What Is AutoCAD Lisp?

AutoCAD Lisp is a programming language that is specifically designed to work with AutoCAD software. It allows users to create custom commands, automate tasks, and extend the functionality of AutoCAD. Lisp stands for “LISt Processing” and was developed in the late 1950s as a way to manipulate and process data.

What can you do with AutoCAD Lisp?

With AutoCAD Lisp, you can automate repetitive tasks, create custom commands, and build complex drawing routines. This programming language provides a wide range of functions and features that allow you to interact with AutoCAD’s drawing database, modify existing objects, and create new entities.

Automation of repetitive tasks

One of the main advantages of using AutoCAD Lisp is the ability to automate repetitive tasks. For example, if you frequently need to insert a specific block or apply a particular layer configuration, you can write a Lisp routine to perform these actions automatically. This saves time and reduces the chance of errors.

Creation of custom commands

AutoCAD Lisp allows you to create custom commands that are tailored to your specific needs. These commands can be as simple as inserting predefined blocks or as complex as generating reports based on the drawings’ data. By creating custom commands, you can streamline your workflow and increase productivity.

Extension of AutoCAD’s functionality

Another benefit of using AutoCAD Lisp is its ability to extend the functionality of AutoCAD itself. You can build applications that add new features or modify existing ones. For example, you can develop tools for calculating quantities in drawings or creating dynamic blocks with user-defined parameters.

How does AutoCAD Lisp work?

AutoCAD Lisp works by providing an interactive programming environment within the AutoCAD software. It uses a simple syntax based on parentheses and lists to define commands and functions. Lisp routines can be written directly in the AutoCAD command line or stored in separate files with a .lsp extension.

Getting started with AutoCAD Lisp

To get started with AutoCAD Lisp, you need a basic understanding of programming concepts and the AutoCAD software. Here are the steps to begin using AutoCAD Lisp:

Step 1: Learn the basics of Lisp

Before diving into AutoCAD Lisp, it’s helpful to learn the basics of the Lisp programming language. There are many online resources and tutorials available that can introduce you to the syntax and concepts of Lisp.

Step 2: Familiarize yourself with AutoCAD’s programming environment

AutoCAD provides a dedicated programming environment called the Visual LISP Editor (VLISP). This editor allows you to write, edit, and debug your Lisp routines. Take some time to explore VLISP’s features and understand how it integrates with AutoCAD.

Step 3: Start writing simple Lisp routines

Begin by writing simple Lisp routines that perform basic tasks in AutoCAD. For example, you can start by creating a routine that inserts a block at a specific point or changes the properties of selected objects. As you gain more experience, you can gradually build more complex routines.

Step 4: Explore advanced features

Once you have a good grasp of the basics, explore advanced features of AutoCAD Lisp such as working with external files, manipulating object properties, or creating custom dialog boxes using DCL (Dialog Control Language).


AutoCAD Lisp is a powerful programming language that allows users to automate tasks, create custom commands, and extend the functionality of AutoCAD. By learning AutoCAD Lisp, you can significantly enhance your productivity and efficiency in working with AutoCAD drawings. So why not give it a try and take your AutoCAD skills to the next level?