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Isaac Harper
Isaac Harper
AEC Industry Expert at CADsoft Consulting

AutoCAD 2016 System Variable Monitor… So you don’t have to!

January 29th, 2016 by Isaac Harper

Have you ever had someone else use your computer, or accidentally click on something that changed the way your AutoCAD operates or behaves? Or you just simply ran a Lisp routine and some of your settings were changed and not set back by the routine? If you have, you know how pain staking and time consuming it is searching around trying to get everything set correct again.

Well the good news is that AutoCAD 2016 now has System Variable Monitor that will not only alert you when a system variable(s) that you have specified changes, but you can reset them all back to your desired settings in a click of a button!

The new SYSVARMONITOR command enables you to identify system variables that don’t conform to your standards. The “System Variable Monitor” dialog box is preset with the most common inadvertently modified variables.


But it allows you to add or remove variables you want to monitor by clicking the Edit List… button.

Once the “Edit System Variable List” dialog displayed you will see 2 columns that are easy to understand.

“Available system variables” on the left column; includes all of the (hundreds or thousands) of AutoCAD system variables you can choose to monitor.  (I didn’t count then… I don’t have that much spare time!)

“Monitored system variables” on the right column; list all of the system variables that you wish to monitor.


To add system variables to the list simply click to highlight the variable name in the “Available” list, then click the directional arrow button [ >> ] between the two columns. To remove them from the list, highlight the variables in the “Monitored” list and click the [ << ] button. Note: You can highlight multiple variables using the shift and Ctrl windows functionality to help speed up the process.

Once you have your list set, Click the OK button to return to the “System Variable Monitor” dialog box and verify they are set to the desired value in the “Preferred” column. If you need to change the value, simply click on the value and type in the new value.

Also, inside the “System Variable Monitor” dialog box are controls to enable notifications when a system variable changes (SYSMON system variable). If this variable is off the user will not be notified of any changes to the monitored system variables. But, if the “Notify when these system variables change” check box is checked, and a variable is changed, the user will get an alert icon on the status bar and the command line. In addition, there is also a “Enable balloon notification” option check box that will also display an alert above the status bar when checked.

So once this is all set up; how does it work? For example: let’s say we change CMDECHO system variable at the command prompt or by some other means…


If both notifications were checked, once a variable that is in the monitored list changes you would see this in the lower left corner of your status bar alerting you of the change.


If you click the View Change link in the balloon (or type in the command SYSVARMONITOR) it opens the System Variable Monitor dialog box and you can view the changes via the Current Vs the Preferred.


Now to set everything back to the Preferred settings, simply click the [ Reset All ] button. A green checkmark will display to indicate all of the variables that were change back to the desired setting.


In conclusion, AutoCAD 2016 has added an easy way to monitor and manage all of your AutoCAD system variables for you. Because like I said before…

“I don’t have that much spare time to do this manually!” and I’m willing to bet, you don’t either.

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