the value of variables change during program execution, see the sequence in which expressions are evaluated, and step through program execution one instruction at a time.


Building Applications

Introduces the VLISP file compiler and shows how you can use the VLISP Application Wizard to build standalone applications.


Maintaining Visual LISP Applications

Describes how to define VLISP projects and use them to simplify working with multi-file applications. This chapter also explains compiler optimization features, and how to use them in a project.


Working with ActiveX

Describes how to use ActiveX objects with VLISP, and how to access other applications through ActiveX.


Advanced Topics

Describes how to attach reactors to AutoCAD drawings and objects.


AutoLISP Basics

Introduces basic AutoLISP concepts, such as how to use expressions and variables, handle numbers and strings, display output, build lists, and define functions.


Using AutoLISP to

Communicate with AutoCAD

Describes AutoLISP functions that you can use to issue AutoCAD commands and to interact with users in the AutoCAD environment.


Using AutoLISP to

Manipulate AutoCAD


Describes AutoLISP functions you can use to manipulate AutoCAD drawing entities, selection sets, extended data, and symbol tables.


Designing Dialog Boxes

Introduces the elements that make up dialog boxes. Explains DCL file structure and syntax, and presents AutoLISP and DCL code that defines and displays a sample dialog box.


Managing Dialog Boxes

Describes how to control dialog boxes with AutoLISP programs.


Programmable Dialog

Box Reference

Lists and describes all the DCL tiles and their associated attributes, and summarizes the AutoLISP functions available tor work with programmable dialog boxes.