AutoCAD Performance & RegApps

Slow Drawings?

One of the powerful features of AutoCAD is the ability for applications to built on top of it. Unfortunately,  these applications can often leave remnants of themselves inside your drawings and cause performance issues. One such side effect is the buildup of Registered Applications or RegApps for short. These RegApps are left in the drawing’s Symbol table after entities that contained the XDATA (Extended Entity Data) they used are deleted.

While this can affect any user, this can be very common in the AEC industry as collaboration with external parties and trade partners means you’re typically referencing a lot of files from many sources. I’ve seen cases where a drawing with 50,000 RegApps can take 10 minutes to load and after clearing RegApps, takes merely seconds.

What most people don’t realize is that even though “RegApp” is an option with the PURGE command, using PURGE ALL will NOT remove them. You need to call PURGE separately, with only the REGAPP option.  Click the following ScreenCast recording link to see a demonstration of this…

Example: How to Purge RegApps

  The video shows PURGE ALL and doesn’t list that any RegApps were removed. Purge is then called again, and only the REGAPP option is used which then removes several RegApps. Try it yourself, the drawing used was in the Sample Civil Sheet Set drawings that shipped with AutoCAD 2018.

Problem Keeps Returning?

External References (XREFS) and/or blocks can make the problem difficult to eliminate. You may need to process all Xrefs and block libraries to verify these RegApps aren’t being introduced from those sources. If you’ve used WBLOCK to save a block to disk from a RegApp corrupt drawing, that DWG file also has the issue.

Luckily, Autodesk has a batch utility (free) that will process multiple file/folders, automatically look in sub-folders as well as automatically load any referenced drawings as well.

Click the following ScreenCast link to see the process in action…

Example: CleanupRegApp Utility

Depending on your version of AutoCAD, you can get this utility from the following links..

201832-Bit Program64-Bit ProgramKnowledge Base ArticleRead Me
201732-Bit Program64-Bit ProgramKnowledge Base ArticleRead Me
2015-201632-Bit Program64-Bit ProgramKnowledge Base ArticleRead Me
2013-201432-Bit Program64-Bit ProgramKnowledge Base ArticleRead Me
2010-201232-Bit Program64-Bit ProgramKnowledge Base ArticleRead Me
2008-200932-Bit Program64-Bit ProgramKnowledge Base ArticleRead Me
Schedule Cleanup After Hours

One last benefit if this utility is that it can be called from a DOS window with command like syntax. In a collaborative environment where Xrefs are being updated frequently by others, RegApps can keep getting reintroduced requiring this process to be run frequently. Because you can call this process completely automated from the a DOS prompt, this means you can create a batch file that’s scheduled to be run on a regular basis, even nightly on your drawing library. The following Screen Cast link shows how to call the utility from a DOS command prompt…

Example: DOS Command line

Fix Install/Uninstall issues easily

Install and Uninstall issues are common. They can be difficult and time consuming to resolve. Often, the fix is worse then the problem. Autodesk has a number of Knowledge Base articles on the topic with a variety of tips and suggestions…

Installations
Uninstall

One of the best options that I’ve been typically going to right from the start due to it’s high rate of success is Microsoft’s “Fit-It” utility. You can access it from the following link and clicking the Download button.

Microsoft Fix-It

This downloads and saves a file named MicrosoftProgram_Install_and_Uninstall.meta.diagcab to your computer. When you double click this file, the program starts and as you work your way through the wizard, you’ll be prompted for which type of problem you want assistance with.

My experience had been that most Install issues are related to programs already installed incorrectly. As such, I find myself using the Uninstall option not only to resolve uninstall problems but also install problems by removing the problem programs and reinstalling those to.

Regardless of the option you choose, you’ll then be presented with a list of programs the utility finds. Select the one you think best and let the Fix-It utility do the rest. It’ll scan the registry for invalid or corrupt keys, fix if possible and even uninstall the offending program.

New Blog – Welcome!

Just what we needed….another CAD / BIM site.

I enjoy helping others and sharing what I learn. In that regard, this site is a bit self serving. We all learn every day. It may be a small simple little gem we just happen upon or the result of a hard fought battle. My goal isn’t to spend hours documenting a robust training curriculum or cover any topic from A to Z. Rather, this site will be a journal of my professional activities and the things I learn in the course of a day in the life of a technology practitioner in the CAD / BIM world. It may be as simple as a link to a news article I find of interest or a quick post about a problem I’ve solved or solution I’ve run across. My only goal is that the information may help accelerate someone else’s learning or make their day more productive. Feel free to use or ignore as you see fit. Welcome and thanks for visiting. I hope you stick around for a while..