AutoCAD® software provides a flexible development platform for specialized design and drafting applications. Its open architecture enables you to customize AutoCAD to suit your unique purposes. Examples of customizations include Autodesk’s industry-specific design software and thousands of add-on applications from members of the Autodesk® Developer Network.
AutoCAD provides the ObjectARX® programming environment with the object-oriented C++ programming interfaces, the managed AutoCAD .NET API, the complete Visual LISP® development environment and the ActiveX® interface.
My First AutoCAD Plug-in:
Video: Overview of My First AutoCAD Plug-in Guide
"My First Plug-in" is a self-paced tutorial guide for a smooth introduction into the programming world. This is a "one-stop shop" learning path for users who know Autodesk products but are absolutely new to programming and are thinking about taking the plunge. In this guide, you will be working with the AutoCAD .NET Application Programming Interface (API) and the Visual Basic .NET programming language to create a ‘plug-in’ – a module that loads into AutoCAD to extend its functionality. Once you have finished this tutorial, you will understand the basics of .NET programming and how they are applied to AutoCAD.
Click here to start your very first plug-in
Autodesk Forge: All the information and resources needed to use Autodesk cloud-based software and components in your own web and mobile applications can be found on the Autodesk Forge Developer Portal. Get easy access to Forge APIs and documentation, tutorials, GitHub samples, support and more.
The AutoCAD developer documentation explains the components that make up the available APIs for AutoCAD and AutoCAD-based products.
- DXF Reference
The DXF™ Reference provides information on the DXF file format, and the group codes that can be used by a custom application to create and modify objects.
The components of the AutoLISP documentation are part of the product Help.
The ObjectARX documentation is installed as part of the ObjectARX SDK.
The ObjectARX Reference Guide can also be integrated with Microsoft Visual Studio.
- Managed .NET
The components of the Managed .NET documentation are installed as part of the ObjectARX SDK and the product Help. The .NET Developer's Guide is located in the AutoCAD Help system, while the .NET Reference Guide is part of the ObjectARX SDK.
.NET Developer's Guide:
A CHM version of the Managed .NET Developer’s Guide can be downloaded and copied into the Docs
folder of the ObjectARX SDK.
The Managed .NET Reference Guide can also be integrated with Microsoft Visual Studio.
Member and parameter descriptions from the Managed .NET Reference Guide can be displayed within the
Microsoft Visual Studio environment as part of the Intellisense feature set. This allows for some
basic information about a member or parameter to be displayed in a tooltip while working in a code
editor window or to be accessed from the Object Browser without the need to open the Help Viewer.
Download the appropriate file below and extract the XML files into the Inc folder of the ObjectARX SDK.
- ActiveX API
The ActiveX documentation is installed with the program and is organized into two guides:
The ActiveX API documentation can also be found locally at:
Updates to the ActiveX API documentation:
- %ProgramFiles%\Common Files\Autodesk Shared\acad_aag.chm
- %ProgramFiles%\Common Files\Autodesk Shared\acadauto.chm
- Sheet Set Object API
The Sheet Set object allows you to create and manipulate the information stored in a sheet set (DST) file. The documentation related to this API is part of the product Help.
- Connectivity Automation Object API
The Connectivity Automation object allows you to connect, link to, and query databases in the same way that the dbConnect Manager does. The documentation related to this API is part of the product Help.
- Transmittal Object API
The Transmittal object allows you to determine the dependencies a drawing file has and automate tasks related to the ETRANSMIT and ARCHIVE commands. The documentation related to this API is part of the ObjectARX Developer's Guide in the ObjectARX SDK in for AutoCAD 2015 and earlier.
Starting with AutoCAD 2016, the documentation is part of the product help.
- CAD Standards Plug-in Object API
The CAD Standards Plug-in object allows you to determine create a custom plug-in that can be used with the Batch Standards Checker or STANDARDS command. The documentation related to this API is part of the ObjectARX Developer's Guide in the ObjectARX SDK in for AutoCAD 2015 and earlier. Starting with AutoCAD 2016, the documentation is part of the product help.
The ObjectARX Wizards for AutoCAD 2017 for Visual Studio 2015
The ObjectARX Wizards for AutoCAD 2016 for Visual Studio 2012 and 2013
The ObjectARX Wizards for AutoCAD 2015 for Visual Studio 2012
The ObjectARX Wizards for AutoCAD 2014 for Visual Studio 2012
The ObjectARX Wizards for AutoCAD 2013 for Visual Studio 2010
The ObjectARX Wizards for AutoCAD 2012 now support Visual Studio 2010 in addition to Visual Studio 2008
AutoCAD .NET Wizards
AutoCAD .NET Wizards for AutoCAD 2017 for Visual Studio 2015
AutoCAD .NET Wizards for AutoCAD 2015-2016 for Visual Studio 2012
AutoCAD .NET Wizards for AutoCAD 2014 for Visual Studio 2012
AutoCAD .NET Wizards for AutoCAD 2013 for Visual Studio 2010
AutoCAD .NET Wizards for AutoCAD 2010-2012