Monday, 19 January 2015

AutoCAD Tip: Increase XLIST dialog box width

I'm a huge fan of XREFS, and probably my two favourite XREF-related commands are NCOPY and XLIST: NCOPY makes a copy of any entity in an XREF and places it in the host drawing, and XLIST returns the properties of an object in an XREF.

One issue with XLIST is sometimes the layer name is truncated and not displayed fully in the dialog box. Can we modify the dialog box to see the full layer name?

In the image to the left, we see a LINE object selected, but we cannot see the full layer name, since the combined length of the drawing and layer name exceeds 31 characters, which is the default XLIST dialog box width.   How do we fix this problem?

The solution is to edit the XLIST.DCL file (which stores the dialog box settings), and increase the column width.  This may sound daunting, but I assure you, it's easy, and safe.  (if you are worried, feel free to make a backup of xlist.dcl before editing)

First thing is to locate the XLIST.DCL file, it will be in an EXPRESS folder, most likely in a path like so:  

C:\Program Files\Autodesk\Autodesk AutoCAD 2015\Express\xlist.dcl 

Open the file in Notepad, or text editor, and  scroll down till you see Column section, and look below that for, key = "slayer"; width = 31.  This is the value that controls the dialog box width assigned for the layer name.  To increase the width, input a larger number, I set mine at 64.

After changing the values, and saving the DCL file, XLIST will now show a larger, longer space for the layer name!


You will need to do this for each of the three sections in the DCL file:  
xlistblock : dialog , xlisttext : dialog, and  xlist : dialog, since a different dialog will appear for text or blocks.

That's all there is to it!

Has XLIST given you headaches? Share your experience in the comments area!