User Preferences

Tiere are actually two Preferences objects within AutoCAD: AcadPreferences and DatabasePreferences. The AcadPreferences object is stored by AutoCAD and applies to all drawing sessions. The DatabasePreferences object (also called the Document Preferences) is stored with each drawing file and applies only to the drawing in which it was saved.

This chapter covers a few aspects of the AcadPreferences object. A quick way to discern the differences between the AcadPreferences and DatabasePreferences objects is to look through the Options dialog box tabs and note the features with a drawing icon beside them. These indicate Document Preferences. All others are AcadPreferences features.

Users can set many different properties that affect the way they work with AutoCAD. For example, users can set the paths that are searched to find support files and programs, the properties affecting performance, and how the display is presented. You can view and set these properties through the Options dialog box, which you can access through the Tools > Options menu, as shown in Figure 5-1, or by typing Options at the command prompt.

Figure 5-1. The Options dialog box

The Preferences collection object contains nine objects representing the nine tabs on the Options dialog box. These tabs roughly correspond to the objects contained within the AcadPreferences collection object. From left to right, they relate to the following AcadPreferences objects:

PreferencesFiles

PreferencesDisplay

PreferencesOpenSave

PreferencesOutput

PreferencesSystem

PreferencesUser

PreferencesDrafting

PreferencesSelection

PreferencesProfiles

AutoCAD 2000 and 2002 users will see a few new additions in AutoCAD 2004 and later, such as color book locations, tool palette file settings, i-drop settings, hover grip colors, security options, right-click options, hidden line options, and more. Accessing these objects may seem a bit odd, as they're called PreferencesFiles, but you request them from the Preferences object using their short name, such as Files.

For example, the following code returns the PreferencesProfiles object used to save a custom profile file for later use with each session:

Dim PrefProfiles As AcadPreferencesProfiles

Set PrefProfiles = ThisDrawing.Application.Preferences.Profiles In this chapter, I cover the following aspects of the Preferences object:

• Getting and setting the support path(s)

• Controlling the cursor size

• Getting and setting the AutoSaveInterval property

• Getting and setting the drawing template file path

• Getting and setting the printer support path

• Getting and setting the file SaveAs type

• Enabling and disabling the Startup dialog box

• Saving and retrieving personal preferences

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