Spatial Manager™ for AutoCAD - FAQs: How to Start?

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A powerful AutoCAD plug-in but, how to Start it?

If you come here from the shortcut that starts the application, go directly to the paragraph below that starts: "Finally, when you install Spatial Manager™ for AutoCAD, the setup application..."

Have you downloaded the setup program? If not, you need to download it from the Spatial Manager™ for AutoCAD Download link

First of all you need to install Spatial Manager™ for AutoCAD by executing the setup program. The name of the file to run will be different for each release of the application. It will appear as follows: SpatialManagerforAutoCAD-X.exe, where "X" is the release number of the application

32-bit and 64-bit versions: there are 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Spatial Manager™ for AutoCAD but you do not need to worry about what platform is selected because the setup program automatically chooses the same version as the AutoCAD installed

Next, you will see the Spatial Manager™ for AutoCAD icon placed on the Windows Desktop, which will let you return to this Wiki page anytime you want to


Finally, when you install Spatial Manager™ for AutoCAD, the setup application also adds the Interface components to AutoCAD and a Sample data set including some spatial files to your system. Watch this short video and follow the next steps to learn how to start using the application and to check that everything works fine. Note: some components in the video (interface, windows look, etc.) may be slightly different to those that will appear on your computer

  • Start AutoCAD and create a new drawing
  • Select the new "Spatial Manager" tab which you will find in the AutoCAD Ribbon

Spatial Manager™ for AutoCAD Ribbon

  • Click on the "Show Palette" button to open the SPATIALMANAGER palette, which includes the main functions of Spatial Manager™ for AutoCAD
    • If you cannot or you do not want to access to the Ribbon, key in "SPM" in the Command line to open the palette
    • Problems with the AutoCAD Ribbon? See the Notes below
  • Expand the "Sample data" Shortcut to access the sample Shapefiles (SHP)
  • Right-click over any Shapefile (SHP) to import the spatial information as AutoCAD Objects into the current drawing or into a new drawing
  • Use the default parameters in all Wizard steps
  • Check the imported AutoCAD Objects
  • Import more Shapefiles (SHP) into the same drawing or into new drawings while choosing different import options
  • Try to import other kind of spatial files such as Google Earth KML, GPS/GPX, SQLite or XYZ point files
    • Note about Coordinate Reference Systems (CRS): if you want to merge into the same drawing spatial data which has been saved using differents CRSs, you need to Transform the Coordinates of the incoming data so that they are consistent with each other. This can help you learn how the Coordinate Transformation works in the application. In the sample data set, the Shapefiles (SHP) and the SQLite and XYZ files were saved using the CRS "NAD27 / California zone I" (SRID=26741), and the KML and GPX files were saved using the CRS "WGS 84" (SRID=4326) (mandatory for these formats)

Notes about the AutoCAD Ribbon issues:

  • If you have no AutoCAD Ribbon, you can open it using the "_RIBBON" command in AutoCAD
  • Cannot see the "Spatial Manager" tab in the Ribbon? Try to run AutoCAD applying a clean profile
  • Other AutoCAD Ribbon issues

So what now?

Now you can try to import your own spatial data and create your own Shortcuts and User Data Sources. We recommend you take a look to these Wiki pages to learn more about:

And some useful links to other pages of Spatial Manager™ for AutoCAD:

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