Express Tools for AutoCAD Architecture 2012

Inspired by a comment from Daniel in the same post for AutoCAD Arch 2011, I thought that I should walk through the complete steps as they seem to work more permanently than the simple tip that I initially suggested.

Once again, Autodesk forgot to load our favorite tools into AutoCAD Architecture 2012. So here’s how to get them back:

  • On your computer, go to the control panel and then go to the uninstall programs utility.
  • Select AutoCAD Architecture as though you are going to uninstall it. Then select the uninstall/change button as seen below.

You are not actually uninstalling the program. This is an instance where we are using the “change” option to the “uninstall/change” button.

You will see the screen (as seen below) after a few seconds.

  • Select the “Add or Remove Features” button (as seen below)

  • Now check the check-box next to “Express Tools” from the list of “features” to add.
  • Then click Next to load the cuix menu for Express Tools.

After this gets loaded and closes. Start AutoCAD Architecture like normal.

With AutoCAD Architecture open:

  • MENULOAD <enter> to load the cuix menu that we loaded earlier.

In the dialog box (as seen below):

  • Click the Browse button
  • Select “acetmain.cuix” (acetmain = Auto Cad Express Tools)
  • Click the “open” button
  • Select “Load”

Be patient as it loads and as always…..



About AutoCAD Tips

This blog serves as a knowledge base for myself (and anyone else) so that I can reference tips & tricks that I have learned and also refer others to it as well. I hope that this blog helps you learn at least one tip to make your drafting/design experience better.
This entry was posted in Customization, Express Tools, New in 2012, TIPS. Bookmark the permalink.

28 Responses to Express Tools for AutoCAD Architecture 2012

  1. vic says:

    You rock dude!

  2. Edgar says:

    Thanks A mill. got it working!!!!

  3. JA GU Arq says:


    • AutoCAD Tips says:

      Translated via Google Translate:

      You are very welcome friend

  4. Lisa Novatney says:

    Hi Greg- It almost worked. I had an error message under the last step to load the acetmain.cuix, the window says that i this customization group name already exists. Please help. Great thanks Lisa

    • AutoCAD Tips says:

      If you’re comfortable doing so, I would suggest going to the support folder and deleting the existing “acetmain.cuix” and then try the steps in the blog post. I am currently away from a computer that has AutoCAD so I cant test it for you. I wont have AutoCAD until Friday…

  5. AutoCAD Tips says:

    I just noticed the “Unload” option in the last step (from the posted picture). try unloading it and then re-loading it

  6. Matt7 says:

    Load Express Tools Menu as described, but icons return ‘unknown command’.
    Demandload value has been set at both 3 & 2, with little success.

    Any suggestions?

  7. Sarah says:

    Hello, I tried to add the feature but when I click next in the install panel it asks me to insert my Autocad disc. I don’t have a disc, I downloaded the program with an educational license at What can I do?

    Thank you!


  8. sddsd says:

    Wowww thanks brooo! good job!

  9. DDearborn says:


    AutoDesk has been intentionally leaving express tools out of the install process of various flavors of AutoCAD for oh I don’t know at least a decade or so…. What’s new? Looking at the latest releases, not much to justify the pretty stiff yearly rental fees. I guess thats why I don’t use any Autodesk products anymore. I just got tired of feeling violated every year.

  10. Luis ETSAM says:

    thank you for the information, it was really helpful! Regrettably, I have the same problem as Lisa Novatney. When I try to load the file “acetmain.cuix” autocad says that that customization group name already exists. If have tried everything mentioned, but it doesn’t work! Could you help me, please? Thanks in advanced, Luis.

    • AutoCAD Tips says:

      The message that you mentioned means that you already have the .cui file loaded. So to unload it, Open the CUI and navigate to this CUI (it should be under the Partially Cistomization Files area). Right click on the cui and then select “unload…” Then try to load the menu as shown in the post.

      • Luis ETSAM says:

        Hellow again,
        I have tried that and the program says: “Customization file successfully loaded. Customization group: Express”.Even though when I attempt to use an express command, such as “Superhatch” it says “Superhatch command unknown”. May it be because my autocad———–? (but everything works all right, less that) Thank you again, Luis ETSAM.

  11. Thanks a lot dude; you’re a genious!!

  12. iuri says:

    Hey, i didn’t get doing the second part, of the MENULOAD, but the express tools worked anyway. So cool. Thank’s and it’s really necessary to install the second part?

    • AutoCAD Tips says:

      That’s cool that it worked.
      I have noticed that sometimes the install or repair isn’t required but the CUI that is named “acetmain.cuix” does need to be loaded – so, if after running the repair (which will install the acetmain.cuix AutoCAd might automatically load it the next time you start it again or if not, the way you would load it is with the menuload command.

  13. David says:

    Luis, you need to actually install the tools as the first part of the above shows. If you simply load the CUI, you’re loading buttons that do not have commands that function attached to them.

  14. Natalia says:

    Thanks a lot ! Very clear and helpful !

  15. Erin says:

    I am working on AutoCAD 2012 for Mac. Do you have steps for installing the Express Tools for the Mac version?

    • AutoCAD Tips says:

      Unfortunately the Express tools are not available for AutoCAD for MAC. There are quite a few differences between AutoCAD for Windows and MAC. There are many cusizations that are not available and also a number of programming add-ons that MAC will not recognize. The only thing that I can suggest is to find either AutoLISP or Object ARX versions of specific tools that can be run on a MAC and then make your own ribbon, toolbar or tool palette to store these tools.
      It will easy to find AutoLISP programs to use but be aware that they must be pure AutoLISP and not Visual LISP.
      The below link shows the differences between AutoCAD for Windows and MAC.

  16. Sujata Arya says:

    Thanks a million–instructions were crystal clear…..and it worked!!

  17. Sheryl says:

    This does work but after closing Autodesk and reopening. Express tools is not loaded. Please help with this issue!

  18. Rick says:

    Perfect instructions, thanks.

  19. Pingback: Autocad Architecture 2012 Express Tools | New Architecture Fan

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