Wednesday, September 12, 2007

AutoCAD hyperlink command basics

This little tutorial will cover most basics around hyperlinks followed by the more advanced topics.

With the HYPERLINK command you can attach hyperlinks to most any object in AutoCAD. Useful applications of this is to hyperlink a section or detail marker to the actual location of the section or detail that can even be in another drawing. Another use is to add a description or tooltip to a column line of a grid system so you can see that you now have column A even though the column bubble is not visible.

The link can be to a file or website, a named view or layout tab, even an e-mail address.

The command is available with the common shortcut CTRL+K as in most other software's.
Using menus with Insert>Hyperlink. image 
Or from the Properties Palette. image


There are two checkboxes worth looking at:

  • Use relative path for hyperlink
  • Convert DWG hyperlinks to DWF

If you select to link to a drawing you can click on Target and specify a named view or layout tab in that drawing.

If you select an object with an existing hyperlink a button comes up showing "Remove Link"

 image  defined in View Manager image

When an object has a hyperlink you can open it using CTRL+click to follow link.


Or you can right click on it and you will find Hyperlink at the bottom like this and open, copy, add to Favorites or edit the hyperlink. (This does not work for field hyperlinks in text or mtext then you need to edit the text, right click and edit the field)


You can even have a block or xref with multiple objects with different hyperlinks and it works. If the blocks contain any relative hyperlinks, the relative hyperlinks adopt the relative base path of the current drawing when you insert them.

Or in the Properties Palette. image But this one does not show nested hyperlinks within blocks.

A neat tip is that you can use the hyperlink to just show information about the object.

image  and it shows up as image

In the above case use the hyperlink just as a tooltip consider removing the option "Convert DWG hyperlinks to DWF" unless you really want to see these tooltips in the DWF file as well. Just know that if you try to follow the link you will get an error like this in Windows Internet Explorer "Cannot find 'file:///C:/Documents/TANK1A205'. Make sure the path or Internet address is correct."

Another great usage is that if you import the dwg file in NavisWorks you can select to have the hyperlink showing as a tooltip as well. Great for showing information like tags, position numbers, room numbers, etc.

With the the quite new Field functionality you can embed hyperlinks in text or mtext objects.

Right-click in the text editor. Click Insert Field. Or run the FIELD command. In the Field dialog box, in Field Category, select Linked. In Field Names, select Hyperlink, and click Hyperlink.

What about if you don't see the hyperlinks?

In Options>User Preferences you must select to Display hyperlink cursor, tooltip, and shortcut menu.


The PICKFIRST system variable must be set to 1 to open files associated with hyperlinks.

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