Frequent tipster Leonid Nemirovsky sends us a tip about dropping files directly into AutoCAD from Windows Explorer to load or start them immediately.
"If you have Windows Explorer and AutoCAD open at the same time, you can drag files from Explorer and drop them into AutoCAD; LISP, VLISP, and ARX files will be automatically loaded and ready to invoke. You can also drag and drop script files; AutoCAD will automatically run them, saving you a few command strokes. You can also drag and drop files with MNU/MNS/MNC extensions, but your existing menu settings will completely and immediately overridden! However, it is useful if for some reason your menu settings are lost. Regardless, it will instantly load your menu, including all pull-downs (which otherwise you have to do manually.)
"Drag any icon shortcut from your desktop to a Windows application (like Word, Excel, Access, or PDF Reader) into an opened AutoCAD file. A little icon will appear; double-click on it to start that application. It can be saved with the drawing and initiated later on. Drag and drop an Excel file, which is a shortcut to a project drawing list, and save it with the index drawing for the project.
"It gets more interesting if you drag ZIP files into your drawing. In this case, if you double-click on the little icon in the drawing, it will open the ZIP file and you can drag drawings out of it straight into AutoCAD — this will open the drawing. It gets even more interesting if you drag and drop a drawing file from Explorer into AutoCAD. It will become a block and ask for insertion point, scale, and angle, just like inserting a regular block. If the drawing has paperspace layouts in it, they will become just that, just like when you right-click on a layout tab and export it to a sheet (Export Layout as Sheet)."
Notes from Cadalyst Tip Patrol: AutoCAD is a Windows-based application, so normal Windows functions work in it. You will have similar experiences with other Windows applications. This is a great method for inserting LISP routines and blocks. The Design Center in AutoCAD works a lot like this; it allows you to drag and drop drawing elements from one file to another.