Dialog windows do not display in AutoCAD and the program appears to freeze

Oct 31, 2014

Issue:

When entering a command or executing a function in AutoCAD that should bring up a dialog window, nothing happens and the program appears to lock up, only issuing a "ding" sound when clicked. If the Esc key is pressed, control of the program is regained.

Causes:

This problem usually stems from changes in screen resolution or changes in the number of monitors connected to the computer. AutoCAD keeps track of the last positions of its windows. It is possible to have a window come up off screen if it was positioned at a point that is no longer viewable. The easiest example of this is having two monitors with a certain dialog window placed on the second monitor. If that monitor is disconnected from the computer, AutoCAD will put the dialog on its display space, which will now be off screen from the main monitor.

Hitting Esc is the same as clicking Cancel on the window, which is why doing so lets you have control of AutoCAD again. The "ding" sound is the alert sound that Windows makes by default when you try to click outside of a modal dialog window.

Solution:

To bring a dialog window back into view, try one of the following solutions:
  • Type CMDDIA on the command line in AutoCAD and set the value to 1.
  • Use the keyboard to move the window into view. Try this first on a window that you can see so you know what happens:

    1. Execute the command to active the dialog window.
    2. Hit ALT-SPACE on the keyboard.
    3. Hit the M key and then tap an arrow key.
    4. Move the mouse to bring the window into view.
    5. Click the left mouse button to cancel the operation.
  • Change your screen resolution to a different value, smaller or larger. This should bring all dialog windows back into view. Make sure the dialog window in question is centered on your screen (or toward the upper-left) and then exit AutoCAD before you change your screen resolution back to what it was.

  • Disable unused video ports in your system's video settings or video driver control panel. A dialog window could be moving to the video space of an unused video port (even if you have never had a second monitor connected to it).


 

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