Configuring ArcGIS for Server to Automatically Load ArcGIS for AutoCAD or "What’s NETLOAD got to do with it?"

Blog Post created by randall_williams-esristaff Employee on Jan 31, 2012
ArcGIS for AutoCAD is a great tool for loading basemap layers  provided by ArcGIS Servers to AutoCAD projects. In fact, it has gotten so popular that users have requested documentation regarding ways to load the ArcGIS for AutoCAD interface into AutoCAD at application initialization.  To that end, the ArcGIS for AutoCAD team has provided the following workflow for automatically load this tool. Happy CADding!

The ArcGIS for AutoCAD toolbar doesn’t automatically load when installed on a machine with AutoCAD. This can cause some confusion, or it can just cause a hassle when you need to reload AutoCAD every day or multiple times a day.

It can be more useful to set up AutoCAD to automatically load this toolbar by editing the acad.lsp file. By default, this file is located in the directory: C:Program FilesAutodeskAutoCADsupport.

Here are the steps to configure this file:
  1. Open Notepad as an administrator and navigate to C:Program FilesAutodeskAutoCADsupport.
  2. Open ‘acad.lsp’ (for AutoCAD 2011 this file is called ‘acad2011.lsp’).
  3. In this LSP file, add the following lines:
  4. ;;; Automatically loads the ArcGIS for AutoCAD toolbar.
    (command "_ribbon")
    (command "netload" "C:\Program Files\ArcGIS for AutoCAD
  5. Save the changes and close Notepad.
  6. Opening AutoCAD should now also automatically load the ArcGIS for AutoCAD toolbar.

For steps to manually load the ArcGIS for AutoCAD toolbar, please refer to the web help topic Loading ArcGIS for AutoCAD.Randall W. and Scott. P - ArcGIS Server Support Analysts