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Tip and Trick Detail
Starting the session of AutoCAD with Template pre-loaded
*Applies to: AutoCAD R13, 14, 2000, 2000i, 2002, 2004 and 2005*

With most applications there are some hidden secrets that are rarely discovered.  Autodesk is very open with some of their once kept secrets in the AutoCAD documentation, but there are still some yet unknown to some of us out there.  This tip is about one of the mysterious things that can be done with the AutoCAD shortcut icon and a common term in Windows called command-line switch.  There are a lot of applications that use these switches besides AutoCAD to trigger certain behavior on start up.

The switch to create the default drawing when you first startup AutoCAD is /t <Filename>.  We all know how precious time is these days and every little bit helps.  To use the switch follow the directions below.

Step 1 -  Right-click the AutoCAD 2004 icon on the Desktop. Then choose Properties.

Step 2 -  In the AutoCAD R2004 Properties dialog box, select the Shortcut tab.

Step 3 -  On the Shortcut tab, edit the parameters for the switch in the Target box.

Step 4 -  When making changes to the Target box, make sure you don't accidentally remove any section of the application path or filename itself. You will also want to make sure there is a single space after the path and file name and before your switch. Also, make sure there is a space between each argument of your switch statements. You can use the relative path, (ie. "MyTemplate.dwt"), if AutoCAD has the path to the template within it's support paths.  If the template is not you would need to supply the absolute path, (ie. "C:\CADTemplates\ MyTemplate.dwt"), instead then.

Step 5 -  Click the OK button to apply changes and exit the dialog box.  Now run AutoCAD and you should see that the splash screen has gone away.