Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Surface Outer Boundary - When Corridor Extents Not Available

I used to wonder why "sometimes" i could create a boundary from the "extents of the corridor" and other times that option was not there.

Well, i have a shortcut to creating the surface boundary from the extents of the corridor even if that option doesnt appear to be available initially.

In this image, you notice that you have a limited amount of options available for use as the boundary (and in this case none of them are a viable choice).  Creating the boundary by hand is not easily done, and can lead to a great deal of needless work.


By creating a second baseline in the parameters of the corridor, Civil 3D will now add in the option of using the corridor extents.


Add an additional baseline to the corridor as shown below.  (Please remember to take this out after the boundary has been created.)



You will need to put a profile in, but it doesnt really matter for this temporary baseline, so dont be overly concerned about which profile.

Now you will notice on the surface boundaries tab (as shown below) that the option "Corridor extents as outer boundary" is now available for use.

And there you have it!  Quick easy workaround for getting the boundary in without having to digitize or sketch in a polyline all the way around the outline of the corridor.

One final thing...  DELETE THE SECOND BASELINE!   It is no longer needed, and could become confusing later or to others.
Remember, visit and call us for custom "on-line" training that saves you all the travel expenses, gets the issue solved immediately, and requires no time away from your office for 3 day training classes.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Civil 3D - Its Not Your Fathers LDT (or... Make Invisible Syles)

Sorry, but you heard me right!

Ever freeze a layer to turn off a surface or an alignment?  Of course you have, but this is definitely NOT a good idea in Civil 3D.  Why?  Because its not your fathers LDT, and its definitely not your grandfathers AutoCAD!  When you freeze (or turn off) a layer, you may not (ok probably not)  know what else is on that layer.  THATS WHEN THINGS DISAPPEAR!

So you get into a drawing, or you come back to a drawing and discover that there are things missing.  Yes, this has happened to all of us at some point.  And whats the first thing we do?  Of course...  we run around the office accusing everyone of destroying our drawing.  Because after all, isnt that the job of any other employee? To make YOU look bad?

You see, Autodesk came up with these brilliant items called "Styles".  Now there may be hundreds of them in any particular drawing, and yes, they may even be a little difficult to learn, but they are there for a reason, and they most certainly make a LOT of things easier.

For example, have you ever thought of making a style called "Invisible"?  Surely not,  if it had to be invisible why would you waste time putting it in the drawing in the first place.  Well then why did Autodesk make those cute little buttons in the layer manager that lets you freeze or turn off layers?  Because there comes a point in time when you may just want something in your drawing, yet be able to "hide" it for a while. Like when you want to plot the drawing without the surface, or without the alignment.

Now...  lets talk about this "invisible" style for a bit shall we?  My opinion is that almost every Civil 3D object, IE: Surface, alignment, corridor, etc etc. should have an invisible style.  This makes it quite easy to change to the invisible style which then will turn off a surface, corridor, etc. And this is done without freezing or turning off layers and accidentally turning off anything else that you would spend hours of time looking for later.  (Not to mention all the enemies you'll make when the accusations start about someone touching YOUR drawing.)

Yes, i am a consultant, and a Civil 3D instructor, i have been for many years.  But i still get the call almost weekly where some object, or group of obects has suddenly disappeared.  So next time that happens, look for layers that are off or frozen, then do yourself a favor, create an invisible style for the object you were trying to hide.  And if you dont know how to do this, give me a call....

Did I mentioned i'm a Civil 3D instructor?

Till next time... 

"Step away from your fathers LDT"!!!

And visit for all your Civil 3D and Map 3D training needs.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Dragged Point Label - Gap between arrowhead and point marker.

Ever notice that when you drag a point label, there is a gap between the end of the arrowhead and the actual point marker?  (Like this)

The fix for this is easy assuming you can find WHERE to go to fix it.  (Kinda starting to seem like this is the problem way too often for my taste!)

So here goes...

1.  Select the point (or label)
2.  Right click, and select "Point Group Properties"

Now here is where the fun starts because one would assume (or at least i did) that the fix would be in the label style.  WRONG, its actually in the Point Style.

3.  Click the down arrow to the right of the point style (the second down arrow), and choose "Edit Current Selection" from the dropdown list.
4.  Click on the "Summary" tab at the top.
5.  Click the "+" sign to expand the Marker group.
6.  Change the "Leader Stops at Marker" value to "No"

7. Click OK, and OK once again.

Your arrow should now go all the way to the actual point location.  (As shown here)

Hope this helps solve a rather annoying problem.

Till next time, remember for all your Civil 3D training needs visit where we can help you save time with our expert training.

"If we can save you just 5 minutes per hour....  
then we just gave you an extra month per year."

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

How do i get another drawing to have the same layout and viewports?

Ever create another drawing complete with layouts containing viewports?  Of course you have, everyone has. 

The problem is, you have to manipulate these new viewports by setting the view port size and scale, then panning as near as possible to the same location.

Not necessary!

In the new drawing, simply right click on any existing layout, then select "From Template" in the menu.  Navigate to the drawing that has the layout and viewports you need to duplicate, and select which layout you wish to use.

Thats it, the layout and all viewports at the same scale and location are now in the current drawing.

Think it cant be any easier?  You're right, but remember,  you can always watch the video at:

C ya next time, until then remember we can stop your Civil 3D pain with our expert training at

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Fields as text Label

Ever put a label under an assembly only to have the assembly be renamed? Yes you guessed it, you have to edit the text to reflect the name of the assembly.

NOT AN LONGER... This does NOT have to be a source of your civil 3d pain any longer.

We will now show you "Fields"... By typing in the word "field" (without the quotes of course) at the command line, you will be taken to the Field dialog box. In the upper left dropdown, select "Objects", notice that the list below changes.

Next click on the field name "Object" in the column on the left. (The next two columns will now be blank.)

Now select the icon as shown below, which will allow you to select the desired object.

Select the centerline of the assembly, and the properties column will be populated.

Select the "Name" property from the list. You should see the assembly name in the upper right corner of the dialog box.

Click OK, and place the field (text) into the drawing where you wish. You should have an assembly with a field text box similar to that shown below.

Now go to the properties of the assembly, change the name, and regen your drawing. The text field you placed a moment ago should change to reflect the renamed assembly.


We save you 5 minutes per hour..... then we just saved you 1 month per year. Think about it. for all of your Civil 3D training, online, onsite, custom, and On-Demand training available to fit your training needs.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Layout View Recycling

Ever get tired of re-creating the apparently same layout view over and over and over?

Two ways of solving this annoying issue will have your copy of the layout view up and running in seconds.

First, it IS possible to create layout views that are used over and over in your templates. This means creating new drawings have your layouts included in them, ready for you to use each time. Don't need the layout? Delete it, easy as that.

Second, if the layout is not in the template, and its not in the current drawing, use Design Center to "drag and drop" from ANY drawing on your hard disk or network, yes any drawing you can "see" from your computer can be used. Open design center, find the drawing, expand the drawing, then layouts. In the right window, select the layout you need, and simply drag it into your current drawing. DONE. Sometimes this stuff is just too easy.

Watch the video HERE or copy and paste this link:

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Monday, June 6, 2011


Who knew that such an "oldie but goodie" could work even better in Civil 3D?

Well it can, try it on Civil 3D objects like a profile view, or an alignment. Granted, it doesnt work on ALL civil objects but its there, right on the home tab of Civil 3D, and waiting for you to give it a go.

This command is far easier than selecting a profile view, right clicking, going to profile view properties, and finding the style name... then going to the profile view you wish to change, and repeating this process until you change the style to match.

Try it, you'll like it. or, you can watch a "Video Minute" of how this command works, simply by visiting this page... Dont forget to scroll down the page and register to recieve your FREE minute video by email each day.