I am sure everyone had this experience – Adding several numbers to get length summery of multiple polylines, or polyline and multiple lines, etc. Well, this is a really annoying task but the worst part is that it consumes lots of our precious time.
There is good news! AutoCAD community if full of very smart people who have invented several ways to solve this little problem. Now we are going to look at three of them.
Using LISP routine
There are lots of Lisp routines that can be useful on numerous occasions! There are also several routines that will help us this specific task.
The first lisp that we are going to look at can be found here. It’s a great lisp routine that gives us Total Area, Parameter and Length in a pop-up window every time we chose objects. It can be turned on and off.
Let’s see how to use it:
- Firstly we have to Download the file from the link above and extract files somewhere on our Disk.
Note: If you find .lisp application but it is just code pasted in forum, post or article. You can easily copy the whole code and paste it in a new .txt file. Then you just have to rename file’s extension from .txt to .lsp
- Secondly, we have to open our drawing in AutoCAD and then in the command line type in APPLOAD.
- A window will pop up called Load/Unload Applications. Here we will Load our new .lisp application. We just have to navigate to it and click Load. AutoCAD will give us a message saying that our .lisp is successfully loaded.
- Now we can close the window and type in the lisp’s command. In this particular situation, there are two commands TODD to turn application ON and TODD-R to turn it OFF.
- After typing in TODD we just have to select our objects and we will have their geometric properties.
Note: If you are going to use the .lisp app and you don’t know how what is the command that starts it. You can always open the lisp file with Notepad and look at the code. Usually, there is a hint from the creator, as in this case: “\nTotalADDition v.1.0 activated! -run \”TADD\” to start or \”TADD-r\” to end. But if there isn’t you can check the line where it is written (defun c:tadd (/ , usually word that is located after “defun c:” is the command for starting the lisp.
This is similar Lisp that does a similar job. However, the difference is that it doesn’t have to be turned on and off and this lisp gives us only total length. So how to use it?
- First steps are the same, we have to download it from here. Then we load it into AutoCAD.
- After loading the lisp we type in command line TOTLEN, AutoCAD will ask us to select objects.
- Now we select our objects and hit enter. A window will pop up containing data for the total length of our objects. It will even display it in several ways – Arch, Engr, Deci-arch, and Deci-Engr. This is very useful when we have to work with both imperial and metric systems.
Note: In lisp files, there are the coordinates of the creators. If you like the applications and you want to contribute to developing more great apps for AutoCAD you can get in contact with those brilliant guys.
Using GeoProps Application
This is the preferred method by me. GeoProps is a custom-made an application similar to lisps, but it has .arx extension this means it is using C++, C#, and VB.NET program code.
What this application does is to directly add new fields in Properties menu called Geometrical Properties. It shows Total Area, Length and Volume of selected objects. This is how to use it:
- We have to download the GeoProps.
- After downloading it we have to extract the version needed for our AutoCAD product.
- After we have extracted the files we go into the drawing and type in ARX, AutoCAD will ask us to enter an option. We enter Load.
- A window will pop-up here we have to navigate to our file and then hit Open.
- That’s all, now we just have to select our objects and look at their Properties.
Note: If you like the program and you want to contact with the creator you can open Readme file, it is written in Russian, however at the bottom, you can easily find his coordinates.
As always we have to mention DataExtraction. It is a really powerful tool, and provide us with lots of information. However using it for this task will be a bit clumsy, nevertheless, I will try to explain the method without going too deep. It can be used if you don’t want to use third-party apps for some reason.
- First, we have to type in command line DATAEXTRACTION
- A window will pop up, now we have to select Create new data extraction and hit next. AutoCAD will ask us where to save it, so we choose a directory for saving.
- In page 2 we have to click on Select objects in current drawing and then on a small rectangle at it’s right. After clicking on it AutoCAD will ask us to select objects.
- After selecting our objects we hit next and go to page 3. Here we can see the objects we have selected.
- Clicking on Next button will get us to page 4 here we have to deselect most of the properties. Under Category filter (on right) we select only Geometry, and then under Properties, we select only Length and Area.
- Now we can hit next again and go to page 5, here we see the properties of our objects. If we have forgotten something we can go back and select it.
- On page 6 we select the output options. We select Output data to an external file and choose the directory of the output file.
- Now we click on next to go to page 8 (if we have selected only output data to external file page 7 will be skipped) here we hit finish.
- We open our Excel file and there we can easily sum up the length and area of our objects.