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Custom Dialog Boxes

Eric Beagley

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I work for a manufacturing company. We use AutoCad to do our estimates. We take custom block and overlay them on tiff backgrounds of the architectural plans. Then we export the block info into spreadsheets to complete our takeoffs. As of now we use dynamic properties and attributes in the blocks to gather the options for the particular product we are bidding. I use many dummy look up tables to select options like color, finish ect. for the blocks. Then other data is entered into attributes. Is there a way using AutoLisp or some other method to create a dialog box that pops up when you click on a block that contains a mixture of fields, pulldowns, check boxes to pick all the options of the product. Then be able to extract this data.


I am just wonder about this capability before I start learning AutoLisp.



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Welcome to CADTutor!


The short answer is yes.


More specifically, if you choose LISP you're going to want to learn Visual LISP, to tap into the ActiveX API. This will allow you to (more) easily extract the Attribute, and Dynamic Property values, and can directly work with MS Office products (if that is needed).


AutoCAD Forms/Dialogs are written using DCL, which works with both Auto/Visual LISP.


If you have development experience in VBA, you may want to instead look into learning C#/C++/VB.NET, but this will require Visual Studio Express (free), or Visual Studio Professional (paid).

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IMHO if you want dialogue boxes - go with VB.net. DCL is a real pain in the neck. You could look into Visual DCL, but VB.net would be easier to package and share with others in your office or company.

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Thank you both that is good info and helps a lot. Can either of you tell me if once I have created this DCL content through any of the suggested methods, can I use the acad "Extract Data" wizard to access the data. Or do I have to us LISP or VBA to pluck the data out of the blocks?


Thanks Again


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