2011-05-21

Mastering Civil 3D Winner - Tips and Tricks

Thank you to everyone who participated in the Tips and Tricks contest. I apologize for the delay in selecting the winner. I'm finally on summer break from uni and had some time to revisit this.

This post is about the winner of the Mastering AutoCAD Civil 3D 2011 book!

Congratulations to Dave Drahn! As promised, an impartial party was given the names of all of the tipsters, and he selected one at random. 


Tipster: Dave Drahn
Product: Civil 3D

With C3D came a crapload of new layers and time to wrap our head around (usually) the NCS layering standards. To help us handle these a little easier, in our C3D template(s), I've included a set of layer filters like these:


 
The time it took to set these up in the template undoubtedly paid for itself in the first week of use by just one user and is now a standard at our company.

Finding these filter codes in help was trickier than doing them. Here are 3 of them, but I can post the rest somewhere if desired:

All Civil 3D Layers
[A C V O]-* (all layers beginning with A-, C-, V- or O-)
Layer* (any new layer created while in the filter will display initially as "Layer...")

Profiles
C-PROF* (All layers beginning with C-Prof...)
Layer* (See above)

No C3D Layers
~[A C V O]-* (Layer name Not beginning with A-, C-, etc)
Layer* (see above)

Also, if you need to show No C3D or Xref Layers, simply select the "All C3D and Xref layers" filter and check the Invert Filter box.


Thanks to everyone else submitted tips but did not win, your sharing is very much appreciated!
Tipster: Zane Zigmund
Product: Civil 3D

Adding notes to objects in Civil3D
1. Select the “General” menu followed by “Utilities” then “Notes”
2. In the drawing select the object that you wish to add the notes to, followed by ENTER!
3. The Text Dialogue box is displayed and you can now enter the required information, followed by “OK”
4. To view any text that may have been attached to an object simply bring up the properties of the object (by double clicking the object). Select the “Extended Data” tab and any notes attached to an object can be read.

 Tipster: Earl Kubaskie
Product: Civil 3D

Got a flat surface at an even elevation where contours jump across instead of going all the way around? Get sloppy! Set the elevation of the features that define the surface "close enough", like 39.99999 instead of 40.0! Your "40" contour will now wrap all the way around, label properly, and you won't have anyplace where the contour pops across the feature. And the effect on volume calcs and such will be nil unless you're covering a LOT of ground.

ps - you might have to do it the other way (40.000001) if your feature is a plateau instead of a pond!

 Tipster: David Renaud
Product: AutoCAD

 Having trouble seeing your QLEADER during the command so that you have to guess where it ends up if the angles are constrained? And DRAGMODE and DRAGP1 don't do a thing for you? 
Try switching from model space to paper space, and back again. Don't ask me how or why, but it works!

 Tipster: Kyle Nishioka
Product: AutoCAD

Use the Shift + Right-Click context menu and a shortcut key to select Object Snap points instead of using the OSNAP lock.

For example, start the LINE command then Shift + Right-Click and hit "E" for the Endpoint snap.  Most of the common Object Snap shortcut letters are typed with the left hand (e.g. E = Endpoint, A = Apparent Intersection, C = Center, R = Nearest). 
This makes it easy to select only a particular type of Object Snap among a dense cluster of snapping points.

Tipster: Sam Lucido
Product: AutoCAD

Use the express tool LAYDEL command but at the command prompt type N to bring up a dialog box to dispay a list of layers that you can choose from and delete.  This is a great tool for managing drawings with large amounts of layer information.
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