Create a Custom Profile for AutoCAD 2014

A profile is a collection of several hundred of the internal settings within AutoCAD that you can change. It includes things like the background screen color, where AutoCAD looks for custom menu files, how the right mouse button behaves, and so on. There are about 80 settings that control the appearance and format of dimensions alone!

Different profiles can be set up for different users, different disciplines, different departments, different clients, and so on. You can create your own custom profile in AutoCAD so that it always opens to the configuration that you want. If you share your computer with someone else, a custom profile comes in handy.

Here's how to set up your own "standard" configuration without hurting anyone else's setup:

  1. Click the Application Menu (the big red A in the upper-left corner of the AutoCAD screen) and choose Options. Or enter OPtions at the command line.

  2. Click the Profiles tab in the Options dialog box.

  3. Click <<unnamed profile>>, or on Vanilla if <<unnamed profile>> doesn't exist.

    Out-of-the-box standard AutoCAD contains the single <<unnamed profile>>. If your copy of AutoCAD is one of the versions that has been tailored to a specific market, such as mechanical or electrical, then it includes a suitably-named profile for that version, plus Vanilla.

  4. Click the Add to List button and enter your name when it asks for a profile name.

  5. Click the Apply and Close button.

  6. Double-click on your new profile name to make it current.

If you ever need to reset AutoCAD to all the standard default settings, click the Reset button on the Profile tab and click OK.

Don't reset AutoCAD via the Windows Start menu. If you choose Start→All Programs→Autodesk→AutoCAD 20nn (where 20nn is your version year), you'll find a Reset Settings to Default item. (In Windows 8, click Reset Settings to Default on the Start screen.) This option resets everything to AutoCAD's default settings, which means it wipes out all other user's customizing, including all profiles, menu customizations, and so on. Doing this will definitely move you a notch or two down the popularity rating in your office.

With a profile in place, you can add a shortcut icon to your desktop, so with an easy click, AutoCAD opens to your profile every time:

  1. Right-click an existing AutoCAD desktop icon and choose Copy.

  2. In an empty area of your desktop, right-click and choose Paste.

  3. Right-click the new shortcut you just created and choose Properties.

  4. Click in the Target window in the dialog box that appears and append the target with your profile name.

    If the existing target doesn't end with /p followed by text, add /p "your profile name" to the end of the line, where "your profile name" is the name of the profile you created earlier. Be sure to include the quotation marks.

    If the existing target does end with /p followed by text, change the text to "your profile name".

  5. Click the General tab of the dialog box.

  6. Click in the uppermost window and enter a new name that suitably identifies your new icon.

  7. Click OK.

You now have a new desktop icon that launches AutoCAD directly in your profile.

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