Installing MYCADKEYS

FREE Download:

Email for a free educational/trial copy of MYCADKEYS BETA program software.

Respondents helping to improve/debug the program will receive a single user license in perpetuity.

MYCADKEYS is easily installed:

MYCADKEYS does not alter your computer’s registry and all changes are easily reversible.

MYCADKEYS is compatible with most CAD programs that provide LISP program support. Apart for some minor differences relating to file support locations and names of start-up Lisp files such as ACAD.LSP, ICAD.LSP, ON_START.LSP etc installation is otherwise the same regardless of which CAD program you prefer. Read the documentation that comes with the program carefully to find out what to call and where to place your particular lisp loading start-up file(s).

User Profile:

If you work on a shared computer it might be desirable to set up a personal user profile so that your preferences do not affect other users of the machine. Before you install MYCADKEYS start your program and save the current User Profile (Tools/Options/Profiles) with a suitable name to ensure that you can return to it at any time.


Unzip the file “MYCADKEYS.ZIP” to the root C:\ of your computer’s hard-drive or an external drive. Do not change the directory structure of MYCADKEYS. You should then have subfolders: MCKLSP, MYLISP, ACADBAK1 and ACADBACK2 .   MCKLSP contains all the files that run MYCADKEYS.  MYLISP contains two sample files mylisp.lsp and myvars.lsp.  You may edit these to autoload your own preferred  lisp functions and system variables but doing so may affect parts of MYCADKEYS.  Keep your own Lisp files in MYLISP folder to avoid loss when MYCADKEYS is updated.

ACADBAK1 and ACADBAK2 are used if you activate MYCADKEYS automatic extra security backup.

MYCADKEYS sets a path string “mckpthstr” in MYCADKEYS\MCKLSP\#mycadkeys.lsp that points MYCADKEYS to the drive where you installed it. Thus MYCADKEYS can be run from and external drive. (a little slower of course if you have a slow drive.) Edit #mycadkeys.lsp to cahnage the path string to show the drive where it is loaded.

For most programs we are told that if the file ACAD/ICAD/ON_START.LSP is in the main folder where the EXE file is stored it will be loaded automatically on start up. However depending on which program you have this may not exist or is present but not editable due to file permissions settings applied by the software designer. For some programs it might be necessary to manually start MYCADKEYS by entering (load “mck”) at the Command prompt. This is true for those programs that do not provide an option to load on every new file.

For some programs a support files path needs to be set in OPTIONS to point to C:/MYCADKEYS/MCKLSP/

For programs that do not offer a file path option start the program and enter (load “C:/mycadkeys/mcklsp/#mycadkeys”) at the Command: prompt. New drawings in the same session should need you to only type “MCK <enter>” at the Command: prompt.

Keyboard Shortcuts and Function Key Customization:

MYCADKEYS provides optional customization for Function Keys; for example "F7" that controls the length of Layer names and Keyboard Shortcuts such as Ctrl+E for "END+<enter>" for use in Generic commands.  Some programs may not allow such customization as it might interfere with their own customization. If you do plan to customize your Keyboard Shortcuts check to see whether you can save the original file first to aid quick recovery should you change your mind.  Most  programs  provide a MENULOAD dialogue that allows addition of MYCADKEYS prepared ACCELERATORS subset to the main customization file provided by the program. This may however overwrite some function key settings predefined by the program. For some programs the customization of shortcut keys and function keys  must be done manually for each key combination.

The Ctrl+chr Keyboard Shortcuts provided by MYCADKEYS are not essential if you avoid use of generic commands and use mostly MYCADKEYS commands.   MYCADKEYS ACCELERATORS can be left unloaded if you prefer your program's Function Key settings. If you chose not to redefine the Function Keys there are alternative MYCADKEYS ALIASES starting with “$” such as “$9<enter>” instead of Function Key 9 for “CLEANSCREEN”.

Starting MYCADKEYS automatically in Autocad for every drawing:

For Autocad go to TOOLS>>Options>>System and confirm that “Load acad lisp with every drawing.” is checked. For other programs you may need to provide a function similar to Autocad's ACADLSPASDOC.lsp such as ON_START_DOC.lsp for Bricscad.  Read the documentation with the program.


When successfully loaded MYCADKEYS will provide a welcome message but just to satisfy yourself it is working press L <enter> <enter>. If you see the Layer Dialogue Box then that's it. Congratulations. 

If you have problems email

Uninstall MYCADKEYS:

To disable MYCADKEYS edit ACAD.LSP etc. to type “;” (semicolon) in front of the line “(load …..#mycadkeys”) and or Autocad edit ACAD.LSP to remove the instruction to load #mycadkeys.lsp and delete ACCELERATORS from the MENU list. Manually change them if your program requires. Restore your saved profile and you will be back to normal.

You may delete the folder MYCADKEYS from your hard drive.

Automatic optimization of program environment:

MYCADKEYS automatically sets up some AutoCAD system variables that enable MYCADKEYS to function in a preferred manner and give you a better working environment. (author's opinion).  Refer to #ENV.LSP in MYCADKEYS\MCKLSP.LSP for the list.

It is strongly recommended that you set your screen background to black (for easy color recognition and maximum clarity) but that is your choice.

Save the settings created as a personal User Profile under a suitable name such as “MYCADKEYS” or your own name.

Any special lisp functions of your own may be moved to C:\MYCADKEYS\Mylisp.


NOTE: When you load MYCADKEYS for the first time you may need to confirm each new or edited lisp file is OK to load.