Two Classic AutoCAD Commands

June 4, 2024 Jeff Morris

Missing File Browser Dialog Box 

It is not a secret that AutoCAD and its vertical applications, like Map 3D, Plant 3D, Civil 3D, Architecture, etc., tend to crash now and then. It’s just a fact of the CAD life! 

Upon relaunching the application, when prompted to pick a file for any reason, sometimes the dialog box for browsing is missing and you are prompted to type in the entire file name and perhaps even the path of the file.  


This is rather annoying. One solution is to type the tilde character, which is ~ (looks like an eyebrow), and it will open the browsing dialog box.  

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This will get you by. But to restore the setting so the dialog box opens every time, the Filedia system variable needs to be set. 

Type in FILEDIA at the command line and note that it is probably set to 0. Set it to 1. This sets the variable for your entire system so it should not need to be set for other drawings (unless the application crashes again). 

Often subroutines within the applications temporarily disable this variable, and upon finishing the subroutine, reset it. But if the system crashes during such a subroutine, the variable cannot be reset, therefore it is up to you to reset it manually.  

Undoing Erase 

AutoCAD can undo single commands or multiple commands. The Undo command is quite versatile, but that is not the focus of this topic. Rather, I want to discuss a command that is not in any drop-down menu, ribbon, or panel; it is only accessible by typing it at the command line. It also has no options or prompts. It is perhaps the simplest command in the AutoCAD arsenal. 

The Undo command undoes commands sequentially. But let’s say you erased something inadvertently and didn’t realize it until later. With the Undo option, you would have to undo all the commands until you get back to the errant erasure.  

Enter the Oops command. The Oops command restores the last item(s) erased. It is that simple. Whatever was in the selection set when the Erase command was issued (or the <Delete> key was pressed) gets restored, be it a single line or a collection of multiple objects. 

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There are no options with this command. You cannot repeat the command to restore the previous erasures. It is as simple as it gets, but sometimes it is very valuable. 


AutoCAD is a complicated program it has many nuances and idiosyncrasies. Understanding how to use commands such as Oops and Filedia is valuable for becoming more comfortable with the software 

About the Author

Jeff Morris

Learning Content Developer<br><br>Jeff specializes in infrastructure tools such as Civil 3D and Infraworks, delivering training classes and contributing to the learning guides for these Autodesk software applications. Jeff has worked for several Autodesk resellers and has had roles of both CAD and BIM Manager with Civil and Architectural firms.

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