Autocad and Civil 3D 2008

Well, my doctor finally cleared me to venture back out (cautiously) into the big bad world. So what did I do? I went to the Autodesk Experience the Possibilities tour in Chicago! While much of it was pretty high level marketing stuff, the AutoCAD Tips and Tricks session presented by Heidi Hewett was interesting.

Most of us Civil 3D geeks spend so much of our time digging into the features of our favorite application we forget that its based on the most popular CAD platform on the planet. It’s likely that AutoCAD has changed quite a bit since the last time you took an AutoCAD class.

Here are a few tidbits that all Civil 3D users should know.

1. Get a quick overview of what’s new in AutoCAD 2008 from Heidi Hewett’s recent white paper AutoCAD 2008 Preview Guide
2. Read Heidi’s blog regularly for insight into what’s new. She’s got a ton of info posted…kinda like a for AutoCad πŸ˜‰
3. Buy an AutoCAD update book. A good one is Introducing AutoCAD 2008 by George Omura. It’s about 350 pages and about $25 on Use it to dig deeper into the stuff in Heidi’s white paper mentioned in item #1 above.

Here are a couple tips from me too!
A. Turn on DYN and keep it on. Spend a week with it on, fight through your initial negative reaction to it and you’ll learn to love it. There are certain Civil 3D tasks you just can’t do with it off.
B. Screen space is a premium, especially when using Civil 3D. Spend some time learning about the user interface to free up space. Yes, you’re familiar with toolspaces, but do you know what anchoring does? Once you get used to the DYN input, your need for the command line greatly diminishes. You can anchor it to keep it out of the way, but also have it readily available for easy access for the few times when you do need it.

So, your assignment, should you choose to accept it, is to get yourself up to speed on AutoCAD 2008. There’s a lot of good stuff in there that can help you and your team be more productive.



  1. T_Bernhard says:

    Interesting comment about DYN: “There are certain Civil 3D tasks you just canÒ€ℒt do with it off.” Would you care to expand a little?


    PS and BTW, I really do like the site’s new look. Good stuff, folks!

  2. mostly grip editing: lengthen pipes by an exact value using grips; resize diameters by keying in value; stretch edit profile PVIs and key in exact station/elevation (without transparent commands). Try it! You’ll like it! I swear.

  3. rgraham says:

    If you are trying to type coordinates (such as 0,0 for moving objects) with DYN on, it simply will not work – at least with C3D 2007 SP3. I’ve tried it over and over until I realized that I have to turn DYN off. I’ve also heard some horror stories about unexplained crashes and turning off DYN fixes it (wives tale?). Lastly, this information is in direct contradiction with Rick Ellis’ books on C3D, fyi. So please convince me otherwise! πŸ˜‰

  4. I’ve had DYN on for a while now and haven’t seen any link between DYN and crashes.
    I’ll look into the issue of coordinates and post another reply if I find anything worth reporting.
    As far as convincing you…that’s not my job! πŸ™‚ That’s your job! The best way is to try it yourself. Turn it on for a week and if you like it, use it. If not, turn it off again.