Can you draw without the command line?

One of our main dilemmas when designing Project Butterfly was should Butterfly include a command line or not.

Creating a Web-based CAD editor was not only an opportunity for new work flows paradigms but an opportunity to change or improve the editor interface as well. User interfaces evolved significantly over the past years. Even though users use today a ribbon interface, contextual menus and even touch screens, the command line hasn’t changed over the last two decades. If you remember, the command line was very popular back in the days of DOS, but nowadays it is very rare for Windows and Mac users to see a command line.

Many users wrote to us that they would like to see an AutoCAD command line in Butterfly. We would like to hear your take – is it impossible to work efficiently without a command line or is it just a matter of time until a newer interface comes along?

– Iris Shoor
Sr. Product Manager



  1. W. Kirk Crawford
    Posted February 17, 2010 at 5:48 AM | Permalink

    There are times when the Command Line, in my option, is faster and more accurate.

    The Command Line it the best place to test routines.

  2. Glenn Pope
    Posted February 17, 2010 at 6:08 AM | Permalink

    I don’t use the command line much anymore. Its usually because some information isn’t shown in the HUD. Have all needed information was shown in the HUD and a good command history popup or dropdown is added then I wouldn’t need the command line.

    Now if your allowing any kind of scripting, then you do need something very similar to the command line. Something that can be easily toggled on/off.

  3. Posted February 17, 2010 at 7:26 AM | Permalink

    I personally just use the command line.
    It would be very useful a popup with options and keyboard input access to tools like SketchUp, which just pressing a button to access the tools without needing to press enter, or space for everything.
    A greeting

  4. Josep
    Posted February 17, 2010 at 9:26 AM | Permalink

    The 90% of time, i’m only use the comand line. I never user toolbars or ribbons. Is much more faster use a custom pgp 😉

  5. Posted February 18, 2010 at 2:48 AM | Permalink

    for me the command line is realy important because i get realy many information about the things i do or the programm whants from me to do
    and the command line gives me reflektion about what is happend after doing something
    and if some one does not need the command line he can switch it off 😉

  6. Murray Clack
    Posted February 18, 2010 at 8:57 AM | Permalink

    I “grew up” using the command line. Since i have to look down at my keyboard anyway (how many AutoCAD users are also touch typists anyway?), my eyes have less distance to travel when looking from the keyboard to the command line and back. I HATE Dynamic Input because in addition to more “eye travel”, the cursor is never in the same spot twice at any given time. I lose time (and it’s tiring) to have to look up (way up) to find the Dynamic Input.

    Plus, I like being able to see the history of what steps I took in case I have to refer back to anything (Thank you F2 key)

    Posted February 19, 2010 at 12:02 AM | Permalink

    I have tried to us the dynamic text, where possible, but i find it to time consuming, and i went back to command bar, i never ever used the toolbars or ribbons as that just working far to slow. i now try and switch off dynamic input where ever i can in all programs, it is far to distracting.

    I have to agree with murray,
    especially the fact that the mouse is never in the same spot (also “HATE dynamiv input ” as murray put it stands for me)

    cad programs are there to help you produce face more accurate work and the command bar and history does that u can check you input fast

    still great work guys .

  8. crAsh
    Posted February 26, 2010 at 5:16 AM | Permalink

    I use the command line extensively, it is a much faster means of input than clicking buttons, and it maintains an easy to follow history of what I have been doing. Command line entry is what makes AutoCAD powerful, and working without it is like walking thru mud.

  9. Jorge
    Posted March 2, 2010 at 6:57 AM | Permalink

    Rarely I use the icons. I am lost without the command line. It is faster. And I need my lisp routines!

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  2. By Can you work without a command line? on February 26, 2010 at 12:34 AM

    […] the Project Butterfly blog, a recent poll gave these […]

  3. By Command line poll replaced on May 17, 2010 at 4:35 PM

    […] I have been running a poll about the command line. I ran it using wording copied directly from a Project Butterfly poll, to get some kind of comparison between the poll respondents on this blog and those on the Project […]

  4. […] checked my Twitter timeline, I see an interesting tweet from @projbutterfly. He asked his followers whether Autodesk should add command line to Project Butterfly or not. Because this project is for AutoCAD users, then it is more likely many AutoCAD users will ask for […]

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