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AutoCAD Civil 3D 2009

Getting Started

April 2008237A1-050000-PM01A

2008 Autodesk, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Except as otherwise permitted by Autodesk, Inc., this publication, or parts thereof, may not bereproduced in any form, by any method, for any purpose. Certain materials included in this publication are reprinted with the permission of the copyright holder.

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DisclaimerTHIS PUBLICATION AND THE INFORMATION CONTAINED HEREIN IS MADE AVAILABLE BY AUTODESK, INC. "AS IS." AUTODESK, INC. DISCLAIMSALL WARRANTIES, EITHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO ANY IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY ORFITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE REGARDING THESE MATERIALS.

Published By: Autodesk, Inc.111 Mclnnis ParkwaySan Rafael, CA 94903, USA

Contents

Chapter 1 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1Installation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

Installing on a Single Computer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1Installing on a Network . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

Highlights of AutoCAD Civil 3D . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2Whats New in AutoCAD Civil 3D 2009 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

Project Management . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2Survey . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2Pipe Networks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3Labels . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3Surfaces . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3Grading . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3Alignments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4Profiles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4Corridors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4Mass Haul . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4Google Earth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4Hydraulics and Hydrology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

Sample Data Provided with the Program . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5Tutorial Drawing Files . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5Getting Started Guide Drawing Files . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5Best Practices Guide Drawing Files . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5Sample Drawing Templates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

Learning How to Use AutoCAD Civil 3D . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

iii

Getting Started Guide . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6Online Tutorials . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7Help System . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7Civil 3D Best Practices Guide . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7Moving from Land Desktop to Civil 3D Guide . . . . . . . . . . . 7Skill Builders . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

Autodesk Training Programs and Products . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

Chapter 2 Designing with Objects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11Object Model . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

Object Relationships . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13Object Interface . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

Toolspace for Object Management . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16Prospector Tab . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16Settings Tab . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18Survey Tab . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19Toolbox Tab . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20

Menu Standardization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21Shortcut Menus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24Layout Tools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25Consistent Editing Methods . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25

Item View . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25Grips . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26Panorama Window . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27Property Editors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28AutoCAD Properties Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29

Exercise: Familiarization Tour . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31Standard Controls for Styles and Labels . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33Precision Layout Strategies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35Object Building Blocks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35

Corridors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36Pipe Networks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37

Chapter 3 Using Styles and Settings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39Managing Styles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39Types of Styles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41

Object Styles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41Label Styles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43

Managing Label Styles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46Table Styles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48Table Tags . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48Band Styles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49Profile and Section View Styles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50

Using Styles with Layers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51Label Objects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54

iv | Contents

Table Creation and Label Types . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54Object Settings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55Exercise: Object and Label Styles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57

Chapter 4 Designing Drawing Standards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61Creating Templates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61

Drawing Settings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63Layer Standards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64Object Styles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65Label Styles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65

Plan Production Tools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66Enhancing Drawings with Visualization Tools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66Exercise: Drawing Settings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67

Chapter 5 Managing Project Data . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69The Collaborative Environment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69Autodesk Vault . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69

Access to Autodesk Vault . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71Autodesk Vault Set Up . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71

Database Projects and Folders . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71User Accounts and Roles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72

External References (xrefs) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74Data Shortcuts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75Exercise: Creating a Data Shortcut . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77

Chapter 6 Getting Started Exercises . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81Points . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81Surfaces . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 86Grading . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90Parcels . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 94Alignments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99Profiles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 106Sections . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 110Pipe Networks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 117Corridors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 122Survey . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 126Object and Label Styles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 131Visualization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 138Label Objects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 143Plan Production Tools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 149

Glossary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 153

Contents | v

Index . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 169

vi | Contents

Introduction

AutoCAD Civil 3D is a design and drafting program that supports a wide range of civilengineering tasks. The AutoCAD Civil 3D Getting Started guide introduces the program andprovides some initial hands-on experience, using sample data included with the product. Thisfirst chapter contains brief descriptions of the significant features in AutoCAD Civil 3D andprovides advice for AutoCAD Land Desktop users who are learning about AutoCAD Civil 3D.

InstallationYou install AutoCAD Civil 3D using the Installation wizard that opensautomatically when you insert the product media. Using the Installation wizardyou can access several pages of links, from which you can open online versionsof the documentation and locate other information to support the product.

Installing on a Single Computer

To install AutoCAD Civil 3D on a single computer, click the Install Productslink on the first page of the Installation wizard. The Installation wizard provideslinks with answers to common installation questions.

For information about installing AutoCAD Civil 3D on a single computer,consult the Stand-Alone Installation Guide. To access this guide, in the Installationwizard, click the Read the Documentation link, then click Stand-AloneInstallation Guide.

1

1

Installing on a Network

To deploy AutoCAD Civil 3D on a network, click the Create Deployments linkon the Installation wizard. For information about deploying AutoCAD Civil3D on a network, consult the Network Administrator's Guide. To access thisguide, in the Installation wizard, click the Read the Documentation link, andthen click Network Administrators Guide.

Highlights of AutoCAD Civil 3DAutoCAD Civil 3D is designed for land-development professionals, such ascivil engineers, surveyors, engineering technicians, and drafters. Subsequentchapters of this Getting Started guide introduce the objects and styles that arethe main structural features of the application.

Whats New in AutoCAD Civil 3D 2009

This release of AutoCAD Civil 3D includes new features and enhancementsto existing features, as described in the following sections. More details aboutthese enhancements are available in the New Features topic of the Help andin the New Features Workshop.

Project Management

You can access the Data Shortcut commands on the Toolspace Prospector tab.This feature now provides a Data Shortcuts external editor. Also, you can usethe new project export feature, for packing a set of Vault project files into aZIP archive, and a related project import feature, for extracting the files intoanother project environment.

Survey

You can generate Mapcheck reports by selecting labels in the drawing. A newreporting tool highlights observation tolerance errors for angle, distance,elevation, and coordinate values in the Event Viewer vista. The Survey LinkExtension enables you to download data from survey data collectors and

2 | Chapter 1 Introduction

convert raw data into .fbk files. Survey figure editing commands are nowavailable.

Pipe Networks

A new command enables you to select a series of pipes and structures in thedrawing, and then rename or renumber them. You can use a spanning labelfor pipes displayed in a profile. You can use a pipe end cleanup option inprofile views.

Labels

You can now label most AutoCAD Civil 3D objects that are contained withinan Xref. For line, curve, and spiral labels on alignment, parcels, and generalline and curve labels, there are new label anchor points such as start, middle,and end. General line and curve labels can now be included in parcel tables.

Surfaces

You can now reorder surface operations and can weed points to control thenumber of points that are used when creating a surface (TIN). This feature hasbeen enhanced with more intelligent memory management, data restrictionfor improved performance, and point weeding to achieve a simplified surfacewhich results in improved performance for large surfaces.

Grading

You can have dynamic feature lines from alignments,profiles, and corridors.You can name feature lines for easier identification, and can apply styles to aselection set of feature lines. You can prioritize feature line styles to determinesplit point elevations and can create a feature line from the alignmentgeometry. Numerous new feature line commands make it easier to editelevations.

Whats New in AutoCAD Civil 3D 2009 | 3

Alignments

You can associate agency-specific standards during the alignment and profiledesign process to ensure compliance with standards. Additionally, you canuse a new post-design error-checking mechanism, which checks the alignmentand profile geometry for entities that violate the associated standards. Youcan now control label styles for different alignment and profile geometrypoints in order to label these in different ways. You can also labelsuperelevation critical points along an alignment. You can create alignmententities using the best fit tools.

Profiles

You can create stacked profile views and anchor superelevation band labelsto superelevation diagrams. You can associate agency-specified standardsduring the alignment and profile creation process. Also, you can use theerror-checking mechanism which checks for violations of the associatedstandards. You can create profile entities using the best fit tools.

Corridors

You can use survey figures, grading feature lines, polylines, and pipe networksas subassembly targets in a corridor. The View/Edit functionality has beenenhanced.

Mass Haul

A new Mass Haul Diagram wizard is available to generate a mass haul diagramthat remains dynamic in relation to the corridor model.

Google Earth

You can publish render materials on entities for display in Google Earth. Also,you can import elevation data in a current Google Earth view into AutoCADCivil 3D as a mesh.

4 | Chapter 1 Introduction

Hydraulics and Hydrology

Optionally, you can install three new hydraulics and hydrology applicationsfrom the AutoCAD Civil 3D installer. Use the stand-alone applications,Hydraflow Storm Sewers Extension and Hydraflow Hydrographs Extension,for hydraulic analysis and planning. Use the Hydraflow Express Extensionapplication to perform common hydrology tasks, such as designing culvertsand inlets. For more information, click the Help menu in each of theseapplications.

Sample Data Provided with the ProgramTo help you learn how to use AutoCAD Civil 3D and start experimenting withits features, the product media includes sample drawings and data files.

Tutorial Drawing Files

Use these files with the tutorials that are part of the AutoCAD Civil 3D Helpsystem.

After installation, the default location of the files is the following folder:

C:\Program Files\AutoCAD Civil 3D 2009\Help\Civil 3D Tutorials\Drawings

Getting Started Guide Drawing Files

Use these drawing files with the Exercises chapter of this Getting Started guide.There is one file for each feature-specific concept discussed in that chapter.

After installation, the default location of the files is the following folder:

C:\Program Files\AutoCAD Civil 3D 2009\Getting Started Guide

Best Practices Guide Drawing Files

Use these files with the Best Practices guide.

After installation, the default location of the files is the following folder:

Sample Data Provided with the Program | 5

C:\Program Files\AutoCAD Civil 3D 2009\Best Practices Guide

Sample Drawing Templates

AutoCAD Civil 3D also provides several drawing templates that contain samplecontent for settings, styles, and organization of objects. Use these files as abasis for developing your own content.

After installation, the files are located in the same folder as the AutoCADtemplates. To create a file from a template:

1 Click File menu New.

2 In the Select Template dialog box, select the template you want to use.The AutoCAD Civil 3D templates are at the top of the list, with namessuch as _AutoCAD Civil 3D (Imperial) NCS Base.dwt.

Learning How to Use AutoCAD Civil 3DAutoCAD Civil 3D provides learning materials to get you started using thesoftware and complete documentation to serve as a reference. Userdocumentation for AutoCAD Civil 3D includes:

Getting Started guide (this guide)

Online tutorials

Help system

Best Practices guide

Moving From Land Desktop to Civil 3D guide

Skill Builders

Getting Started Guide

The Getting Started guide introduces important concepts in AutoCAD Civil3D. After reading through it, and doing some of the exercises with the samplefiles provided, you should feel comfortable enough with the application tostart experimenting on your own.

6 | Chapter 1 Introduction

Online Tutorials

Access the online tutorials on the AutoCAD Civil 3D Help menu. The tutorialsoffer an in-depth guided tour of the major features of AutoCAD Civil 3D, usingrealistic engineering drawings and data. For a thorough knowledge of AutoCADCivil 3D, it is recommended that you explore the tutorials after you have readthrough the conceptual information provided in the Getting Started guide.

Help System

The AutoCAD Civil 3D Help system is provided in HTML format with a tableof contents, an index, and a search function. You can print out the Help topicsthat interest you. To print entire sections, you might prefer to work from thePDF version of the Help system. By default, this document is available at thefollowing location:

C:\Program Files\AutoCAD Civil 3D 2009\Help\civil_ug.pdf

Use the Search tab in the Help to find topics that contain a particular wordor phrase. For the best results when searching for a phrase, enclose the wordsin quotation marks, for example, Quantity Takeoff. Search results appearin the left pane. The Help system home page lists topics by classifying themby task, by feature, and by job role. The home page also includes links to theLearning Resources page, the Workflow topics, the New Features Workshop,Tutorials, the Best Practices guide, and the Moving from Land Desktop to Civil3D guide.

Civil 3D Best Practices Guide

The new AutoCAD Civil 3D Best Practices guide provides best practicesinformation to help you optimize your use of AutoCAD Civil 3D. This guideincludes chapters for aspects of AutoCAD Civil 3D such as project management,templates and style optimization, and specific features including surfaces,grading, pipe networks, and corridors.

Moving from Land Desktop to Civil 3D Guide

Many Land Desktop users are transitioning to Civil 3D. The Moving from LandDesktop to Civil 3D guide provides concepts, best practices, and procedures for

Online Tutorials | 7

successfully moving from Land Desktop to Civil 3D. This guide is availableon the Help menu. It contains information on how to successfully plan forand transition an organization from using Land Desktop to using Civil 3D.This guide also contains information on tools for moving Land Desktop datainto Civil 3D.

Skill Builders

AutoCAD Civil 3D Skill Builders are advanced exercises that enable you topractice performing design tasks using Civil 3D drawings. Skill Builders areavailable from the AutoCAD Civil 3D website.

To view and download AutoCAD Civil 3D Skill Builders, visithttp://www.autodesk.com/civil3d-skillbuilders.

Autodesk Training Programs and ProductsTraining programs and products from Autodesk help you learn the keytechnical features of your Autodesk software and improve your productivity.For the latest information about Autodesk training, visithttp://www.autodesk.com/training or contact your local Autodesk office.

Autodesk Authorized Training Centers

Be more productive with Autodesk software. Get trained at an AutodeskAuthorized Training Center (ATC) with hands-on, instructor-led classes tohelp you get the most from your Autodesk products. Enhance your productivitywith proven training from over 1,400 ATC sites in more than 75 countries.For more information about Autodesk Authorized Training Centers, [email protected] or visit the online ATC locator athttp://www.autodesk.com/atc.

Autodesk Courseware

Autodesk publishes many courseware titles each year for users at all levels toimprove their productivity with Autodesk software. The preferred trainingmaterials of Autodesk partners, these books are also well-suited for self-paced,standalone learning. All courseware simulates real-world projects withhands-on, job-related exercises. Autodesk Official Training Courseware (AOTC)is developed by Autodesk. Autodesk Authorized Training Courseware (AATC)is developed by Autodesk partners, including titles in a growing number of

8 | Chapter 1 Introduction

http://www.autodesk.com/trainingmailto:[email protected]://www.autodesk.com/atc

languages. Autodesk Official Certification Courseware (AOCC) teaches theknowledge and skills assessed on the Certification examinations. Visithttp://www.autodesk.com/aotc to browse the Autodesk Courseware catalog.

Autodesk Certification

Gain a competitive edge with your career by obtaining Autodesk Certification,validating your knowledge and skills on Autodesk products. Autodesk providesan end-to-end solution for assessing your readiness for certification, preparingfor certification, and obtaining certification. For more information on AutodeskCertification, visit http://www.autodesk.com/certification.

e-Learning

Autodesk e-Learning for Autodesk Subscription customers features interactivelessons organized into product catalogs. Each lesson is 20-40 minutes in lengthand features hands-on exercises, with an option to use a simulation or thesoftware application. You can also use an online evaluation tool that identifiesgaps in skills, determines what lessons will be most helpful, and gauges learningprogress.

If you are a member of Autodesk subscription, you can access e-Learning andother subscription services from within your Autodesk product. For moreinformation about Autodesk subscription resources, visithttp://www.autodesk.com/subscription.

Autodesk Training Programs and Products | 9

http://www.autodesk.com/aotchttp://www.autodesk.com/certificationhttp://www.autodesk.com/subscription

10

Designing with Objects

The underlying object model in AutoCAD Civil 3D creates some major efficiencies in theengineering design process. Because of this model, changes to one object can affect relatedobjects, and object styles can control many aspects of object appearance and behavior. Thischapter describes both the object model and the AutoCAD Civil 3D user interface for workingwith objects.

Object ModelThe architecture of AutoCAD Civil 3D ensures that each object, such as analignment or a parcel, has a standard set of attributes and relationships to otherobjects. These objects are intelligent in the sense that they automatically reactin predictable ways to changes in related objects. As a result, you do not needto spend hours ensuring that design revisions are transferred correctly amongsurfaces, alignments, profiles, sections, labels, tables, and other objects. Thetedious tasks of redrafting and relabeling are eliminated. Design options andwhat if scenarios can be created more easily and analyzed with precision,resulting in significant process improvements.

2

11

Points

Surfaces

Parcels

Alignments

Grading

Exploded representation of the object model

12 | Chapter 2 Designing with Objects

Object Relationships

The following illustration shows a simplified view of object relationships anddata flow in an AutoCAD Civil 3D drawing:

Object relationships and data flow

Object Relationships | 13

Field survey data creates figures and points that can be used to generate anexisting ground surface and parcels. This surface is referenced as other objectsare created in the design process, resulting finally in a designed surface.

Parcels, existing ground surfaces, pipe networks, and gradings can be createdindependently, or from data sources not shown in the illustration. Such objectsare usually linked to other objects during the design process, if not at thebeginning. The object type with the most complex set of relationships is thecorridor, because it requires data from an alignment, profile, and assembly.

Changes to any object automatically flow along the arrows to dependentobjects, with predictable results. For example, if you correct the elevations ofan existing ground surface, updates flow to any related grading objects,corridors, profiles, and pipe networks. As a result, all values represented inlabels and tables are also updated.

In the design process, after you create an alignment you can create manyprofiles and sections. However, the display of these in profile views and sectionviews is optional and separate from the flow of data required to create thefinal producta designed surface. Similarly, the data from objects, such asparcels and alignments, can be output to a table or report if desired.

14 | Chapter 2 Designing with Objects

Object InterfaceThe user interface of AutoCAD Civil 3D reflects the object architecture of theapplication. The major elements are shown in the following illustration:

AutoCAD Civil 3D User Interface

The following notes describe the numbered items in the illustration:

1 Toolspace. For object management. Uses four tabs: Prospector; fornavigating through the object collections, Settings; for managing stylesand settings, Survey; for managing survey data, and Toolbox; forgenerating object reports.

2 Item view. For a list view of the contents of the selected folder or a graphicview of the selected object.

3 Layout tools. For creating and editing objects, such as gradings oralignments.

4 Standardized menus. For consistent access to the full range of commands.

Object Interface | 15

5 Tabbed property editors. For modifying individual objects and theirattributes.

Each part of the user interface is described in more detail in the followingsections.

Toolspace for Object Management

The Toolspace window provides an object-oriented view of your engineeringprojects. The window is divided into four parts or tabs: Prospector tab, Settingstab, Survey tab, and Toolbox tab.

Prospector Tab

On this tab, all of the objects in a drawing or project are arranged in a hierarchythat you navigate in standard, Windows Explorerlike fashion. To access thistab, click General menu Toolspace. To view all the collections in theProspector tree, select Master View from the list at the top of the Prospectortab. The collections available here are Open Drawings, Projects, Data Shortcuts,and Drawing Templates. Note that Projects lists projects available after youhave logged into an Autodesk Vault server and Vault database. A site collectionincludes objects that are related to one another because they share topology.

The following illustration shows a typical structure. The Oak Street site foldercontains collections for alignments, grading groups, and parcels that belongto the site. The Parcels folder contains the parcel objects defined for the OakStreet subdivision. Note that the view selected is Active Drawing.

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The Prospector tab in Toolspace

Toolspace for Object Management | 17

Settings Tab

On this tab, styles are organized for different object types. Even in a blankdrawing, most of these styles are present in a standard hierarchy. You cancreate and modify styles in a drawing, then save it as a template. Subsequentdrawings based on the template will automatically have the same set of stylesavailable. You can modify object, label, and table styles. You can also controlsettings for drawings and commands. To access this tab, click Generalmenu Toolspace. In the following illustration, label and table styles forparcels have been defined:

Each type of object canhave an unlimitednumber of styles.

Predefined label stylescan be applied to anyparcel in the drawing.

The Settings tab in Toolspace

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Survey Tab

To access this tab, click Survey menu Open Survey Toolspace. This tabdisplays survey project data, organized within databases for survey projects,equipment, and figure prefixes. The project databases record the survey points,networks, and figures. The equipment databases record standard deviationsand other operational parameters of individual pieces of survey equipment.The figure prefix databases record the conversion routines that are appliedwhen creating lots, buildings, or other figures from survey points.

The Survey tab in Toolspace

The contents of the Survey tab are not specific to a drawing. This tab reflectsthe survey data in your AutoCAD Civil 3D Projects folder, so it facilitates accessto survey data from multiple drawings.

The surveyed points and figures in a project can be converted to Civil 3Dpoints and parcels.

Toolspace for Object Management | 19

Toolbox Tab

To access this tab, click General menu Toolbox. This tab organizes reportsfor each object type. The reports provide useful engineering data from adrawing in a compact, portable format. AutoCAD Civil 3D includes manystandard reports. Some are in LandXML format, with predefined or customXSL style sheets. Other reports are .NET format, with custom dialog boxesthat allow you to select the data and various options.

The Toolbox tab in Toolspace

You can add your own reports to the Toolbox menu. These reports can be ina variety of formats, including XML, VBA, COM, or .NET.

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Menu Standardization

The menus in AutoCAD Civil 3D are designed to be as consistent as possiblefor all objects, making it easy to find the command you are looking for. Thisstandardization reflects the fact that the workflows for creating, editing, andannotating various objects are quite similar.

The object creation commands are at the top of the menu structure, becauselogically they are the first steps in any workflow. They are followed by theediting commands, and then, the annotation commands. Note that all featuremenus provide access to the labeling and table creation commands.

Comparison of the Pipes, Parcels, and Alignments menus

In this release of AutoCAD Civil 3D, the Grading feature line editing commandsare also available on the Parcel and Survey menus. Use these commands toedit parcel geometry as well as parcel elevations. You can also use the featureline commands to edit survey figures, including control points.

Menu Standardization | 21

Comparison of the Parcels and Survey menus

AutoCAD Civil 3D comes with several workspaces that you can use as-is orchange according to your preferences. Workspaces are sets of menus andtoolbars grouped together to enable you to customize workspace settings.AutoCAD Civil 3D workspaces include Civil 3D Complete, Design, Annotationand Drafting, Survey and Topographical, and Visualization and Rendering.For more information about using workspaces, see the Help system.

The Annotation menu in the Annotation and Drafting workspace is designedto facilitate the creation of annotation labels and tables. The Annotation menuprovides access to all label and table commands. The feature menus, such asthe Pipes, Parcels, and Alignment menus, also include options for the creationof labels.

To modify label styles and settings, use the Add Labels command to accessthe Add Labels dialog box. This command is located on both the feature (Civil3D Complete workspace) and Annotation (Annotation and Drafting workspace)menus. For a quicker method to add labels when your styles are already setup, you can use the direct creation method for specific label types. For example:Parcels menu Add Parcel Labels Single Segment. To access the Add Labelsdialog box to edit or create features label styles, use Parcels menu Add ParcelLabels Add Parcel Labels. See the Help system for instructions on creatinglabels for features and objects.

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Annotation Label and Table menus

Menu Standardization | 23

Shortcut Menus

AutoCAD Civil 3D uses shortcut menus extensively. These menus are displayedwhen you right-click either one or more objects in the drawing, or anindividual item in Toolspace. You use shortcut menus for quick access tocommon functions and commands.

Here are two examples from the Prospector tab. The menu on the left isdisplayed when you right-click an alignment object on the Prospector tab.The menu on the right is displayed when you right-click a parcel.

Shortcut menus for an alignment and a parcel on the Prospector tab

The options on the shortcut menus on the Settings tab are also very similarfor different object types.

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Layout Tools

AutoCAD Civil 3D provides separate dialog boxes, called Layout or CreationTools, for designing surfaces, alignments, grading, and other features. Eachlayout tools dialog box provides access to object-specific design and editingcommands in a floating dialog box.

Layout tools for Grading, Alignments, and Pipe Networks

Consistent Editing Methods

Object editing in AutoCAD Civil 3D uses an approach that is quite consistentfor all objects. The main editing tools are described in the following sections.

Item View

When you click an object or an object collection on the Prospector tab, forexample, Points or Alignments, an item view appears. An item view can beeither a list view or a graphical view, depending on the object selected.

Layout Tools | 25

The item view presents a table in which you can review and edit data for eachobject in the selected collection. For example, if you select a point group, theitem view table includes a row for each point in the group.

Click a table cell toedit the value.

Item view showing a group of points

Grips

When you select an object in the drawing, grips appear on the object. Youcan use these grips to click and drag the object to a new location. For example,when editing alignments, you can use grips to move points of intersection orpoints of line-arc tangency.

Direction of drag

Editing an alignment by dragging the grip at the midpoint of a curve

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When you use a grip to drag a label object to a new location, a round resetgrip appears. You can click this round grip to return the label to its originallocation. No matter how many times you have moved the label, the reset gripwill restore it to its original location.

Use the round grip to reset label location

Panorama Window

Some object types, such as alignments and profiles, use the Panorama windowto display a table of entities that make up that object. The Panorama windowis a floating, dockable window that you can keep open as you work. It caninclude several tables, called vistas, on different tabs. Panorama data shownin black text can be edited; data shown in gray text cannot be edited.

Consistent Editing Methods | 27

Panorama window showing an alignment

Property Editors

When you right-click any object on the Prospector tab, and then clickProperties, you can view all the AutoCAD Civil 3D properties of that object,and edit some of them. These properties typically include the styles, labels,related objects, and some structural details of the current object.

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Properties editor showing properties for a surface (above) and a point group (below)

AutoCAD Properties Editor

When you right-click an object in the drawing, and then click Properties, theAutoCAD Properties dialog box is displayed. You can use this dialog box toreview and edit AutoCAD properties, such as the layer on which the object isdrawn. You can view the style assigned to the object, and can also change ithere. You can also edit an object style on the Settings tab of Toolspace.Right-click the object style. Click Edit to open the Style dialog box.

Consistent Editing Methods | 29

Click a table cell toedit the value.

Editing AutoCAD properties for an alignment

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Exercise: Familiarization Tour

In this exercise, you will explore the Toolspace and Workspace settings.

Using an alignment as an example, you will explore objects and styles locatedon the Toolspace Prospector and Settings tabs. You will also examine theworkspace menus.

To view Toolspace tabs in AutoCAD Civil 3D

Open the file C:\Program Files\AutodeskCivil 3D 2009 \Getting StartedGuide\GSG_alignments.dwg.To access the Toolspace, click Generalmenu and click Toolspace.In Toolspace, on the Settings tab, ex-pand the Alignment collection. Notethe Alignment Styles, Design Checks,Label Styles, Table Styles, and Com-mands collections.

1

Right-click the drawing GSG_align-ments.dwg. The context menuprovides access to dialog boxes whereyou can edit drawing settings, labelstyle defaults, LandXML settings, andtable tag numbers.

2

Exercise: Familiarization Tour | 31

In Toolspace, on the Prospector tab,expand the Sites collection and ex-pand Conway Farms and its Align-ments. Right-click East-West Drive. Thecontext menu enables you to opendialog boxes to view and changeproperties such as Object Style andreference points.Make changes as desired and click OK.Now expand the Parcels collection andobserve how parcel data is displayedby opening the Properties dialog box.You can also edit object styles, createmapcheck or inverse reports, or editproperties that you can define such asparcel address.

3

Now you will explore the workspacesettings. You can customize the work-space menus to suit your particulartasks or preferences.In the lower right of the Civil 3D inter-face, click the Workspace Switching

icon and select Annotation andDrafting and observe how the menusare reorganized.

4

Select the Annotation menu. Note thecommands for adding labels and

5

tables. This menu facilitates the la-beling process during the draftingstage of your project. Experiment withthe workspace settings and customizethem for your design needs.

Click again to open the Work-space Settings dialog box. Use this

32 | Chapter 2 Designing with Objects

dialog box to customize the order anddisplay of the settings.

Standard Controls for Styles and LabelsEvery AutoCAD Civil 3D object has a style assigned to it. These styles arecreated, assigned, and managed in a consistent way for all objects. All objectshave an object style and can have one or more label styles. Some objects havetable styles as well. You can browse the collections of styles in a drawing, onthe Settings tab of the Toolspace window, as shown in the followingillustration:

Style collection folders on the Settings tab of the Toolspacewindow

To create a new style or to edit an existing style, right-click the style on theSettings tab, and then click Edit.

The Style dialog box for labels is called the Label Style Composer. It containsa preview window that makes it easy to adjust label location and appearance.

Standard Controls for Styles and Labels | 33

Label Style Composer dialog box showing a point label style

There are many ways to open the Label Style Composer:

Right-click an existing style and click Edit.

Right-click an existing style and click New.

Right-click a label style type and click New.

You can also access the Label Style Composer from the Label Style Control,which is available in many dialog boxes.

You can also access the Label Style Composer while working directly in yourdrawing. To quickly access the composer while in the drawing, select a label.Then right-click and select either Properties or Label Properties. In the AutoCADProperties palette, click the label style to display a list of available styles.

For more information about styles and labels, see the chapter Using Styles andSettings (page 39) in this guide.

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Precision Layout StrategiesWhen creating objects, such as horizontal alignments, parcels, and profiles,you may need to use several different methods. Sometimes you want to drawquick freehand versions, other times you have specific distances and anglesto enter. AutoCAD Civil 3D supports both methods of working.

The main layout tools have settings that you can use to control some designelements while you draw each object. For example, when drawing alignmentsor profiles, you can create a series of linked tangents and add curves later, oryou can have curves of standard dimensions inserted at each tangentintersection as you draw. Similarly, you can specify a default area for eachparcel and a minimum frontage distance.

You can also use the transparent commands to specify precise point locationswhile you are laying out an object. From a current point in an alignment orparcel, you can specify the next point using standard surveying methods, suchas angle and distance, northing and easting, latitude and longitude, or pointnumber. As shown in the following figure, for a profile, you can specify apoint by various methods, such as station and elevation or grade and distance.In each case, you use the command by entering a short code on the commandline (for example, bd for bearing and distance) or by clicking an icon on theTransparent Commands toolbar.

Distance transparent command in progress on a profileview

Object Building BlocksCorridors and pipe networks share a similar complex structure, in that bothobjects are built up from standard components. These components exist in acatalog, and you can modify them to create additional components.

Precision Layout Strategies | 35

Corridors

A corridor is created from one or more assemblies, which are standard roadwaycross-sections. You design an assembly from subassemblies, such as lanes,curbs, shoulders, and ditches. The subassemblies are provided in a set ofcatalogs, which you can review by clicking General menu Catalog or Generalmenu Tool Palette Window.

Roadway assembly (left), with subassemblies shown in a tool palette (right)

Each subassembly has a defined cross-section, and some subassembliesautomatically adapt to their location. For example, the slope of a road lanechanges as superelevation is applied, and a side slope automatically createseither a cut or fill slope, depending on the relative elevation of the existingsurface.

The dimensions of a subassembly, such as the width of a lane or the heightof a curb are stored as properties. If you want to create a new subassemblybased on an existing one, use this simple procedure:

1 Right-click a subassembly in the Tool Palette, copy it, and paste it.

2 Right-click the subassembly that you copied and click Properties.

3 Rename the subassembly and modify the numeric parameters.

You can also create custom subassemblies from AutoCAD polylines. In thiscase, you must also specify the subassembly behavior within an assembly andin the process of corridor creation. You can define custom subassemblies andtheir behavior using Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) scripts, then use theAutoCAD Civil 3D COM application programming interface (API) to link theseto the main application.

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A subassembly definition references point, link, and shape codes. Points arethe vertices of the subassembly, and they can be attachment points for adjacentassemblies. Links are the line segments or curves between the points. Shapesare two-dimensional polygons that represent the cross-sectional shape of thesubassembly. The following figure shows a coding diagram for a Basic Curband Gutter subassembly:

Pipe Networks

A pipe network is constructed from various pipes and structures that appearin a parts list. You can see the available lists on the Toolspace Settings tab byexpanding the Pipe Network Parts Lists collection.

AutoCAD Civil 3D includes a utility called Part Builder, which you can use toedit the dimensions of parts and create new ones. You can create a new partby saving an existing one with a new name, and then modifying its dimensionsin various tables.

Detail from a Part Builder edit window for a concentric cylindricalstructure.

Pipe Networks | 37

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Using Styles and Settings

Styles determine the display format and some aspects of the behavior of objects and theirlabels. This chapter explains how you can use various settings and the versatile set of stylesin AutoCAD Civil 3D to establish CAD standards and promote efficiency at every stage of thedesign process.

Managing StylesYou can use styles to control object appearance and behavior, with flexibilityand ease, and to establish design standards. If you are the CAD manager in yourorganization, you may find that time spent creating styles for others to use paysoff in terms of efficiency and standards compliance.

AutoCAD Civil 3D is an object-oriented program that works with intelligentobjects. The objects reference a style, which can be changed at any time. Anystyle can be copied by dragging it from one drawing to another. The new drawingknows where to put that style in the Settings tree. You can then apply the newstyle to existing objects.

Any label style can be copied by creating a child style. A child style derives itsdefault settings from its parent, the existing style. To create a child style for alabel, on the Toolspace Settings tab, right-click a label style. Click New. In theLabel Style Composer dialog box, make changes to the settings as desired andclick OK. The child style will appear underneath the parent style in the Settingstree. See the Labels and Settings (page 57) exercise at the end of this chapter.

You can use styles to manage the display of objects at different phases of aproject. In the following illustration, the upper drawing uses surface and parcelstyles appropriate for a preliminary layout, while the lower drawing uses differentstyles for the final presentation:

3

39

Early layout phase

Final drawing phase

Using customized surface and alignment styles for different phases of a project

40 | Chapter 3 Using Styles and Settings

Types of StylesAutoCAD Civil 3D includes styles for objects, their labels, data tables, and thebands that annotate profile views and section views. Each of these styles isdescribed in the following sections.

Object Styles

Each object type includes a Basic style. Use this style as it is, or as a basis forbuilding custom styles. You can create styles to meet the needs of a particularproject, a group of users, or any other design requirement. Groups of stylescan be collected into a template (.dwt) file, so that all drawings based on thattemplate share the same style configuration.

All object types have similar style controls, and a similar set of style collectionson the Toolspace Settings tab. You access the style editing dialog boxes byright-clicking one of the styles and then clicking Edit.

The following illustration shows some common style editing tasks for points,surfaces, and alignments:

Types of Styles | 41

1 Point style: using a custommarker

2 Surface style: smoothingcontours

3 Alignment style: changing thecolor of the line components

1

2

3

Editing the style for three different types of objects

42 | Chapter 3 Using Styles and Settings

In addition to feature-specific styles, AutoCAD Civil 3D includes multipurposestyles that apply to several objects. Most of these styles apply to grading objectsand corridor assemblies, and control the appearance of components, such asmarkers, feature lines, and slope patterns.

Label Styles

Labels are associated with many objects, and their content is updated wheneverthe object itself is changed. Labels are also controlled by styles. You can modifythe label styles in the same way that you modify the object styles: right-clicka style name on the Toolspace Settings tab, and then click Edit. You can createand save label sets for alignments, profiles, and sections, which allows you toapply multiple label types in one operation. For example, an alignment labelset could include labels for major stations, minor stations, and geometrypoints.

Labels can include text, blocks, lines, ticks, and leaders. You can easily createlabels and preview their appearance in the Label Style Composer dialog box,as shown in the following illustration:

Label Styles | 43

Alignment station labels and parcel arealabels appear in the drawing as they appearin the preview of the Style Composer.

Table styles can alsobe customized.

Previewing customized label styles for alignment stations and parcel area

44 | Chapter 3 Using Styles and Settings

When composing a label style, you work with the following types of attributes:

Location. Controls the location of the label in relation to the object.

Text. Specifies which object data is displayed, and sets the size, color, andfont for the text.

Appearance and Visibility. Defines the bounding box, color, lineweight,linetype, and other aspects of label appearance, and sets the visibility ofany of the label components.

Dragged State. Determines how a label changes if it is dragged away fromthe default location to a place where it is more readable. For example, youcan specify the addition of a leader line with arrow.

Plan Readability. Automatically rotates any upside-down label text so it isreadable in plan view. Otherwise, if labels are oriented in relation to anobject, they might be displayed upside-down.

Orientation. Sets the rotation angle of the labels in relation to the objectyou are labeling, the current view, or the world coordinate system (WCS).

Setting the label style defaults provides an efficient way to standardize somekey aspects of label appearance and behavior for all objects in the drawing.To review and edit these defaults, right-click the drawing name on theToolspace Settings tab and click Edit Label Style Defaults.

All label text is controlled by the Text Component Editor. To access the TextComponent Editor, in the Label Style Composer dialog box, click the Layouttab. Select a component from the Component Name list, or create a new textcomponent. Under Text, click the Value column for Contents, and then click

. You can use this editor to simultaneously edit the text for an entire groupof labels.

Label Styles | 45

Use the Properties list at the top of the dialog box to specify which objectproperty to include in the label. For example, a parcel area label can includeproperties such as the parcel area, perimeter, number, and street address. Eachproperty component can include character strings and data codes, as shownon the screen on the right. After you select a property to include, use the tableon the left to specify the format of text inside the double brackets ().When you finish modifying the values, click the right arrow at the top of thedialog box to send the updated component to the screen on the right. Usethe screen on the right to modify the standard text strings outside the bracketsand to cut and paste entire components.

Managing Label Styles

Use the AutoCAD Properties palette to manage most labels. The palette displaysthe Standard AutoCAD properties and also the label properties such as LabelStyle and whether the label is visible, flipped, or pinned.

You can simultaneously edit an entire group of labels. For example, you cancreate additional label text for inclusion on all labels by performing a singleaction. Some types of labels, such as station labels, are group type labels. Toedit a group of labels, right-click a label, which highlights the group, and clickeither Label Properties or Properties to access the AutoCAD Properties palette.

Also, you can select and edit a single label. To edit a single label within a labelgroup, use Ctrl+left-click to select a label. Right-click the label and click eitherLabel Properties or Properties to access the Properties palette. To select morethan one label (subentity) within a group of labels, continue to press Ctrl andclick additional labels.

46 | Chapter 3 Using Styles and Settings

You can use the Style Selection menu in the Properties palette to bulk-editlabel properties. This is a convenient method of editing labels without havingto navigate to the Toolspace Settings tab. You can quickly create, edit, or copystyles while working directly within the drawing.

Select the Edit/Create option to open the Select Style dialog box where youcan create a new style, copy the currently selected style, create a child style,or edit the currently selected style using the Label Style Composer.

You can now directly edit or change a label style using the Edit Label Styleoption. In the drawing, select the label to edit. Right-click and select Edit LabelStyle.

You can also edit an existing label style in Toolspace. In Toolspace, on theSettings tab, right-click the label style you want to edit and click Edit. Use the

Label Styles | 47

Label Style Composer to edit the label. In the Label Style Composer, click to access the Text Component Editor.

Table Styles

AutoCAD Civil 3D provides automated data tables for points, surfaces, parcels,alignments, and quantity takeoff. As shown in the following illustration, thesetables provide a concise display of object data as an alternative to using objectlabels. The table styles control the data properties and the displayedcomponents of the table. Data properties include the data format, order ofcolumns, text style, and whether the table title and column headers arerepeated if the table is split. Display components include the borders,separators, fill, and text. You can control the visibility, color, linetype, andscale of each component.

Example data table for the Ridge Road alignment

Table Tags

Use the Table Tag Numbering dialog box to set the default starting numberand increment options for table tags. To access the Table Tag Numberingdialog box, navigate to the Toolspace Prospector tab. Then, right-click thedrawing name, and select Table Tag Numbering. You can also access this dialog

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box from the Add Labels dialog box. You can use General line and curve labelsalone or with parcel segment labels to create a table.

The table tag settings for segment labels are no longer controlled by the siteand can be found in the drawing settings, DWG node and is drawing-wide.By default when creating table tags, the settings control the starting number,and increment number.

Use this dialog box to set your table tags automatically

Note that duplicate tags are not created unless you manually create them withthe EditParcelTagNumbers command. When table tags are created, it preventsthe creation of duplicate tag number within the drawing. When renumberingtable tags, you can create duplicates by changing the starting number orincrement in the settings (table tag renumbering section of the dialog).

Table tags support the following tag mode labels: general line, general curve,parcel line, parcel curve, alignment line, alignment curve, and alignmentspiral.

Band Styles

Profiles and sections are displayed in a graph format. These profile views andsection views can be annotated with data bands along the top and bottom ofthe grid. Each band marks significant points along the length of the profile

Band Styles | 49

or section. For example, in a profile view, you can have separate bands forvertical geometry, horizontal geometry, superelevation data, and pipe networks.

The following illustration shows part of a profile data band above a horizontalgeometry band. In the profile data band, at each major station you see theelevations of the existing ground and finished grade profiles. The horizontalgeometry band shows the location of a curve and some engineering data aboutthe curve.

Part of two profile view data bands

Separate band styles exist for each band type. In each style definition, youcan specify what data to display and details of the band format, such as theheight and position of the band (above or below the grid), and the color ofcomponents, such as borders and labels. If you want a standard set of bandsfor use with profile or section views, you can define these as a band set andapply them as needed.

Profile and Section View Styles

You modify the appearance of a profile view the same way you modify theappearance of other objects, by changing its style. The profile view stylecontrols the format of the graph on which the profiles are displayed, as wellas the title and annotations on the axes.

Customizing profile view styles is a good example of how styles can bemodified for different stages of your project. In the design phase, you mayuse one profile style that has few grid elements and limited annotation. Bylimiting annotation and grid elements you reduce drawing size and improvedrawing performance. During the plotting stage of the design, a second stylemay be used that includes extensive annotation and uses more graph elements

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than the design style. For more information about profile and section viewstyles, see the AutoCAD Civil 3D Help.

Using Styles with LayersMost objects in AutoCAD Civil 3D have several components. For example, asurface includes contours, triangles, and points. You can control how thesecomponents are displayed either by using layers or by setting the displayproperties directly in the object style. You use the Layer Properties Managerdialog box or the object styles dialog boxes respectively to do this.

The Display tab of the object styles dialog boxes provides a number of settingsthat are similar to those in the Layer Properties Manager dialog box, such asvisibility, color, linetype, and lineweight. This duplication means that youcan control object appearance using only styles, only layers, or a combinationof the two.

Display properties defined in the object styles dialog boxes override the settingsdefined for the drawing layers in the Layer Properties Manager dialog box.For example, you can use two different styles to distinguish the display ofexisting ground and finished grade surfaces, even if they are drawn on thesame layer.

The following illustration shows how you can use both style settings andtraditional layers to control the display characteristics of an object. The styleshown in the upper drawing directly modifies the color and visibility of the

Using Styles with Layers | 51

surface components, so that the surface points are turned on and colored red,even though the layer on which the points are drawn (0) is turned off andcolored white in the Layer Properties Manager dialog box.

The style shown in the lower drawing assigns the surface components to layersalready defined in the drawing. In this case, the color of the major and minorcontours is set by the C-TOPO-MAJR and C-TOPO-MINR layers.

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Visibility and colorof the surfacecomponentsare controlled by thelayer assignment.

Visibility and colorof the surfacecomponentsare controlled bysettings on theDisplay tab of theSurface Styledialog box.

Managing object appearance using style settings (above) and layers (below)

Using Styles with Layers | 53

Label ObjectsMost labels are implemented as independent label objects and are nothighlighted when the parent object is selected. Label object properties areseparate from the parent object. You can use the LIST command to displaythe label properties.

Label objects can include references to other AutoCAD Civil 3D objects byincluding Referenced Text components.

The layer behavior of label objects is different. For example, their new defaultlayers are specified in the Drawing Settings and can be changed using theAutoCAD Properties palette (rather than modifying the label style with theLabel Properties dialog box).

You can control the behavior of labels in one of two ways, by referencingeither the layer in the style or the layer that the label resides on.

In previous releases of AutoCAD Civil 3D, all group type labels were subentitiesof the parent object. If the parent object was frozen, the labels would disappearwith the frozen parent object. Independent object labels are no longersubentities of the parent object. However, if you desire to control the objectlayer in conjunction with a parent object, you can set the layer that the labelresides on to 0, which will make it behave as if it were a subentity of the parentobject. In this case, with the layer set to 0, if the layer of the parent object isfrozen, the label will also be frozen (and will no longer be visible).

Table Creation and Label TypesIn this release of AutoCAD Civil 3D, when creating parcel tables, you canselect general line and curve label types and parcel segment labels, includingany line or curve labels, that are applied to a line, curve, feature line, orpolyline.

You can create an alignment segment label that references a general line orcurve style for inclusion in a table. General line and curve label styles nowhave a Tag Mode that supports general line and curve labels, parcel segmentlabels that reference a general line or curve style, and alignment segment labelsthat reference a general line or curve style.

The Add Table commands (Add Line, Add Curve, and Add Segment) areavailable on the Lines/Curves menu, the Grading menu (for feature lines),and the Survey Menu (for figures and survey figures). The Renumber Tagscommand is also available on these menus.

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Object SettingsSettings in AutoCAD Civil 3D provide many preset values, ranging from values,such as drawing units, scale, and coordinate system, to optional defaults, suchas the layers that the different objects are created on, and the use of tooltips.You can access the setting dialog box by right-clicking the appropriatecollection on the Toolspace Settings tab, and then clicking Edit Feature Settings.

You can work with three levels of settings:

Drawing settings establish values for the whole drawing. If you are creatinga drawing template, ensure that these are set correctly.

Feature settings control behavior for a particular feature, such as Parcelsor Grading.

Command settings apply to individual commands within a feature, suchas the CreateParcelByLayout command within the Parcels feature.

Each lower level object in the settings hierarchy can either inherit or overridesettings in the level above it. The following illustration shows an override setfor area units at the Parcels feature level. The arrow in the Child Overridecolumn of the Drawing Settings dialog box (upper drawing) indicates that anoverride has been set at a lower level. The check mark in the Override columnin the Parcel Settings dialog box (lower drawing) indicates that the value setin this dialog box overrides the setting at a higher level. At the drawing levelyou can cancel an override by clicking it. You can prevent overrides by lockinga setting.

Object Settings | 55

Area units for parcel objectsare acres, overriding thedrawing setting. For otherobjects, area units remainset to square meters.

How feature settings can override drawing settings

56 | Chapter 3 Using Styles and Settings

Exercise: Object and Label StylesIn this exercise, you create and modify a child label style.

Using parcel labels as an example, you will learn how to create a child styleand observe how changes to parent styles affect the child styles.

To create and change label styles in AutoCAD Civil 3D

Open the file C:\Program Files\AutodeskCivil 3D 2009\Getting StartedGuide\GSG_styles.dwg.In Toolspace, on the Settings tab, ex-pand the Parcel collection, and thenexpand the Label Styles collection.Now expand Area and right-click theStandard style. Click New.

1

On the Label Style Composer dialogbox Information tab, the new stylename is Standard [Child].Make changes as desired and click OK.Observe that in the Label Style collec-tion, the new child style appears underStandard.

2

Exercise: Object and Label Styles | 57

Right-click Standard and click Edit.In the Label Style Composer dialogbox, on the Layout tab, change theBorder Visibility setting to True. Notethat now a visible border is displayedaround the label.Click OK to close the dialog box.

3

Right-click the Standard [Child] Labeland click Edit.

4

On the Layout tab, observe that thechange to the parent style has affectedthe child style, which now also has aBorder Visibility setting of True.

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Exercise: Object and Label Styles | 59

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Designing DrawingStandards

This chapter outlines a process for creating drawing templates. You can use drawing templatesto save time by establishing a consistent format for drawings and a standard design process.

Creating TemplatesAutoCAD Civil 3D provides a number of features that contribute to a standardappearance and behavior for all your drawings. These can all be specified in adrawing template, which is saved as a .dwt file. Your organization may needseveral templates for different customers or project types. Then, whenever youstart a new drawing, you can open a template that contains all the requiredsettings and styles. The general process for setting up a template is described inthe following sections.

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Lot labels are controlled bya parcel label style, whichcould also be defined in thetemplate file.

Units and precision foralignments are set in thetemplate file.STA=22+00.00

LOT: 1Area: 8321.86 sq. m0.83 hectares

Defining standards using a template file and a label style

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Drawing Settings

As a basis for configuring your drawing settings, choose an existing templatethat is closest to your needs. To see the available templates, click Filemenu New. If you want some preset object styles, the four templates thathave names beginning with _AutoCAD Civil 3D, are recommended. Thenames of these templates, such as AutoCAD Civil 3D (Imperial) NCS Base.dwt,indicate some of their settings. The metric or imperial label indicates the mainunit of measure.

After choosing your initial template, the next step is to review and edit settings.On the Toolspace Settings tab, right-click the drawing name and click EditDrawing Settings. The Drawing Settings dialog box includes five tabs andmany settings.

Use the table on the Object Layers tab to assign objects to layers, and createor rename layers. When designing your use of layers, consider the followingpoints:

Objects on the same layer are turned on and off together if you changethe layer visibility. For maximum display flexibility, spread objects andtheir components across several layers.

The color of a layer affects all objects assigned to that layer that are drawnin a style that uses the ByLayer color setting. If you set up styles this way,you can change the color of many objects by simply changing the layercolor.

Use the Abbreviations tab as a central location in which to set the abbreviationsused in object labels, especially for alignment and profile geometry points.

Using the Ambient Settings tab requires a careful review, because it providesglobal default settings, such as the precision of numeric values, and thevisibility of tooltips. One very useful setting is the General setting, Save

Drawing Settings | 63

Command Changes To Settings. If you set this to Yes, then whenever youchange a setting, such as the radius of an alignment curve, it is saved as thedefault value for next time. Another important setting on this tab isIndependent Layer On. This must be set to No if you want to be able to controlobject visibility by turning layers on and off.

On the Ambient Settings tab, you see a blue arrow in the Child Overridecolumn next to any setting that is changed for one or more features (objects)in the drawing. You can cancel the override by clicking the arrow, and youcan click the lock icon to lock any setting and prevent overrides at the featurelevel.

After configuring the ambient settings, you should work down through Point,Surface, and other features in the Settings tree, right-clicking each feature andselecting Edit Feature Settings. Doing this allows you to examine the defaultstyles for each feature and its labels, the feature name format, and other settingsthat you may want to modify. The ambient settings you configured at thedrawing level are available at the feature level in case you want to overridethem.

Layer Standards

Maintaining a standard for the use of layers is easier if you have a drawingtemplate with predefined layers, and styles that reference those layers whenobjects are created. For additional consistency, save your template as anAutoCAD standards file (.dws format). Then, in the template, enter theSTANDARDS command and in the Configure Standards dialog box, link thestandards file to the template. If you want to enforce the standards, you canclick the Settings button and activate notifications of standards violations, or

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override such violations. For more information, see Define Standards in theAutoCAD help.

Object Styles

Ideally, your drawing template will have the perfect set of styles for yourprojects, but this usually takes some time to evolve. To assist the process,create a demonstration drawing that contains one or more surface, alignment,and other object types. Or you can explore the Sample_styles.dwg, that issupplied with AutoCAD Civil 3D. After a default installation, you can findthis file at: C:\Program Files\AutoCAD Civil 3D 2009\Best PracticesGuide\Sample_styles.dwg. This provides a good laboratory in which to displayand develop styles. Consider designing styles to reflect the informationrequirements at different times in the project. For example, create styles forobjects in the design phase, and other styles for their final presentation. Also,you can create styles for different users of the drawings, showing object detailsand labels that present the data each type of user needs.

Label Styles

The styles for labels are another template item that should be developed witha top-down approach, similar to that for drawing settings and feature settings.At the drawing level, click Edit Label Style Defaults. In this context, you canset global standards such as those for text font, size, and label behavior aroundcurves. As with the object styles, after setting label style defaults you can reviewthe feature-level settings and apply any required overrides.

In this release of AutoCAD Civil 3D, you can use general line and curve labelstyles for parcel segment labels, and for alignment line and curve labels.Previously, general line label styles could be used to label only lines, curves,and polylines. The general line label styles are now available from the parcel,alignment, grading, and survey menus. For more information, see Label Objects(page 54). Parcel tables now support general line and curve label types anddisplay either general line and curve labels or parcel segment labels. For moreinformation, see Table Creation and Label Types (page 54).

Object Styles | 65

Plan Production ToolsYou can use AutoCAD Civil 3D plan production tools to automate the processof creating construction documents from your designs. Select an alignmentin your drawing, and using the plan production tools, you can quickly createsheets that automatically display the desired data.

You can use the View Frames wizard to create view frames along an alignment.Click General menu Plan Production Tools Create View Frames to openthe View Frames wizard. After creating the view frames, you can easily createsheets for construction plans. Click General menu Plan ProductionTools Create Sheets to open the Create Sheets wizard. See Plan ProductionTools (page 149) to explore the view frame and sheet creation process. For moreinformation about Plan Production tools, see Plan Production Tools in theHelp system.

Enhancing Drawings with Visualization ToolsAutoCAD render materials can greatly enhance the appearance of yourdrawings by simulating real world materials for a more realistic view of thedesign. Experiment with the render materials to determine which will workbest for your drawings. You can use this feature to enhance renderings ofsurfaces, corridors, and pipe networks. Click View menu Render Renderto render the object with the selected material. Click View menu Render Materials to open the Render Materials dialog box, where you can createnew materials and add or remove materials from the current drawing. Formore information, see Render Materials in the Help system.

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Exercise: Drawing SettingsIn this exercise, you will open a file that contains alignments and look at someways to work with drawing settings in AutoCAD Civil 3D.

Using alignments as an example, you will learn how to edit the drawingsettings to specify the default layer on which new objects will be created.

To set up object layers in AutoCAD Civil 3D

Open the file C:\ProgramFiles\Autodesk Civil 3D 2009 \GettingStarted Guide\GSG_alignments.dwg.

Click View menu Zoom Window.Draw a rectangle that includes thesketch lines at the bottom. Your viewof the drawing should look like this.

1

In Toolspace, on the Settings tab,right-click the name of the drawingand click Edit Drawing Settings.

2

In the Drawing Settings dialog box,click the Object Layers tab.This tab shows the default layers onwhich the various objects are created.You will change the default layer foralignments.

3

Exercise: Drawing Settings | 67

On the Object Layers tab, in theAlignment row, click the C-ROADvalue.In the Layer Selection dialog box, se-lect the C-ROAD-CNTR row. Click OKtwice to exit the Settings dialog boxes.

4

Click Alignments menu CreateAlignment From Polyline.In the drawing, click the cyan polylineat the bottom of the drawing.

5

In the Create Alignment dialog box,for Alignment Style, select Major Road.Note that the Alignment Layer is setto C-ROAD-CNTR. New alignmentswill be placed on this layer.

6

Click OK.

The new alignment is drawn on theC-ROAD-CNTR layer, using the MajorRoad style.

7

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Managing Project Data

The project management feature of AutoCAD Civil 3D is based on Autodesk Vault, a databasefor storing and sharing data among members of a project team. This chapter explains howto set up and use Autodesk Vault to manage your projects. The project management systemalso includes the data reference methods known as External References (xrefs) and DataShortcuts, which you can use for less complex and smaller projects.

The Collaborative EnvironmentThe project management system supports shared access to project files by anentire design team. There are three mechanisms for the sharing of design datawithin a project:

Object references in Autodesk Vault

External references

Data shortcuts

Before deciding which method to use, consider the complexity of drawings, thenumber of drawings involved, the size of your project team that will access andedit the files, and your requirements for ease of use as opposed to your need fordata security. Each mechanism is best suited to particular project requirements.

Autodesk VaultThe heart of the project management system is a set of project folders in anAutodesk Vault database. These folders can contain databases of point objects,along with official copies of surfaces, alignments, and other objects. When you

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want to edit a particular drawing, you can check it out from the database,which locks it so that other users can get a read-only copy, but cannot editthe drawing.

As shown in the following illustration, you can import some read-onlyreference objects from the Vault database, such as surfaces or alignments intoa drawing. These reference objects participate in the design process withinyour local drawing. You can change their style and labeling, but you cannotchange their geometry.

ReferenceAlignments

ReferenceSurface

ParcelDrawing

A user with edit permissions for the reference object can check out the drawingthat contains the master copy and change it. When the edited version ischecked back into the database, any open drawing that contains a referencecopy is updated with markers in the Prospector tree and the Windows SystemTray, advising the user that the drawing does not include the latest versionof the reference object. The user can choose to update the object or not.Whenever a drawing that contains a reference object is opened, it automaticallyretrieves the latest version of the reference object.

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Access to Autodesk Vault

When you install AutoCAD Civil 3D, you have the option of installing astand-alone Autodesk Vault database on your computer. This database is goodfor experimenting with project management commands, but it cannot supportmultiple users. The other option is to install the Autodesk Vault server on anetwork, which creates a multi-user production system.

In either case, you can access the Autodesk Vault database on the ToolspaceProspector tab, Master View. Simply right-click the Projects icon and click LogIn. Alternatively, on the Windows Start menu, launch the Autodesk Vaultapplication.

Autodesk Vault Set Up

If you follow a few general guidelines for creating user accounts and databases,you can ensure that your system balances data security with ease of use.

Database Projects and Folders

You can create project directories and folders within either AutoCAD Civil 3Dor Autodesk Vault. However, a drawing can contain objects from only oneproject. In the same project you should include all data and drawings thatcan possibly relate to each other, to facilitate object sharing.

The standard project folder structure for AutoCAD Civil 3D is shown in thefollowing illustration:

Access to Autodesk Vault | 71

In this example, a project named Park Project includes collections of drawings,alignments, and surfaces. Placeholders exist for points, pipe networks, and asurvey database. The object collections, such as Alignments, include all objectsthat are shared within the project, for read-only use by members of the projectteam.

The security framework for project folders is described in the following section.

User Accounts and Roles

Each person using your Autodesk Vault database has one of three main userroles:

Administrator

Vault Editor

Vault Consumer

Permissions can be applied to individual users and to user groups. With carefulplanning, you can minimize the amount of configuration required and createa flexible security system. For example, rather than assigning permissions toeach user, you can save time by creating project-specific user groups or

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job-based groups, such as Engineers, Project Managers, and Data Technicians.Then, you can add users to the groups and set permissions once for each group.Later, you can move users from one group to another to change theirpermissions.

Administrator

The Administrator role has the highest level of permissions, and is able to doall tasks on the server and within Autodesk Vault databases. Only anadministrator can create user accounts, user groups, and databases on theserver, and set access permissions. For security purposes, only a few usersshould have administrator permissions, but enough so that an administratoris always available during work hours.

Vault Editor

A Vault Editor has full read-write permissions within Autodesk Vault, and isable to create new projects and folders in the database, add files, and edit files.Assign this user role to anyone who needs to create drawings and share objectswithin the database.

Vault Consumer

A Vault Consumer has read-only access to the database, and is able to getreference versions of objects for use in drawings saved outside of the database.Assign this role to anyone who does not regularly share objects or add drawingsto a project.

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External References (xrefs)You can insert into your current drawing an external reference (xref) of theentire contents of another drawing as a display-only object.

To insert an xref, click Insert menu External Reference and in the SelectReference File dialog box, insert a specified drawing (.dwg) into your currentdrawing. Objects in the referenced drawing cannot be edited, but you cancontrol the display of separate components with the Layer Manager.

Xref Advantages

Xrefs may be as simple as a single object or as complex as a complete design.Keep in mind that xrefs insert into your current drawing the entire contentsof the drawing. The advantage of xrefs is that they can be used with differentDWG types. Xrefs are ideally used when you will not need to manipulateobjects within the referenced file. They can also be used with either datashortcuts or Autodesk Vault.

Another advantage of using xrefs is that you can label them in your currentdrawing. Because parcel data is not supported by Vault, you can import parcelxrefs and then can annotate them as you would any other object. You canalso create parcel tables using xrefs. It is recommended that you do not labelxref data in the source drawing, but rather in the current drawing.

NOTE Any changes to the source drawing will be reflected in the current drawingsxref labels.

Xref Constraints

Xrefs are display-only and they provide no access to object data such as surfaceelevations or alignment length. For example, you cannot create a surfaceprofile from a surface in an xref. Both data shortcuts and Vault object referencesprovide access to object data. Xrefs are best used when you do not need toedit objects within the referenced file. Links can be easily moved and referencefiles renamed with ease. Use caution as xrefs do not provide the securitymechanism that Autodesk Vault does.

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Data ShortcutsYou can use a data shortcut to import