Creating AutoCAD Command Functions with autolisp

Not only can you create new AutoLISP functions, but in a similar manner, you can also create new AutoCAD commands! That is, the function name can be typed directly at the Command: prompt without using AutoLISP syntax. Creating a command-line function is simply a modified form of (defun).

Explanation: the (defun C: ) function

(defun C:name ()

);end defun


  • The function name argument must have a name that starts with “C:” .
  • The function must be defined with a nil argument list (empty list).
  • The function is invoked by typing the name at the “Command:” prompt.


By modifying BOX1.LSP we can make it a command-line function:

(defun C:BOX1 ()
(setq PT1 (getpoint “Lower left corner: ”))

(setq PT2 (getpoint “Lower right corner: ”))
(setq PT3 (getpoint “Upper right corner: ”))
(setq PT4 (getpoint “Upper left corner: ”))
(command “line” PT1 PT2 PT3 PT4 “close”)

Command: (load “BOX1”)
Command: BOX1

AutoLISP vs. AutoCAD Functions

As you create new functions in AutoLISP, you will need to decide whether you want to create a command-line function or not.

Command-line function

  • Typed in directly at Command: prompt.
  • User is prompted for required information.
  • Result is usually to affect drawing directly.
  • Cannot normally be used as a subroutine of another function.
See also  AutoCAD and AutoLISP are Two Separate Programs

Standard AutoLISP function

  • Typed as an AutoLISP expression.
  • Arguments are specified directly with the function.
  • Result is usually some unique value.
  • Can be used as a subroutine of other functions.
  • Can be used transparently within AutoCAD commands.


DegreesToRadians as AutoCAD command
Command: DegreesToRadians
Enter degrees to be converted: 180

DegreesToRadians as AutoLISP function

Command: (DegreesToRadians 180)


Change BOX1.LSP to make it a command-line function and test it. Estimated time for completion: 5 minutes.

  • A complete solution to this exercise is on your class disk as BOX1-B.LSP.
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