Options Editor is a tool for AutoLISP developers to include in their applications. Much like the Firefox about:config page, Options Editor displays a list of options in a dialog box so that an end user can configure the various options for an application without directly editing a config file (like INI or LSP).

Options Editor is a functioning, brief, and carefully commented example of using Dialog Control Language (DCL) and AutoLISP to control an AutoCAD Programmable Dialog Box that has one single-selection list_box and one edit_box

This first version takes an association list of string settings, gives end user a dialog to change them at will, and returns the resulting association list. User:Tom Haws, who started this application, hopes to build in storage using at the least the AutoLISP setcfg/getcfg functions. Once that is done, the application that uses this function will have to provide only an association list of default (fallback) settings, and Options Editor will take care of the rest.

Testing Instructions[]

  • Save the Source Code (both DCL and LSP) into a file called EditOptions.lsp.
  • Switch to AutoCAD
  • At the command line, make sure (findfile "EditOptions.lsp") can find it (so the DCL code in it will load when called).
  • Load EditOptions.lsp by dragging or by typing (load "EditOptions")
  • Run the sample command it by typing wiki-EditOptions.


  • Structure your vanilla application settings into a string association list like this: '(("CurbLayerName" . "C-PKNG-CURB")("CurbWidth" "0.5"))
  • In a command or menu macro called something like Options, call wiki-EditOptions like this: (setq *MyAppOptions* (wiki-EditOptions '(("CurbLayerName" . "C-PKNG-CURB")("CurbWidth" "0.5"))))
  • wiki-EditOptions will return the

To do[]

  • Add setcfg/getcfg
  • Add (sample) setvar and getvar functions
  • Add current variable name next to for edit_box
  • Add optional variable help string below edit_box
  • Get asthetic opinions on box design from a better designer

Source code[]

;;; AutoCAD Wiki AutoLISP code header.  
;;; Copy this code to a file on your computer. 
;;; Start highlighting OUTSIDE the code boxes and use the mouse or keyboard to
;;; highlight all the code.
;;; If you select too much, simply delete any extra from your destination file.
;;; In Windows you may want to start below the code and use [Shift]+[Ctrl]+[Home] 
;;; key combination to highlight all the way to the top of the article,
;;; then still holding the [Shift] key, use the arrow keys to shrink the top of
;;; the selection down to the beginning of the code.  Then copy and paste.
;;; This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify
;;; it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
;;; the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or
;;; (at your option) any later version.
;;; This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
;;; but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
;;; GNU General Public License for more details.
;;; The working version of this software is located at the AutoCAD Wiki.
;;; Please AutoCAD:Be_bold in adding clarifying comments and improvements at
;;; Revisions
;;; 2009-02-07 TGH Released application without setcfg/getcfg or setvar/getvar
---------------------- DCL section ---------------------------------------
WikiEditOptions : dialog {
  key = "Title";
  label = "";
  : boxed_column {
    label = "Select a variable to change";
    : list_box {
      key = "list_box1";
      height = 6.27;
      fixed_height = true;
      width = 32.92;
      tabs = "0 20 40";
      fixed_width = true;
    : edit_box {
      key = "edit_box1";
      edit_width = 26.42;
      fixed_width = true;
  boxed_row {
	  : button {
	  	allow_accept = false;
---------------------- LSP section ---------------------------------------
;;; Sample command to call the wiki-EditOptions function
   C:wiki-EditOptions ()
  ;;Set the initial Options in a global association list
    ((NOT *wiki-Options*)
     (SETQ *wiki-Options* (LIST (CONS "Color" "2") (CONS "Layer" "0")))
  ;;Call the dialog box function
  ;;and set the global options list to what it returns.
  (SETQ *wiki-Options* (wiki-EditOptions *wiki-Options*))
;;; Function to show a dialog box that has
;;; a list of variables and their values in a list box
;;; and an initially empty edit box.
;;; When user picks a variable in the list box,
;;; its value is displayed in the edit box.
;;; Then when the edit box is changed, the changed value is stored in the list box.
   wiki-EditOptions (OptionsList / DCL_ID DialogExitCode ListBox1Contents
  ;;Make a working copy of the OptionsList
  (SETQ ListBox1Contents OptionsList)
  ;; Load this file as a DCL file
  (SETQ DCL_ID (LOAD_DIALOG "EditOptions.lsp"))
  ;; Initialize the wiki-EditOptions dialog from the file.
  (NEW_DIALOG "WikiEditOptions" DCL_ID)
  ;; --------------------------------------------------------------------------
  ;; Set the dialog initial conditions
  ;;The title
  (SET_TILE "Title" "Options")
  ;;The list box
  ;;Populate the list
  ;;Start_list with the 3 option means we are doing a new list
  (START_LIST "list_box1" 3)
  ;;We add each member of ListBox1Contents to the list_box
  ;;Mapcar runs the lambda function on every member of ListBox1Contents
    ;;The lambda function puts an association group together into a string
    ;;and adds it to the list box list we are building.
  ;;End_list finishes building the list box list
  ;; --------------------------------------------------------------------------
  ;; Define the procedures to be executed for certain ACTIONS that user
  ;; may do while dialog is displayed
  ;; (We don't have a dialog exiting action here, because the default OK button does
  ;; that for us.  Otherwise we would need a (done_dialog) somewhere.)
  ;; The (action_tile) for list_box1 says that if something in list_box1 is selected,
  ;; pass its $value (a special variable used in (action_tile) that represents
  ;; the value of the tile, in the case of a single select list_box the string
  ;; representing the index value of the selected row, starting with 0) and the
  ;; ListBox1Contents list to the wiki-EditOptions-LIST1ACTION function
  ;; and set the SelectedIndexInt value to what that function returns.
    "(setq SelectedIndexInt (wiki-EditOptions-LIST1ACTION $value ListBox1Contents))"
  ;; The (action_tile) for edit_box1 says that if edit_box1 is reported as changed,
  ;; pass its $value (a special variable used in (action_tile)) and other arguments
  ;; to the wiki-EditOptions-EDIT1ACTION function so it can put the edit_box1 value into list_box1,
  ;; and set the ListBoxContents to what the function returns.
    "(setq ListBox1Contents (wiki-EditOptions-EDIT1ACTION $value ListBox1Contents SelectedIndexInt))"
  ;; --------------------------------------------------------------------------
  ;;Now finally, with all the above behavior defined,
  ;;display the dialog at last and act as instructed above
  ;;until user exits the dialog.
  ;;When user exits the dialog, the value provided by (done_dialog)
  ;;or the standard buttons is returned.
  ;;Save it so we know whether user accepted or canceled changes.
  (SETQ DialogExitCode (START_DIALOG))
  ;; Unload the DCL file (optional per AutoLISP Reference)
    ;;If user accepted changes, return the ListBox1Contents,
    ((= DialogExitCode 1) ListBox1Contents)
    ;;Else if user canceled, return original OptionsList
    ((= DialogExitCode 0) OptionsList)
;;; wiki-EditOptions-LIST1ACTION
;;; Defines what happens when something in LIST_BOX1 is selected.
;;; Returns the selected index of the list as an integer.
   wiki-EditOptions-LIST1ACTION ($VALUE ListBox1Contents / SELECTEDINDEXINT)
  ;; Turn the single-selection index $value string into an integer.
  ;; Put the value (right side) of the selected item into edit_box1
  ;; for user to edit
  ;; Return the selected index value for the edit_box1 action to use
  ;; if it needs to change list_box1
;;; wiki-EditOptions-EDIT1ACTION
;;; Defines what happens when the EDIT_BOX1 is selected.
;;; Puts the EDIT_BOX1 value with its var into the selected item of the LIST_BOX1 listbox.
;;; Returns the modified list
    ;;If LIST_BOX1 has anything selected,
     ;;Then put together a changed entry
       VAR         (CAR (NTH SELECTEDINDEXINT ListBox1Contents))
     ;;Change the list box tile
     ;;Start_list with the 1 option means we are changing an item
     ;;Return the modified and up-to-date list of list_box1 contents
       (CONS VAR $VALUE)
       (ASSOC VAR ListBox1Contents)
    ;;Else do nothing but return the original ListBox1Contents
 ;|«Visual LISP© Format Options»
(72 2 40 2 nil "end of " 60 2 2 0 1 nil nil nil T)
;*** DO NOT add text below the comment! ***|;