Using ActiveX to Interact with Other Applications

The power of ActiveX extends beyond the ability to interact with standard AutoCAD objects. Visual LISP provides AutoLISP functions that allow you to access objects from other applications that support ActiveX. For example, you can open a Microsoft. Word document, retrieve text data from an AutoCAD drawing, and copy the text into the Word document. Or you might access cells in a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet and use the data with your AutoCAD drawing.

To write AutoLISP code that interacts with other ActiveX applications, you'll need to refer to the documentation for those applications to learn the application's object names and how to work with its methods and properties. Typically, the online Help for an ActiveX-enabled Windows application contains information on its ActiveX interface. For example, AutoCAD provides the ActiveX and VBA Reference, as well as the ActiveX and VBA Developer's Guide for working with ActiveX using Visual Basic for Applications (VBA).

The following topics in this section apply when you work with any ActiveX application from AutoLISP. The code examples illustrate the process of obtaining text from an AutoCAD drawing and then inserting the text into a Microsoft Word document.