Thursday, May 31, 2007

Reverse Label Bearing

This post is already out dated by this post. But if you have or are able to show both directions of North and South you may want to reverse some labels. An easy way to do this would be to type multiple, press enter, then type LabelReverseBearing. This will let you select a label then press the space bar or enter then go on to the next label you want to reverse the bearing of. Of course you can always right click and get to the command for each label.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Transparent Command

Don't forget about the transparent commands and to use the Inquiry Toolbar more often. If you type in the commands just use the values after the comma and add a ' before them, unless it starts with a C. The C commands are COGO tools to find info about points, lines and arcs. It will pull information from a polyline for the segment selected.

-AeccAlignStnPointElev, -SPE
AeccAlignStnPointElev, SPE
station along the parent alignment of a profile view, elevation from a COGO point
-AeccAlignStnProfileViewElev, -STAE
AeccAlignStnProfileViewElev, STAE
station along the parent alignment of a profile view
-AeccAlignStnSurfaceElev, -SSE
AeccAlignStnSurfaceElev, SSE
station along the parent alignment of a profile view, elevation from surface
-AeccAngleDistance, -AD
AeccAngleDistance, AD
angle and distance
-AeccAzimuthDistance, -ZDtoo
AeccAzimuthDistance, ZD
azimuth and distance
-AeccBearingDistance, -BD
AeccBearingDistance, BD
bearing and distance
-AeccDeflectionDistance, -DD
AeccDeflectionDistance, DD
deflection angle and distance
-AeccGridNorthingEasting, -GN
AeccGridNorthingEasting, GN
grid northing and grid easting
-AeccLatitudeLongitude, -LL
AeccLatitudeLongitude, LL
latitude and longitude
-AeccMatchLength, -ML
AeccMatchLength, ML
an object’s length
-AeccMatchRadius, -MR
AeccMatchRadius, MR
an object’s radius
-AeccNorthingEasting, -NE
AeccNorthingEasting, NE
northing and easting
-AeccPointName, -PA
AeccPointName, PA
point name (alias)
-AeccPointNumber, -PN
AeccPointNumber, PN
point number
-AeccPointObject, -PO
AeccPointObject, PO
a point in a drawing
-AeccProfileGradeLength, -PGL
AeccProfileGradeLength, PGL
grade and length in a profile view
-AeccProfileGradeStation, -PGS
AeccProfileGradeStation, PGS
grade and station in a profile view
-AeccProfileStationElevation, -PSE
AeccProfileStationElevation, PSE
station and elevation in a profile view
-AeccSideShot, -SS
AeccSideShot, SS
side shot from a point
-AeccStationOffset, -SO
AeccStationOffset, SO
station and offset
-CgAng, -CGANG
-CgList, -CGLIST
-CgList, -CGLIST

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Layout Grid

This command I haven't found a good use for yet. I was thinking it would be good to create a grid for a topo drawing, but I haven't been able to find a way to add a block to the corners. You can create linetype that matches the crosses at the intersections. Another possible use would be to layout a sidewalk or pavement grid.

To invoke the command all you need to do is type layoutgrid on the command line. The command line will show this: Layout grid [Add/Properties/X/Y/CLip/CUstom]:
Add starts the process to create a layout grid

  • Properties asks you select a layout grid to change the properties
  • X lets you add remove or change the mode of an existing layout grid
  • Y lets you add remove or change the mode of an existing layout grid
  • Clip lets you put a boundary, add a hole or remove a hole from an existing layout grid
  • CUstom lets you select existing linework to create a layout grid

Using the add button will give you additional options of: Insertion point or [WIdth/Depth/XSpacing/YSpacing/XDivide by toggle/YDivide by toggle/Match]:

  • Insertion point will let you insert the table with the default properties in the program
  • WIdth sets the overall width that you want the grid to be.
  • Depth sets the overall depth that the grid is to be.
  • XSpacing lets you specify the bay size or spacing between the grids.
  • YSpacing lets you specify the bay size or spacing between the grids.
  • XDivide I'm not really sure what this does
  • YDivide I'm not really sure what this does
  • Match lets you select another grid to match any of the properties of

Once you select the point of insertion you are able to select a rotation of the grid.

Once you exit out of the command you can drag any of the grips to expand or shrink the grid. You can also change many of the properties in the properties window.

There is also a gridvolume command that works in much the same way but has a z component.

Monday, May 14, 2007

AECPOLYGON Hide or Show Boundaries

If you right click on an AECPOLYGON you can Hide or Show Edges. This way if you have earth as a style and you don't want a boundary line around your hatch you can just hide the line. If you hide one too many you can go back and show the edge. The green edges are shown and the red edges indicate that the edge is hidden.

Saturday, May 12, 2007


This arrays objects, but it has the ability to array based on an edge of the object being arrayed. For instance if you have a box rotated 33.49584 degrees and you need it arrayed every 50 feet, you can use this and not have to use the normal array dialog box and pick two points.

Just type LineworkArray at the command line. Choose an edge from one of the objects being arrayed or you can press Enter to pick two points. You can then either drag out how many array elements you want based on the default value or you can:

  • Offset: I'm not quite sure what this option does, it may be disabled in the command since it is looking for an ARX file that is not provided with Civil 3D
  • Clear Distance: I'm not quite sure what this option does, it may be disabled in the command since it is looking for an ARX file that is not provided with Civil 3D
  • Pick array distance: Lets you pick the distance the objects will be spaced apart, just enter the new distance and press enter.
  • Enter Count: Lets you specify how many object copies are to be made at the array distance. After hitting enter the number of copies specified is entered and you are exited from the command.


Here is how to set the AECPOLYGON styles. Just take one of the created styles and right click and select Edit AEC Polygon Style. Go to the General Tab and changed the name for the style to something that makes sense, like Gravel. Now go the Display Properties Tab and click the Style Override box for the Model. Then double click on Model under Display Representations. Under Layer/Color/Linetype have the Interior Hatch to visable. Go to the Hatching tab and change the pattern for the Interior Hatch to Gravel, change the scale, angle and orientation to what you want.

You can also right click on the AECPOLYGON and choose Copy AEC Polygon Style and Assign... Just enter then name you want and then change the hatch to the one you want.

Now you can use the AECPolygon in creating details.

Thursday, May 10, 2007


This one would be useful for drawing details. For instance if you are detailing an inlet and you only want to draw the interior or exterior lines with out offsetting the lines this may work well.

To start type AECPOLYGON at the command line. Choose Add to draw the AECPOLYGON to the dimensions that you want. Note Dynamic Input doesn't work with this command and the since it is a polygon it has to be closed.

While still in the command type S for style and the Style Manager will pop up. Civil 3D really should have this feature:Right click on the AECPOLYGON style and choose New. Select the New style created and go to the Dimension Tab. Choose an edge width that you want (ie the wall thickness of the inlet), then choose the justification you want. It seems pretty intuitive on what they mean so I won't explain the Justify box. Press OK to exit the Style Manager.

Now that you have created the style we need to apply it to the AECPOLYGON that was just created if you are still in the command type P for Properties, it will ask you to select the AECPOLYGON and select the one you want to change. In the properties window change the style to the one you created. You should end up with a two lines going all the way around which is easier to change then two parallel polylines.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Using Map Book To Plot Cross Sections

To plot cross sections using Map Book do the following:

1. Create cross sections.

2. Create Multiple Section Views, have them plot out in one continuous row with the spacing between them of zero. To get this to work properly determine what size you want you viewport to be in you template. Then create a custom size page size to match the dimensions of the viewport. Make sure the border distances are zero.

3. Go to the Map Menu and choose Map Book.

4. When the dialog box comes up work from the top to the bottom.

  • Source: Use Model Space

  • Sheet Template: Fill out all of the fields. The scale factor will vary depending on what scale the drawing scale. So it may take some trial and error to get the correct scale. Use the Preview Tiles to see if the lines of the tiles match the sheets. Make sure the viewport in the template matches the size of the Sheet of the section views.

  • Tiling Scheme: Choose by area then select the area in model space that has all of the section views. Use 0% overlap of each tile. Set the layer to one that will not plot, unless you want to see it plot.
  • You can skip the naming scheme if you want.
  • You can skip the key.
  • You can skip the Legend.
  • You can either create a new Sheet Set or create a new subset to an existing sheet set.
  • You can use the Preview Tiles to see what they look like.

5. Click Generate and the sections will be generated in the sheet.

The files I used are located here:

To create a template for the Map Book you will need to Identify Template Placeholders in the template. To do this go type _MAPBOOKPLACEHOLDER in the template then choose the viewport in paperspace. You can also do this under MapBook in the Task Pane under Tools. To show the Task Pane type mapwspace at the command line. More information can be found in Help or on this site:

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Data Shortcuts by Name Instead of Handle

So data shortcuts in the default manner that Civil 3D creates them uses the name and handle to find the object in the source drawing. If some one deletes the source object, the handle is deleted, so even if you rename the alignment the reference file can't find the source file. To change this and recreate the link you can get it to come back. The steps to do this are as follows:

1. Open the xml file with notepad or some other editing program.

2. Find the useHandle="-1"

3. Change the useHandle to "0"

4. Open the file with the reference and open the Data Shortcut Vista and delete the data shortcut for the object you want to fix.

5. Import the data shortcut file that you edited in step 1.

6. Validate the data shortcuts and the missing reference should reappear in the drawing.

I haven't fully tested this and plan on checking this out on Monday when I get back in the office. I did do a small test and the changes to labels did stick, even when switching between alignment objects.

Added 6-21-07
I did some more testing and it doesn't seem to want to keep the change after save, close and reopen. This still would be handy if the data shortcuts are lost and you need to keep all of the label work you have done. Just recover the data shortcut then promote it. You now have to worry about keeping both objects in sinc, but at least you have saved some work with not having to recreate labels.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007


If you want to save a step and not do a save as use the AecObjExplode command. Isolate the objects you want explode, you have them on there own layers right?

Then type AecObjExplode on the command line. A dialog box should pop up asking you questions on what you want to do.

Uncheck the Erase AEC Objects box and the Explode To Anonymous Blocks options.

Then press OK, you will end up with the original Civil 3D object as well as a copy of the Primitive objects. No need to do a save as since you retain the original objects.


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