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CAD tip CAD tip # 7944:

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Automatic installation of AutoCAD 2012 add-on applications.

A - answer To simplify distribution of add-on modules (.NET, ARX, VisualLISP), AutoCAD 2012 (and higher) contains a new mechanism for easy automatic loading of applications and their menus (ribbons), including demand-loading (by typing a command from the respective application).

Application developers can distribute a specially formatted package ".bundle" containing all neccessary components of the given application, plus a XML control file PackageContents.xml. The structure of this XML file can be found in the documentation for developers (ADN).

The ".bundle" folder (e.g. "MyApplication.bundle") can be just copied as a subfolder to the folder:

C:\Program Files\Autodesk\ApplicationPlugins

(for all users) or to user-specific folders (in XP):

C:\Documents and Settings\{usrname}\Application Data\Autodesk\ApplicationPlugins

or (in Win7/Vista):


The add-on application (here: "MyApplication") will be then loaded automatically. You can load such applications not only on launching AutoCAD, but also during a drawing session. Detecting ("sniffing") of the new/current status of the ".bundle" subfolders can be invoked manually, just by starting the APPAUTOLOADER command. This command loads any program modules, extends your AutoCAD menu and "teaches" your AutoCAD new functions and commands defined in the respective application.

The same command can also list all currently loaded ".bundle" modules. This autoloading mechanism is controlled by the APPAUTOLOAD variable.

100% *  CAD 
29.4.2011    8333x  
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applies to: AutoCAD 2013 · AutoCAD 2012 ·

See also:
Tip 11146:Metric linetypes by ISO and complex linetypes for utilities.
Tip 11145:AutoCAD: Customization file load failed.
Tip 10926:Self-intersecting polylines and polylines with duplicate vertices.
Tip 10848:GeoCode with what3words location codes.
Tip 10802:Simplifying 3D drawings by replacing repeating 3D solids with blocks.

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