inside Civil 3D?

Hi folks – as I sit here in the airport just waiting to get home for Christmas, I have time to waste, so I’m going to let you in on a little trick that I recently learned.    This one is so simple that I feel dumb for not already knowing it, and if you already know it, just breeze over this post.  

Have you ever felt so lazy that you didn’t want to go outside Civil 3D to access your favorite website (we all know which website that I’m talking about, right?)   😉    Well, I’ve discovered a way to get here without ever leaving Civil 3D.   More after the jump…

Did you know that you could call your default web browser from within any AutoCAD-based program?    The command to pull up the browser is, oddly enough, BROWSER.  So armed with this information, you can easily do what I did and create a macro on your tool palette that calls up your web browser set to your favorite page.   The format of the macro is below:


Careful with the formatting – I had an extra space between the ; and the http, and it was opening up TWO browsers, and the first one went to Autodesk’s web site.    That’s pretty darn slick marketing there, to default a browser window to the mothership’s website if no website is entered.    And thanks to Nick Zeeben for pointing that out to me as I was struggling to figure out why that kept popping up.

Happy Holidays, folks!


  1. Are you not using Communication Center to pull the RSS feed?

  2. Yeah, no kidding, Hickey? Aren’t you getting your feed from the Comm Center?


  3. um…Comm Center? What’s a Comm Center?
    Seriously, how do you pull a site from within Comm Center?
    I’m so lazy right this minute (the friday afternoon before Christmas), its way easier for me to ask than to actually power up c3d and find out myself! 😐

  4. And what? Love to Nick but none to me for actually telling you about the _broswer_ command! 😉

  5. RSS feeds are available in the Comm Center for 2008 – If I unbury it. I just have too many menus…Need a bigger screen!

  6. Jason Hickey says:

    Yes, you can pull RSS feeds into Comm Center. But, like Matt’s, mine stays hidden. I guess I should really point out that this method can pull in ANY site, not just sites with RSS feeds. Also, it can be used with ANY AutoCAD based product, not just the 2008 releases with Comm Center.

    My initial thought was to have a customized search page on and show people how to link to it (because our current search functionality leaves a bit to be desired.) However, Mark has created a new gadget for you guys that makes it easier to read – I guess he was reading my mind, since I’d only mentioned it to James.

    And ok, love to Mark for introducing me to the fact that you could use a web browser within C3D. Still, love to Nicky for helping me figure out how to make it work the way I wanted it to.

  7. Dallas Vikse says:

    Maybe it should be mentioned that typing “INETLOCATION” can alter the targeted website…
    Just a thought.
    dv out.

  8. James Murphy says:

    I thought I taught you that years ago Jason. Back in my old job when I was a cube monkey and didn’t have any windows to the outside world I had a toolbar button that has this link Never could get the IT guys to point to the swimming pool across the street during the day.

  9. Jason Hickey says:

    yeah, yeah Murph – you did show me that link (I remember checking the cam for some werid reason) However, in all that hullabaloo, you never mentioned that you had it on a toolbar button. Or maybe you did and my the brain cells containing that information got killed in Vegas – who knows….