One of the most useful tools in AutoCAD is the Action Recorder. With this
feature, you can perform repetitive tasks and save the steps to a file, called a
macro, which can be played back whenever you need to repeat those steps in any drawing. For example, if you need to draw several countersunk holes in a plate at a specified distance, you can prompt the user for a start point, angle, diameter,and spacing, and then let AutoCAD do the work. The Action Recorder creates the macros for you without the need for you to learn macro programming.
For this example, you will add two new layers to your drawing and then make
one of them the current layer. The practice of adding your standards to a drawing from someone else (a client, contractor, and so on) is common. Follow these steps to create the action:
1. Click the Manage tab from the Ribbon to display a series of panels
that contain tools for managing a drawing’s interface and standards.
2. Click the Record button (Manage tab ➢ Action Recorder panel).
The Record button changes to a Stop button, and the panel pins
itself open, as shown in Figure 6.51. A large red dot appears at the
cursor to remind you that the actions are being recorded.
F igu re 6 . 5 1 : The Action Recorder panel as it appears when the actions are being recorded
You’ll use the command line to start the LAYER command. The
– prefix starts the command without opening the Layer Properties
3. Enter -LAYER↵.
4. Enter N↵ or pick New from the list that appears at the cursor.
5. Enter L-PLNT↵ to name the new layer. Both methods for selecting an
option work equally well.
6. Select the New option again, and enter E-POWR↵ to create and name
the new layer.
7. Choose the Set option.
8. Enter E-POWR↵ to make the E-POWR layer current and end the LAYER
9. Click the Stop button to discontinue recording the actions. Your
Action Recorder panel should look like Figure 6.52.
F igu re 6 . 5 2 : The Action Recorder after creating the new layers and setting
the current layer
10. In the Action Macro dialog box that opens (see Figure 6.53), enter
New_Layers↵ in the Action Macro Command Name field, and add a
description if you like.
11. Click OK, and the macro is saved as New_Layers.actm in the C:\
enu\support\actions folder. (A copy is also available on this book’s
12. Unpin the Action Recorder panel so that it can collapse.
13. Open a new drawing file.
14. Make sure the New_Layers macro name appears in the Available
Action Macro field, and click the Play button, as shown in
F igu re 6 . 5 5 : The Action Macro dialog box
16. Switch to the Home tab, and then open the Layer drop-down list in
the Layers panel. You will see the new layers the macro created.
17. Save your cabin drawing as I06-14-ActionMacro.dwg (M06-14-
As you can see, action macros are easy to record and can save you time when repetitive tasks are required. You could have easily set layers’ colors, linetypes,or on/off statuses, or performed other layer-related tasks. The Action Recorder is quite powerful and can save a great amount of time when you use it to create macros specific to your needs. You can close the blank drawing without saving the changes.