Civil 3D and a Whopper

“Hold the pickles, hold the lettuce. Special orders don’t upset us. Have it your way, at Burger King now…” For those of you old enough (and willing to waste the brain cells) to remember this old Burger King jingle (the original 1974 version, not the rehashed 2004), you’ll recall the that the gist of the marketing campaign was that you can have your Whopper anyway you like it. Well, a recent thread in the discussion group about the FILEDIA system variable reminded me not only of this jingle, but also of an old Autocad trick to ensure that the application loads your way, with all variables set; workspace loaded; and support file paths established.

You can do all this an more using command switches. Command switches can be added to the Target path of your shortcut by editing the shortcut properties. By default, the Target looks something like this: “C:\Program Files\Autodesk Civil 3D 2007\acad.exe” /p “>”. Note the /p, which is a command switch to set the profile. A simple search of the Civil 3D onscreen Help index on the term “command line switches” displays a list of the switches available. Of special interst are the /b, /s and /w switches. These control the loading of a script file; setting support folders; and establishing the default workspace, respectively.

The /b is very powerful because you can use it to automatically run a script file at the time the program launches. The script file can contain the values for all variables set just the way you like them. Script files are simply ASCII text files that you can create in any text editor. However, manual creation can be quite tedious, so take advantage of an Express tool.

First, set up Civil 3D, the way you lke it…for example, set FILEDIA to 1, OSMODE to 1, 32 and so on. Next, use the Express Tools System Variable Editor… to save all. This creates a SVF file. Simply change the extension to SCR and put it in a readily accessible location. Modify your shortcut Target using the /b switch and voila! Civil 3D your way.

RTFM and you’ll find other goodies, like switches to load a certain template (great for loading Civil 3D specific settings like Styles and Command Settings) or disable the splash screen.


One comment

  1. JG Gerth says:

    A good thing to remember. And, it can be extended by using the switches as additional right-click actions in Windows Explorer. It’s very simple to add additional “Open with…” options to the DWG file type, for various AutoCAD scripts, TrueView, or profiles.