How to start up in AutoCAD ‘Vanilla’ profile with Vertical products.

Do you wish you could start up using the AutoCAD Vanilla profile for your vertical products?

If you use Autodesk Inventor, you probably got a seat of Autocad along with it. In fact – you probably got AutoCAD mechanical as well, But do you make use of it?

AutoCAD Mechanical is a ‘vertical’ product of AutoCAD. This means that the team at AutoCAD have written lots of useful extra tools aimed specifically at the Engineering drafter.

AutoCAD Mechanical has more or less been superseded by Autodesk Inventor. AutoCAD Mechanical is included with Autodesk Inventor largely to aid companies who are progressing from program to the other.

So if you are not making use of the Extras in AutoCAD Mechanical, how do you turn them off?

(Other vertical products include AutoCAD Architectural, AutoCAD MEP and AutoCAD Civil 3D. The process is the same for all these products)

A short cut to AutoCAD - Not AutoCAD Mechanical!The first thing to do is to make sure that you have a short cut to AutoCAD on your desktop – not AutoCAD Mechanical!



If you don’t have a short cut to AutoCAD – go to:

Windows > Start > All programs > Autodesk > Autocad Mechanical > AutoCAD

Hover over ‘AutoCAD’ and right click. Choose ‘Create Shortcut’ to add a new AutoCAD startup shortcut.

Don’t delete the shortcut to AutoCAD Mechanical yet – I want to show you what’s going on…

Create a short cut to Autocad

So what’s the difference?

Hover over your AutoCAD startup shortcut and right click (trust me, you will find this interesting!)

Open AutoCAD short cut Properties

Under ‘Target’ you will see a link to your AutoCAD.exe file.

AutoCAD Short cut properties

If you do the same thing with your AutoCAD Mechanical Shortcut, you will see an extra bit of code – ‘/p <<ACADMPP>>

‘What’s that doing’ I hear you mumble.

AutoCAD Mechanical start up switch

The start up switch ‘/p’ is telling Autocad to start up using a particular Profile. The profile is a configuration file that loads in all those extra tools that make AutoCAD – AutoCAD Mechanical.

Now start up AutoCAD (Using your new shortcut!). When AutoCAD is fully loaded, type ‘OPTIONS’ at the command line and hit the ‘ENTER’ key to bring up the ‘Options’ dialog.

Now pick the ‘Profiles’ tab.

See anything you recognise? That’s right, ‘<<ACADMPP>>’ This is the same profile that is loaded with the Autocad Mechanical start up switch.

Autocad Mechanical Profiles

If the <<ACADMPP>> Profile is current – pick the ‘<<VANILLA>>’ Profile and chose ‘Set Current’ to ‘unload’ all the additional AutoCAD Mechanical stuff (you may need to close AutoCAD down and re-start it to completely reset AutoCAD).

Autocad Profiles

What is AutoCAD Vanilla profile? – ‘Vanilla’ is an Americanism for ‘Normal, average, or plain’ – as in Vanilla Ice cream. AutoCAD Mechanical is a chocolate fudge Sunday (possibly).

And that’s it – You can delete that pesky AutoCAD Mechanical shortcut now!

Remember – To use AutoCAD Vanilla profile by default – chose the correct profile, and start up Autocad using the correct shortcut.

Ignore ‘User’ and ‘CAD Administrator’ in the screen captures above – these profiles are part of our in house configuration. You may see other user profiles in your Options > Profiles dialog depending on your company standards. If so – check with your CAD Administrator to see which profile you should be using…

If you enjoyed this article you might also enjoy this tip on locking down AutoCAD’s user interface.

4 Responses to “How to start up in AutoCAD ‘Vanilla’ profile with Vertical products.

  • Lee M.
    5 years ago

    I have tried to alter a copy of the ACADE Icon on my desktop to open ACAD “vanilla.” It still starts ACADE. I removed the extra code that designates the ACADE profile but it did no good. I use both versions and would like 2 convenient icons. What might I be missing or am I thinking too simplistic?

  • Hi Ron,

    Where are you studying?

    I think that what you need to do is print your drawings to a picture file such as JPG or PNG, which you can then inert into your word document.

    Alternatively, use the ‘print screen’ button to copy and paste a screen shot directly into word, or use the ‘ALT+Print Screen’ to copy just the active window.

    If you need to do this a lot SnagIt is well worth the investment.



  • Very helpful thanks.
    I am 65 years old and struggling to complete an AutoCAD HNC (necessary to continue employment!)as asenior student.Having only recently use AutoCAd, help like this is utterly invaluable.
    I also need to find out how to copy my drg onto a word doc. for my report. Can you help with this also?