Volume Labels on a Section View?

I’ve had people request a way to put volume labels on a section view before, but I had no really good way to do it. I thought that I had heard some rumblings in Manchester about being able to do that in Civil 3D 2008, but quickly glanced at it and forgot about it when I couldn’t find an easy way to do it. This morning on my drive in, sections were really on my mind for some reason, and I remembered wanting to be able to add the volume labels. So, I asked my good pal Nick Zeeben if it was there – he told me that it was, and where to find it. He even let me in on the secret, which I’ll let you people know in a few minutes. So, if you think you’d like to see a section view that has the information shown in the image below, click more to see how it’s done.

Sections are vastly improved in Civil 3D 2008 – one of the new features that excited me most of all. After many emails back and forth to Manchester and a dinner or two, I finally realized that pretty much everything that had been requested has been put into sections now. For today, all we’ll really talk about is the volume label improvements, but I hope to get much deeper in the future.

First the secret – you have to compute your volumes before the necessary check box will show up to create the section view! This could very well explain why I wasn’t seeing the option and had dismissed it.

So, here’s your demo of how it works. I’m going to assume that you already know how to create a Sample Line Group (SLG) – there are some minor enhancements, but not enough to go through a dissertation on the ins and outs of creating a SLG.

Once your SLG is created, it’s time to create either a single view, or multiple views. I prefer multiple views because I’ve FINALLY figured out how to make the “Plot By Page” style work (another awesome improvement that I’ll get into later.) So we’ll pick up where I click on Create Multiple Section Views, which will bring up the following dialog box:

There are a few noteable features on this dialog box that are new, and I’ll highlight a few of them so that I can go into greater depth.

Let’s look at those a bit closer:

See the check mark? This allows me to DESELECT the option to add data bands (which I never add, by the way.) Until now, I’ve used that Null style to create an empty data band, but now I don’t get the “This data band requires you to select a section 1 and section 2 (or something like that” error. Good improvement. But not nearly as good as….

Well, what does this do? Let’s make sure it’s selected, press OK, and find out…

After I specify my section view origin, I get the following dialog box that pops up:

It took me a few tries to make sure of two things: 1) You’re likely going to have to spend a bit of time setting up your volume table the way you want it. And 2) It was a pain for me to get my anchor points and attachment points and offsets set just right so that the label looked like I want it to in relation to the section view. However, after about 5 iterations I finally got it right and WROTE DOWN THE CORRECT ANSWER – so now I’ll be able to set it up in my template and never worry about it again.

Once I get everything selected and click OK, I now have nicely arranged sections with the information that I like on them, ready to be put into a viewport and plotted – just like I wanted. I’m so happy….

Many, many thanks to the team in Manchester for improving this – it’s actually fun to create sections again!


  1. Finally a few steps in the right direction concerning Cross Sections.
    Funny I don’t remember the part about “it’s actually fun to create sections again.”

  2. Torrey says:

    Great post Jason! We won’t miss those many lonely hours visiting each section for endless highway projects.

  3. jacob ekola says:


    I am now using C3D 2009 and am unable to get the materials table to come into my cross sections. I have computed my materials and can get an overall materials table to come in. However, I am unable to get a materials table to come in when I create multiple section views. I can add the materials table to each section induvidually, but that would take a while. I’m just wonering why I can’t add them all at once? This question has been described in detail and with pictures at the civil 3D discussion group at autodesk.com. The address is as follows: http://discussion.autodesk.com/forums/thread.jspa?threadID=716499&tstart=30

    Thanks for any help.