Automate tasks using Action Recorder in AutoCAD

AutoLISP is a great tool for automating many CAD tasks, but for a non-programmer, (like me :)) Action Recorder can be used to automate repetitive tasks of AutoCAD without using LISP at all.

Using Action recorder Some of the repetitive tasks in AutoCAD can be recorded as action macro and it can be recalled whenever needed, let me show you this with an example.

Suppose you need a particular type of array in many drawings and you don’t want to create array manually in each of those drawings then you can record your actions in one of the drawing and simply play that action for all drawings.

Recording Action:

To start recording actions click on record button on action recorder panel, this button will be replaced with stop button and your cursor will now follow a stop icon. Let’s create a circle now with any radius and create a rectangular array with three rows and five columns.

Action Recorder in AutoCAD

Once you are done with array click on stop button on action recorder panel, an action macro window will pop up enter name and description of this action and click OK to save it. This macro is saved with .actm extension in this path C:\Users\<user name>\AppData\Roaming\Autodesk\AutoCAD 2015\R20.0\enu\Support\Actions.

Action Recorder in AutoCAD

Now close your drawing and open a new session of AutoCAD, go to manage tab and action recorder panel you will find a drop down menu with your action listed there. Select that action and click play button just above that menu. You will find that an array with similar configuration will be drawn in no time.

action recorder play_sourcecad

If you want action recorder to prompt you for entering values like coordinates of the center of circle and radius of the circle then you can make the change in action macro. For changing it select the action from the drop down menu and expand the panel you will find an action tree locate the radius value and right click select pause for user input from the contextual menu.

Action Recorder in AutoCAD

Now your action macro will prompt you to enter the radius of the circle every time you play it, a similar procedure can be followed for a number of rows and columns as well.

Do you have questions related to this tip? Let us know in the comments below.

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About the Author:

I am a mechanical engineer and I have worked with Design, Manufacturing and Training industries but now SourceCAD is my full-time work and I use it to train students all over the world. I also train corporate clients and help them develop the skill set of their workforce. I am Autodesk AutoCAD Certified Professional and an Autodesk expert elite member. I am a regular contributor of AUGI World magazine and apart from SourceCAD I also develop AutoCAD video courses for Pluralsight and other E-Learning businesses.


  1. AJ January 2, 2018 at 10:50 pm - Reply

    thank you for the info.
    I’m trying to create a macro whicht automaticly opens a specific block in the block editor…
    now i only get the menu to manually choose the block.
    can you please help me on my way to solve this ?

    THanks !

  2. Ragavan December 6, 2017 at 5:31 pm - Reply

    I need to use Recording file for multiple drawings.

    let me know the procedure, or coding of script for make it in Lisp / Script.

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