the only refererence book on customizing and programming Bricscad V8 - V9 -V10 - V11 - V12 - V13 - V14 - V15

by ralph grabowski 


General CADD Pro
Generic CADD 6 

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By mail

Table of Contents
Bricscad V8

About the Author
Ralph Grabowski

Sample Pages from V8 edition

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 Chapter 1

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 Chapter 2

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Chapter 3

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Chapter 4

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 Chapter 5

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 Chapter 6

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 Chapter 7

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 Chapter 8

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Chapter 9



Customizing BricsCAD is the reference book for customizing and programming Bricscad. We have separate editions for each of BricsCAD V8 through to V15.

The ebook contians the following useful information, much of which is not available through Bricscad's online documentation.

  • Introduction to customizing.
  • Changing the Bricscad environment.
  • Using the Settings dialog box.
  • Using the Customize dialog box.
  • Aliases and keyboard shortcuts.
  • Toolbar modification and macros.
  • Menu customization and macros.
  • Custom linetypes.
  • Custom hatch patterns.
  • Custom shapes/fonts.
  • Creating complex linetypes.
  • Writing script files.
  • Introduction to LISP programming.
  • LISP function summary.
  • Understanding DXF.
  • Dabbling in Visual Basic for Applications -- code and forms.
  • Creating dialog boxes with DCL.
  • Complete DCL reference.
  • Writing DIESEL code.

The book features

  • Comments on AutoCAD compatibility.
  • Dozens and dozens of tips.
  • Illustrations in full color.
  • Windows Vista/7 screen grabs.
  • Formatted for printing on standard 8.5x11 paper.
  • Margins designed for three-hole punching. 

The V12 thru V14 editions of the book add Linux to the Widows coverage; the V15 edition adds Mac OS X. 

Nw to the V12 and V13 editions of the book:

  • New chapter on Fields
  • Customizing mouse buttons
  • Customizing Tool Palettes (V13 only)
  • Updated text and figures
  • Now 426 pages long
  • Covers Linux and Windows

New to the V14 edition of the book:

  • Customizing the Quad cursor
  • Customizing workspaces
  • Now 448 pages

New to the V15 edition of the book:

  • Customizing UI elements, like tabs, LookFrom widget, command bar
  • Customizing ribbon tabs and panels
  • Much more on workspace customization
  • Using 3D mice, touch screens, and touch pads
  • Now 520 pages and 21 chapters
  • Complete rewrite of the text

ordering the book

To order the Customizing BricsCAD e-book:

  • Sent to you by email in Acrobat PDF format: $40.00 (5.8MB-10MB download) .
  • Choose the editon suited to your version of Bricscad: V8, V9, V10, V11, V12, V13, V14, or V15. (Same price applies to each edition.)
  • Includes complimentary subscription to the upFront.eZine e-newsletter.

You may make payment in US$, Euro, Yen, British pounds, CDN$, and 100+ other currencies (converted to US$).

Click the button below to purchase Customizing Bricscad V8:


Click the button below to purchase Customizing Bricscad V9:

Click the button below to purchase Customizing Bricscad V10:

Click the button below to purchase Customizing Bricscad V11:

Click the button below to purchase Customizing Bricscad V12:

Click the button below to purchase Customizing Bricscad V13:

Click the button below to purchase Customizing Bricscad V14:

Click the button below to purchase Customizing Bricscad V15:


Check, Money Order, or Purchase Order

  • US funds drawn on a bank with its address in the USA.
  • Canadian funds drawn on a bank in Canada (incl. GST).
  • Euro funds drawn on a bank in ECC.
  • British funds drawn on a bank in Great Britain.

By Mail
Make cheque, money order, or purchase order payable to "upFront.eZine Publishing, Ltd." Include your email address, and specify which eidtion you prefer: V8, V9 , V10 , V11V12 , V13, V14, or V15

      "Customizing BricsCAD"
      upFront.eZine Publishing, Ltd.
      34486 Donlyn Avenue
      Abbotsford BC
      V2S 4W7     Canada


I welcome your feedback for correcting and improving the text. Send your email to  

table of contents for V15 edition

1. Introduction to Customizing BricsCAD V14
The Many Ways to Customizing, Which Customization?, Versions of BricsCAD, 60 Tips for BricsCAD Users, For Further Reference, Tutorial eBooks, BricsCAD API References, DWG, DXF, and DWF References

2. Adjusting Settings in BricsCAD
Touring the Settings Dialog Box, Settings Dialog Box: Toolbar, Categorized/Alphabetic Sorting, Export Settings, Drawing/Dimensions/Program Options, Finding Variables, Accessing and Changing Values, Variables Specific to Linux, Entering Variables at the Command Prompt

3. Customizing the BricsCAD Environment
Quick Summary of Support File Locations, Starting BricsCAD, Command Line Options, Command Line Switches, b Switch - Script Files, l Switch - No Logo, s Switch - Support Paths, p Switch - User Profiles, pl Switch - Batch Plots, t Switch - Template Files, Regserver and Unregserver Switches, Changing the Colors of the User Interface, Background Color, Cursor Color and Size, UI Parameters Controlled by OSes, Snap Marker Options, Hyperlink Cursor Options, Dynamic Dimension Options, Support File Paths, Files Settings, Files Section, Projects Section, Printer Support Section, Templates Section, Tool Palettes Section, Dictionaries Section, Log Files Section, File Dialogs Section, Reusing User Preferences, Launching the User Profile Manager, Using the Profile Manager
4. Introduction to the Customize Dialog Box
Touring the Customize Dialog Box,  Menu Bar, CUI Customization File, ABOUT Cui Files, Tabs, Shortcut Menus, Apply and OK Buttons, The Nuclear Option
5. Customizing Toolbars and Button Icons
Quick Summary of Toolbar Parameters, Customizing the Look of Toolbars, Rearranging Toolbars, Dragging and Moving Toolbars, Turning Toolbars On and Off, Making New Toolbars, and Modifying Them, Creating New Toolbars, Alternative Method, Adding Controls, Flyouts, and Separators, Adding Controls (Droplists), Customizing Controls,  Adding Flyouts, Adding Separators, Removing Buttons, and Renaming and Deleting Toolbars, Removing Buttons and Toolbars, Renaming Toolbars and Buttons, Quick Summary of Toolbar Button Parameters, Customizing Buttons, Modifying Button Parameters, Editing the Title Name and the Help String, Changing the Command Macro, Replacing Button Images
6. Customizing the Menus
Quick Summary of Menu Parameters, Modifying the Menu Bar, Understanding Menu Title Conventions, Adding Menu Items, Deleting Menu Items, Adding New Tools, Context Menus, Sharing Menus, Importing AutoCAD Menus
7. Writing Macros and Diesel Code
Quick Summary of Metacharacters in Macros, Quick Summary of Diesel Functions, Simple Macros, Transparent Commands in Macros, Dashed Commands, Options & User Input, Options, Pausing for User Input, Combining Options and Pauses, Other Control Keys, Menu-Specific Metacharacters, Diesel Coding, About Diesel, How to Toggle Check marks, Toggling Grayouts, Reporting Values of System Variables,  Applying Sysvars Everywhere, How to Add Units, How to Solve Check Marks that Conflict with Icons, How to Deal with Two Sysvars, Reporting Through Diesel, Formatting Units, Formatting Diesel Output, Formatting Numbers, Fix, Index, Nth, Rtos,  Formatting Angles, Formatting Text, Upper, StrnLen, Variables in Diesel, Complete Catalog of Diesel Functions, Math Functions, Logic Functions, Conversion Function, String Functions, System Functions, Diesel Programming Tips, Debugging Diesel, ModeMacro: Displaying Text on the Status Bar
8. Creating Keystroke Shortcuts, Aliases, and Shell Commands
Quick Summary of Shortcut Keystrokes, Defining Shortcut Keys, Editing & Deleting Keyboard Shortcuts, Assigning Multiple Commands, Command Aliases, BricsCAD Aliases: Sorted by Alias Name, BricsCAD Aliases: Sorted by Command Name, Creating New Aliases, Editing & Deleting Aliases, Alias Rules, Hand Coding Aliases, Shell Commands, Editing Shell Commands
9. Adapting Mouse, Double-click, and Tablet Buttons
Quick Summary of Default Buttons, Defining Actions for Mouse Buttons, Attaching Shortcut Menus to Buttons, Writing Macros for Buttons, Defining Actions for Tablet Buttons
New in V14! 10. Customizing the Quad Cursor & Workspaces
Quick Summary of Quad Cursor Settings, About The Quad Cursor, Customizing the Quad Cursor, Customization Through the Quad Tab, Customizing Workspaces
11. Designing Tool Palettes
Navigating Tools Palettes, Quick Summary of View Options, Icon Customization, Palette Customization, Customizing Tools, Customizing Tools Properties, Adding Programs and Macros, Organizing Tools,  Importing Tool Palettes from AutoCAD, 12. Designing Simple and Complex Linetypes, Quick Summary of Linetype Definitions, About Simple and Complex Linetypes, Commands Affecting Linetypes, Loading Linetypes, Scaling Linetypes, System Variables Affecting Linetypes, The Special Case of Paper Space, The Special Case of Polylines, Customizing Linetypes, At the Command Prompt, Testing the New Linetype, Creating Linetypes with Text Editors, Linetype Format (.lin), Line 1: Header, Line 2: Data, Complex (2D) Linetypes, Embedding Text in Linetypes, Text, Text Style, Text Scale, Text Rotation, Absolute, X and Y Offset
13. Patterning Hatches
Quick Summary of Pattern Definitions, Where Do Hatch Patterns Come From?, How Hatch Patterns Work, System Variables that Control Hatches, Creating Custom Hatch Patterns, -Hatch Command, Hatch Command, Understanding the .pat Format, Adding Samples to the Hatch Palette, Tips on Creating Pattern Codes
14. Writing Scripts
What are Scripts?, Drawbacks to Scripts, Strictly Command-Line Oriented, Recording with RecScript, Writing Scripts by Hand, Script Commands and Modifiers
15. Decoding Shapes and Fonts
Quick Summary of Shape Definitions, Fonts, Complex Linetypes, and Shapes, SHX Fonts, About Fonts in BricsCAD, SHX in Complex Linetypes, SHX in Shapes, SHX in GD&T, Shape Compatibility with AutoCAD, About Shape Files, The Shape File Format, Vector Codes, Hexadecimal Conversion
16. Coding Field Text
Placing Field Text, Field Command, Fields in MText, Fields in Attributes, Changing Field Text, Double-clicking Fields in MText, Editing Fields in Attribute Definitions, Customizing the Way Fields Update, UpdateField, FieldEval, FieldDisplay, Compatibility with AutoCAD Field Codes, Another Field Text Example, Updating the Field Text, Understanding Field Codes, Concise Field Code Reference, Groups, Metawords, Formatting, Format Codes, Date & Time Format Codes, Quick Summary of Field Date and Time Codes, Objects and Property Names, Objects
17. Programming with LISP
The History of LISP in BricsCAD, Compatibility between LISP and AutoLISP, Additional LISP Functions, Different LISP Functions, Missing AutoLISP Functions, The LISP Programming Language, Simple LISP: Adding Two Numbers, LISP in Commands, Remembering the Result: setq, LISP Function Overview, Math Functions, Geometric Functions, Distance Between Two Points, The Angle from 0 Degrees, The Intersection of Two Lines, Entity Snaps, Conditional Functions, Other Conditionals, String and Conversion Functions, Joining Strings of Text, Converting Between Text and Numbers, Other Conversion Functions, External Command Functions, Command Function Limitation, Accessing System Variables, GetXXX Functions, Selection Set Functions, Entity Manipulation Functions, Advanced LISP Functions, Writing a Simple LISP Program, Why Write a Program?, Adding to the Simple LISP Program, Conquering Feature Bloat, Wishlist Item #1: Naming the Program, Defining the Function - defun, Naming the Function - C:, Local and Global Variables - /, Saving Data to Files, Tips in Using LISP

18. Designing Dialog Boxes with DCL
A Quick History of DCL, What Dialog Boxes Are Made Of, How DCL Operates, Your First DCL File, DCL Programming Structure, Start Dialog Box Definition, Quick Summary of DCL Metacharacters, Dialog Box Title, OK Button, The Default Tile, Testing DCL Code, LISP Code to Load and Run Dialog Boxes, Displaying Data from System Variables, Adding the Complimentary LISP Code, Clustering Text, Supplying the Variable Text, Leaving Room for Variable Text, Fixing the Button Width, Centering the Button, Testing the Dialog Box, Defining the Command, Examples of DCL Tiles, Buttons, Making Buttons Work, Check Boxes, Radio Buttons, Clusters, Columns and Rows, Boxed Row, Boxed Row with Label, Special Tiles for Radio Buttons, Debugging DCL, Dcl_Settings, DCL Error Messages, Semantic error(s) is DCL file, Dialog has neither an OK nor a CANCEL button, Error in dialog file “filename.dcl”, line n, Dialog too large to fit on screen, Additional Resources
19. Dabbling in VBA
Quick Summary of VBA Program Components, Quick Summary of VBA Commands in BricsCAD, Introduction to VBA, Accessing VBA Programs, Embedded or External, Sending Commands, Writing and Running VBA Routines, Displaying Messages, Constructing Dialog Boxes, BricsCAD V14 Automation Object Model, Object-Oriented Programming, Common Object Model, Object Browser, Line Entity, Properties, Methods, Events, Dialog Box with Code, Designing the Dialog Box, Adding the Code, Quick Summary of VBA Data Types, Quick Summary of VBA Predefined Constants, LastInput.Dvb, Quick Summary of VBA String Manipulation, Quick Summary of VBA Data Type Return Values, Loading and Running LastInput.Dvb, Quick Summary of VBA Variable Declarations, Quick Summary of VBA Shortcut References
A. Concise Summary of System Variables and Settings 
B. Concise DCL Reference
C. Concise LISP Reference


about the author

Ralph Grabowski has authored and co-authored 140+ books and ebooks on CAD management, ArchiCAD, AutoCAD, Generic CADD, IntelliCAD, MicroStation, TurboCAD, VDraft, Visio, HTML, and VRML.

Mr Grabowski received his B.A.Sc ('80) degree in civil engineering from the University of British Columbia. He currently works and lives in the beautiful Central Fraser Valley region of British Columbia, Canada.

You can visit his Web site at

opyright 2015 by upFront.eZine Publishing, Ltd. All rights reserved worldwide.