Civil designer Sam Lucido provides us with a way to open other programs, such as Microsoft Word, from inside AutoCAD.
"Have you ever wanted to start Microsoft Word or Excel from AutoCAD? A simple and effective way to do this is by using the Alias Editor.
"Type AliasEdit at the Command line to bring up the Alias Editor. Click on the Shell Commands tab in the dialog box, then click Add. In the Edit Shell Command dialog box, type Word for Alias. For the command, type Start WinWord. Leave the flags at 1 and leave the prompt blank (you don't need one). Click OK and Apply. Next, type Word at the Command line, and AutoCAD will launch Microsoft Word. (Hint: You can do the same for Excel, PowerPoint, and Access.)"
Notes from Cadalyst Tip Patrol: AutoCAD provides so many ways to customize it that it can be difficult to know what you can do. Alias commands are the keyboard shortcuts that we use every day — they save time. (One example is to type in L instead of Line on the Command line.) These aliases are also customizable using the AliasEdit command in this tip. It can also set up shell commands, which allow you to run programs outside of AutoCAD. In this case it allows you to start other programs, such as Microsoft Word. You can also create an alias to run Excel or other programs that you may use in conjunction with AutoCAD.