Load Express Tools for 2013

This post works the same for AutoCAD and AutoCAD Architecture.

Upon installing AutoCAD you may not have installed the Express Tools…

Here is how to load them:

  1. Click Start
  2. Click “Control Panel”

Click on “Programs and Features” Note: if you want to see this list as shown below set the icons to “small” (shown)

  1. Select your AutoCAD 2013 product from the list
  2. Click “Uninstall/Change” Note: we will not be uninstalling but rather using the “Change” feature…

Click “Add or Remove Features”

  1. Check the checkbox next to “Express Tools”
  2. Click “Update”

After the update finishes installing click “Finish”

Open AutoCAD and enter the command MENULOAD

  1. Select “acetmain.cuix” from the list Note: “acetmain” = “AutoCAD Express Tools Main
  2. Click Open

  1. Click “Load” and then verify that the Express Tools menu loaded by checking the list of loaded menus
  2. Click “Close”

Now enjoy your Express Tools…


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 AutoCAD 2013, Customization, Express Tools, Manage, New In 2013, TIPS. Bookmark the permalink.

75 Responses to Load Express Tools for 2013

  1. matt says:

    After the express tools have been installed you can also type EXPRESSTOOLS at the command line and it will load the menu for you.

  2. Jimi says:

    Hey thanks Matt. I did get my express tools. However, the txt2mtxt gets an error as an unknow command. I’ve googled this and not found much to help on this. Any suggestions?

    • lastroad says:

      I have the same problem with TXT2MTXT and a few other Express Tools; I’ve reloaded ’til I’m blue-in-the-face… Have you found a solution?
      Last Road

      • AutoCAD Tips says:

        One simple thing to check – If you right click anywhere on the ribbon and then select “Show Tabs” there is a list of tabs with check marks. Hopefully this could be the solution. Although, turning on/off the ribbon tab this way has no affect on typing the command in the at the command line…

        If you feel comfortable doing so, you can partially load the Express.cuix through the CUI.
        Expand the “Partial Customization Files” list and check to see if “EXPRESS” is showing.
        If not, click the folder button that has a little green plus sign on it.
        Then browse to your support folder (the AppData one) and then select the EXPRESS.cuix file

        I hope that helps.

        I should do a post about loading a fully-loaded and partially loaded CUI…


  3. Hey,
    Thanks alot for these detailed explanations.
    I followed these and Express Tools appeared but not all of its commands are activiated.
    Some like Arc Aligned is working and some like Command Alliases and Replace Block don’t work.

    • AutoCAD Tips says:

      This seems like a glitch with this release of AutoCAD. There seems to be people that have installed ACAD and everything is fine, while others are missing various tools…
      My suggestion would be to re-install or contact Autodesk.

      In the mean time, you can use lisp routines that perform these tasks.

      Apparently, After years and years of simply adding new features to AutoCAD and noticing how bloated AutoCAD has gotten, with 2013 they decided to start from the ground up and try to build AutoCAD from a fresh starting point. Even though I totally agree with this, I think that they rushed this release out too early. There’s seems to be a lot of issues that users are having that should have been dealt with during the beta testing…


      • lastroad says:

        I loaded the Express tools in a partial on 2012 and I see it but many tools don’t work hence the jump to 2013; FYI Update – I have reloaded and repaired 2013 several times with Trend Micro turned off, &c. since my first post and get different results each time. One time the textmask works & txt2mtxt does not, after a repair the txt2mtxt works but the textmask doesn’t; just the “Unknown Command” message. I’ve given up and decided to stay on 2011 for now…

      • AutoCAD Tips says:

        I’m sorry to hear about your frustrations. I can totally relate and understand reverting back to an earlier stable build of AutoCAD. At work, we use 2011 and upgrade every 3 years. And when when we do upgrade, we wait until a release has been out for a year before we roll it out so that most of the bugs have been worked out and service packs are available…

        I think that tends to be too much of a rush to push these releases out the door. I wonder if instead of a yearly release if it would be better to have a new release every other year.


      • Tom says:

        I have the same problem with txt2mtxt. Anyone have new insights? I also get “Unknown Command”

    • Todd says:

      Had similar issue with “Flatten” command not working. Solution was to add a path in Options>>Files>>Working Support File Search Path. My path was C:\program files\autodesk\autocad architecture 2012\express. Yours may vary depending on installation. It should be an existing folder you can Browse to, rather than typing the path.

  4. Keith Parker says:

    You are the man! you example works great!

  5. Brad says:

    Had the same issue with 2013, the burst command was not working even though EXPRESS was showing up in the Ribbon and MENULOAD. I found the following method and it worked. I don’t know if it would work for any other commands but here it is: Use the command APPLOAD and load the two files in the Express folder called “acettest.fas” and “acetutil.fas”. It started working after that.

  6. Arif says:

    Hi, I’m using AutoCAD Architecture 2013 . . .
    as a new user I am certainly curious about many things . . .
    I try to collapse-expand the menu bar, move it to the left side of screen . . .
    Then I forget till I lost my menu bar . . .
    here is the screen shoot (http://goo.gl/HDrRP)
    Please, can you help me to make my menu bar appear again?
    Sorry, if it’s not related to your post, about express tools . . .

    • AutoCAD Tips says:

      Try typing RIBBON into the command line.
      Also, if you want the old style menus to show above the ribbon, this is also available in the command line, simply type MENUBAR into the command line and then set it to 1.

  7. Kudłaty/Shaggy says:

    I was looking for loading express tools for 2 weeks, and I finaly find instuction which ended on updating in control panel. I made basic mistake: I was looking only in Polish language. Now i see that that is so easy! Thanks a lot!!!

  8. ralpski says:

    thank you for this detailed instruction, please continue to share some info..like this..thanks a lot!!!!

  9. anantharaman .murugaiyan says:

    thanks … am got more information about cad. .but am want latest simple short cut keys for commands ..pls

  10. Mat says:


    Can you migrate EXPRESSTOOLS from say AutoCAD 2012 to LT 2013?

  11. Adam says:

    I am trying to install Express tools in AutoCAD Architecture 2013, when I go to “Add/Remove Features” I only see language packs. No Express tools or any other addons like you have pictured above. Any ideas?

    • AutoCAD Tips says:

      My only thoughts as to why they are not available at all is that they were not included in the initial install. Unfortunately, I think that a complete, uninstall and re-installing the software from the original disk or thumb drive (or download) might be the best bet to make sure that the express tools get at least copied to the computer.

  12. Tisha says:

    Thanks Brad!!! Those specific files didnt make it work but I simply started going down the list loading them all and now it works!

  13. Bruce says:

    I have acad mep 2013 and had a very hard time getting any of it to work until the suggestion of going to appload and loading the .fas files. I don’t know what they are or wath they do, but that seemed to work… now I have access to Burst again…. sweet!

  14. Faqir Muhammad says:

    I have successfully loaded express tools as you described above and would like to say thanks.


  15. sewingwick says:

    I have the ribbon but many of the commands don’t work. Where are all the support files to run the expresstools?

    • AutoCAD Tips says:

      The below needs to be in the support file search path:
      (these examples are from my work machine that uses 2011…
      C:\progams files\autodesk\autocad 2011\express
      and of coarse the general support path:
      C:Users\username\appdata\roaming\autodesk\autocad 2011\r18.1\enu\support

  16. PhelpZ says:

    Try This.

  17. Jeanie says:

    Prior to finding this post I was able to get the ribbon to load with the EXPRESS. However, the commands never worked until I copied the “EXPRESS” directory from the installation disk to my hardrive. That was the only way I was able to get them going. SIMPLE but ridiculous.

  18. aditya sampat says:

    i have a licensed version of autocad lt 2012… plz guide me to install express tools in lt ’12 version.

    aditya sampat

  19. joanna says:

    How about express tools in CAD 2013 for mac? any solutions?

    • AutoCAD Tips says:

      Unfortunately, the express tools are not available for AutoCAD for MAC.
      The best bet for some of the tools found in the Express Tool is finding an AutoLISP version of a needed Express Tool from a help forum. AutoCAD for Mac can use AutoLISP but not Visual LISP.

  20. William says:

    Mil gracias. Funcionó perfecto. Un saludo.

  21. Charles says:

    For everyone who has express tools loaded but still can’t use txt2mtxt among other things, this video shows how to fix it.

  22. jools182 says:

    this thread has helped a lot, many thanks
    autodesk seem to make everything as difficult as possible

  23. Kamran javaid says:

    i want to about modal and lay out tabs command in autocad 2009
    switch between mpdal and layout via command

  24. Alessia says:

    Grazie! Fantastico funziona tutto!!! Bravissimo!

  25. Imran Mugad says:

    This Article is very helpful and the express tools are very useful. By this i article i have loaded express tools successfully

  26. Daniel says:

    I’m working in ADT 2014
    The design tools has under “Design” the commands: Wall-Roof-Door-Windows, etc. but
    I can’t see the styles of every one of them, like it happened in ADT 2012
    Where are them located, and how to load them in the Design Tools in an specific palette for every one ?


  27. Daniel says:

    In ADT 2014 the Autodesk Seek has under Electrical services only “Fluorescent, Luminaires”
    Under Site : Only “Humans and Trees”
    Where are the other tools as: Electrical Outlets, Panels, Incandescent, ands where are the Parking tools, Cars, etc.


  28. Cad user says:

    I am using AutoCAD 2013 architecture and Express tool is loaded.
    ATTDIA, FILEDIA AND CMDDIA all have value of 1.
    Overkill command would not load the dialog box. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.

    • AutoCAD Tips says:

      I’m sorry for the delay in response.
      Overkill is no longer an express tool. It is now part of AutoCAD’s base commands (since ACAD 2012).
      Here is a to to where you can find it in the Home tab of the ribbon. https://autocadtips.wordpress.com/2011/03/24/overkill-in-2012/

      Since you know that the various dialog box variables are set to I am wondering if during the installation, maybe your anti-virus program didn’t let you install these dialogs. I know that sounds odd, but anti-virus programs and AutoCAD don’t play well together and this has been a known issue. Another thing is to make sure that you are added as an Administrator to the computer.

      I’m curious how this is/was solved. Keep me updated please

      • alan v. says:


        I have solved the mystery but not sure of the reason why.
        I basically use “_overkill”, yes with an underscore in front as legacy version.
        I went through the entire command process to remove duplicates, then come back with the “overkill” command, then the dialog box magically re-appears.
        I can’t explain why but it worked out fine. It has worked ever since.
        Thanks for the tips however.


      • AutoCAD Tips says:

        I am happy that you found a solution. Thanks for the update
        Here are some prefixes to commands that you may come across when seeing LISP, Scripts, Macros etc from the internet and also when you check out the macro that defines a command in the CUI editor.

        The LINE command for example in the CUI editor shows the macro ^C^C_LINE – The ^C^C portion of the command acts as a cancel function (like hitting the escape key twice before starting the command)
        The the line command is called with the underscore before it.
        The underscore forces the command to use the English version of the command.

        Some other similar prefixes before a command are a period and a dash (or hyphen)
        The period forces the command to use the out-of-the-box (OOTB) defined version of the command. This is in case someone has redefined a command.
        The dash forces the command to use the command line version of the command (without a dialog box)

        These can all be strung together before a command if needed.

        An example could also be used with the OVERKILL command: Try using ._-OVERKILL in the commandline
        This will use the OOTB, english version of the command without a dialog box.

        Or you can try the period and the underscore to use the OOTB and english version of the command: ._OVERKILL

        I hope that helps

  29. Farrukh says:

    Its not working for me. There is a cross behind “Express Tools” when I check it to update. After clicking update button it asks about the location of “Acad.msi” but still shows an error after selecting the respective file.

  30. Melia says:

    Thanks for the instructions. I followed them easily and installed express tools, however when I try to use them it still says unknown command. Not sure where to go from here. I am using AutoCAD MEP 2014 – English. Thanks for any suggestions you might have.

  31. Lorico says:

    Thank you! Solve my problem !!

  32. Susanne Hansen says:

    Thank you for your instruction. They where a great help – also for other versions of AutoCAD.

  33. AAMIR MEHMOOD says:

    is it possible for me to add some command as my desired?

  34. ShameerMV says:

    Thanks a lot for the detailed explanation

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