Ino Detelić

AutoCAD command statistics

Last year I wanted to improve my drawing speed in AutoCAD so I needed to have the statistics of the most used commands.
With this data I could decide which icons to keep on the screen and which keyboard shortcuts and aliases should be easier to execute, so I could draw faster, but I wanted to see the objective data, and not trust my guts on this one.

Here’s what I did: I made AutoCAD log all the commands on a file and then use a script to count the number of times each command was executed.

First you need to enable command logging with the LOGFILEMODE 1 command. AutoCAD writes the .log files on the %AppData%\Local\Autodesk\AutoCAD 2008\R17.1\enu by default and you can change that in the options under the ‘files’ tab.
AutoCAD will write a separate log file for each drawing you open, so after a while you’ll have many log files with a lot of command data.

For counting the files I asked the internet hive-mind a question on and Joey came up with the solution to use PowerShell. I had never used it before or knew how useful could it be.

So you just run this PowerShell script from the same folder as the .log files and it gives you every command you used and the number of times you used it.
I had 622 .log files in there, so the script took a minute or two to complete.

Perfect! Can you guess the most used command?

Yes, its *CANCEL*. My father, an architect who began working on AutoCAD still in the 80s uses a tablet to draw, and he always had the keyboard ‘esc’ key mapped to one of the buttons of the puck (tablet mouse). That was really smart. I also began drawing on tablets but when I shifted to using the mouse, I also mapped the ‘esc’ key to a mouse button. This is the single most important productivity enhancement out there. And if you map it using the mouse software, it works on other programs.

Now the gathered data.

To my surprise, the second most used command was ERASE, so I immediately mapped the ‘del’ key to another mouse button and just hours later I was deleting stuff faster than ever (And I carried on using it on every other program where the del key is useful and one of your hands is on the mouse like 3ds max).

You can see that I only use the TRIM command and no EXTEND. This is because I use the shift modifier key on TRIM to extend objects. This way you never have to think about it.


Posted on December 14th, 2011 under CAD