How To: Set up ArcGIS for AutoCAD to launch at AutoCAD startup


By default, the ArcGIS for AutoCAD plugin is launched from AutoCAD using the 'netload' command but it is possible to set it to launch at startup with a bit of configuration. This article explains how to launch the plugin both manually, via the netload command, and automatically, using a script.


Manually Launch ArcGIS for AutoCAD Using the netload Command:
  1. After installing ArcGIS for AutoCAD, manually launch the plugin in AutoCAD by entering the netload command into the AutoCAD command window.

  2. Press Enter. A prompt displays to locate and open the .NET assembly file. Navigate to the ArcGIS for AutoCAD installation folder, and select the file ArcGISforAutoCAD.dll.


Assuming the version of AutoCAD meets requirements, this prompts the plugin to launch and ArcGIS appears in the AutoCAD ribbon menu.

Configure ArcGIS for AutoCAD to launch at AutoCAD startup

By default, ArcGIS for AutoCAD is manually loaded using netload so one must perform an additional setup to allow it to launch at the startup of AutoCAD. To accomplish this, follow the steps below.

  1. Copy the code text below, substituting the version number in bold to match the version installed:
    (command "_ribbon")
    (command "netload" "C:\\Program Files\\ArcGIS for AutoCAD 370\\ArcGISForAutoCAD")
  2. Open a text editor (such as Notepad) and paste the text into a new file. Do not yet save the file.
  3. Copy the path of the ArcGISForAutoCAD folder within the ArcGIS for AutoCAD installation folder.
  4. Replace the path in the code above. Ensure to add two backslashes between each file path, as shown (it does not work with single backslashes).

  5. Save the file with the extension .lsp:

  6. In AutoCAD, click the Manage tab. In the Applications section, select Load Application.

  7. In the Load/Unload Applications dialog box, under the Startup Suite section, select Contents....

  8. Click Add. Locate and select the .lsp file previously created:

  9. Close all windows, and close AutoCAD.
  10. Relaunch AutoCAD. The ArcGIS for AutoCAD application should launch at startup.

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