AutoCAD 2012 – ClassicArray Beta

AutoCAD 2012 – ClassicArray Beta

People have already started to notice that AutoCAD 2012 has killed the dialog box interface for the Array command, and not everybody is happy about it. So I guess it’s time to launch ClassicArray™ Beta.

ClassicArray is an add-on for AutoCAD 2012 for Windows that allows the creation of arrays using a dialog box interface similar to that provided in AutoCAD from 2000 to 2011, but enhanced to include new AutoCAD 2012 functionality. I will create another post later have created a Help page that describes ClassicArray more fully, but for now here are the commands ClassicArray adds to AutoCAD:

ClassicArray (short form CA)
ClassicArrayRect (short form CAR)
ClassicArrayPolar (short form CAP)
ClassicArraypAth (short form CAA)

In addition, there are the same names with N appended, which default to creating non-associative arrays. For example, ClassicArraypAthN (short form CAAN) will create a non-associative path array. However, it is easy to create associative or non-associative arrays of any type, whatever command you use to start it. Toolbar and Ribbon buttons are provided. Help is currently non-functional now complete. This pre-release software is time-bombed, meaning it will no longer work after the date shown below.

Here it is to download: (Shipping product – 850 KB – will not create arrays after 15 day evaluation period (Release Candidate 2 – 850 KB – will not create arrays after 15 day evaluation period) (Release Candidate – 787 KB – will not work after 28 April 2011) (49 KB – will not work after 21 April 2011) (48 KB – will not work after 14 April 2011)

It’s a small zip file; unzip it and read the readme to see what to do with it run the setup routine of your choice, depending on whether you want to install it for just the current user or for all users. Installation is a matter of simply copying a folder to a specific location; uninstallation is simply a matter of removing that folder. The mechanism I used for this is AutoCAD 2012’s new Plug-In feature. This feature is A Good Thing that deserves to be described more fully, which I intend to do when I get the time.

This is pre-release software. It generally works fine, but it will contain bugs. Please let me know about them, either in a comment here or using my email form. Over time, I expect to update this post with later versions, so I would appreciate it if you let me know the version number along with any other relevant information, such as the AutoCAD variant and OS you have installed it on. If you have any suggestions, of even if it works without problems, please feel free to let me know that, too!


  1. Warwick


    No problem, email me away. I am very happy to help you as I use the ‘classic’ array command a hundred times a day in my job. I have found another ‘bug’ (maybe) which I’ll explain in an email once I receive one from you.

    Thanks for this software, Autodesk should have left it alone !!!

  2. Art

    I’m not really impressed with the new Array command at all. It just seems buggy in how it accepts input. I love the concept, but in a perfect world, we would have the old Array dialog box with an checkbox for Associative Array.

    Progress… :/

  3. Robert Williams

    It is amazing the new version of AutoCAD needs to be fixed by 3rd parties. And what a nice fix it is with included ribbon and everything. I just hope non beta version will cost us money cause if it does, Autodesk should pay for it.

  4. Robert Willliams

    I think it is nice but $12 just to make it easier to do what is already in the program is a bit steep. If Autodesk charged that much then auto cad might cost hundreds of thousands compared to thousands.

    1. R. Paul Waddington

      Wow! Robert if Steve’s software saved 10 minutes at my hourly rate it would have paid for itself. Arrays are a very common requirement in the work I see making it very easy to see how CalssicArray could well be a profitable addition to a user.
      Leaving Steve’s cost aside, for the moment, what value would you place on ClassicArrays capability Robert?
      Alternatively would you prefer, as an example, it be a “CLOUD” based application and if so what price would you be prepared to pay each time your felt it was going to be of use?

        1. R. Paul Waddington

          Maybe not so much to your defense as a desire to know what value Robert would put on ClassicArray; after all he made the effort to comment and that probably cost him (or his boss) – in time – > than a dollar + 😉
          Cost is always a relative thing and a persons approach to it is of a particular interest to me. Takes no skill or knowledge to say something is “expensive or cheap etc”. To place a value on an item requires knowledge and, the value to one could be quite different to another. Knowing how people assign “value” can be an important input to how an item is priced.
          For example; the fellows who service my cars used to charge what I considered a “reasonable fee”. Problem with these guys though is they are always so busy they have had less time with their family than they would like. Leisure – as an economist will tell has a value.
          I know a number of their regular customers so after a little research I made the suggestion they up their pricing. The aim was to encourage customers to think about the “true worth” of these fellows and or look elsewhere; a process of shedding a few of the “troublesome vehicles”. Loose some custom to gain some time; else get paid better for their effort etc.

  5. Robert Williams

    It is a good product and I like it and may actually purchase it but your comparison of a mechanic is just wrong. It is one car to one costumer vs one time built to many customers. Why does the first time product of anything cost so much and over time price drops. First DVD player my friend bought cost her more the 1k and now you can get them for $30 and that is still a tangible product. I never implied it was a rip off and not being a programmer I have no idea how much time and effort went in but if the price where cut in half and then sales more then doubled, would that not increase the profit margin at the same time making it more accessible. Another thought is if Autodesk would stop the yearly releases then one might be more prone to purchase it knowing they will get a few good years out of it. Being in the subscription program I got less then eleven month till it might be obsolete. I know this is an Autodesk (stop releasing every year with more bugs then features) issue also.

  6. R. Paul Waddington

    Robert, I was not comparing purchasing ClassicArray with a mechanic. My example was to show how I approach valueing a service or product.
    You stated $12.00 was “a bit steep”. My question to you was to know what value you would place on Steve’s effort – ClassicArray.
    My other point was that knowing what you thought ClassicArray was worth to you and why would be of interest to me and of value to Steve – and others – in similar boats.

  7. Robert, I appreciate your honest feedback about the pricing. Quite a lot of effort went into creating it, not least in working around the various bugs in the new Array command. Making it a professional, documented product that integrates in the new Autodesk-approved way, that’s easy to install and uninstall, setting up a secure online purchase facility and so on, all took a fairly big chunk out of my life.

    I don’t think I would significantly increase sales by dropping the price. I could probably drop it to $1 and not see sales numbers double. When the price of an on-line purchase approaches zero, it tends to be the “I can’t be bothered going through the purchase process” factor or the “I want this for nothing” factor that dissuades people, rather than the price itself. Nothing wrong with that, I go through on-line buying decisions myself and have to make my own choices about these things.

  8. There are a thousand cliche’ to describe the ridiculousness of doing away with the AutoCAD Array Dialog Box. Trying to use it from the command prompt is totally backwards and ridiculously difficult to figure out. What in the hell were they thinking. I would like to get Lynn Allen’s comments on this. I’ll be even Lynn can’t put a positive spin on this dumb move. I rarely used the array command but when I did it was nice to have. Mostly polar arrays and I can kind of deal with the new horrible method. By the way after just 4 days of using 2012, I have had multiple lockups and for the first time in many years I even got the “Blue Screen of Death.” So far 2012 is looking pretty bad to me. I hope I am wrong. 3D Jack.

  9. Robert Williams

    Thank you Steve. You pointed out something I have not thought of and that is the processing procedure as you stated not to mention how to make something work on top of something that is buggy in addition to spending your time explaining it to us end users or rather myself. Look for my name on the client list as I am sold.

  10. Cadimetya

    I was so pissed when I tried to array in 2012 and couldn’t get the Array dialog box. I found your blog and started doing some research and while I find the new array tool confusing and clunky,(specifically with entering distance, why is that the last thing you are prompted for?)it does have some redeeming features, namely the ability to stretch, and the ability to change intervals after the array is complete. I guess that is the Autodesk way, take away something pretty and replace it with something ugly but more give it more functions.

  11. syed Adi

    sir in my cui commadn list i dont have path array command nor any rectangular and assossiative command what would i do to fix it,,,
    my version is 2011..
    and also the array edit tab is also not apearing…
    i wud b very thankfull if somone help me..
    m realy worried about this//

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