A $0.10 Tip about Point Styles

As I was thinking about a subject to write about today, I was engaged in a discussion an Autodesker (who shall remain nameless) and he pointed out something that he wasn’t aware of in Civil 3D, and I can understand why – it’s kind of a hidden setting. So if someone very familiar with the program was unaware of it, he figured (as did I) that some of you might not be familiar with it either. It’s all about point styles.

Ever drag a point label away from a point marker and got really irritated because the arrow head didn’t EXACTLY touch the point? Follow the link to find out how to fix this pesky problem.

So you have a point with the label dragged away. The leader points *at* the point marker, but doesn’t point *to* the point marker. This is what it looks like:


Notice that the arrow head doesn’t go all the way to the node of the point. When you have points that are shot in very close proximity, this could be a really big problem. So why does Civil 3D do this?

Picture drawing a square that would encompass every bit of the point marker. That is where the arrow head stops by default. This may be fine if I had a circle for my point marker, but not for the X (or the + that I typically use.) So can we change that default behavior? You bet.

It’s all about the styles. How many times have you heard that? How many times have you gotten very frustrated that it was some style buried very deep? Well, this one is pretty hidden. The setting is located in the point marker style, but not on any tab that you would expect to see it on. Ever seen the summary tab of a style? It’s there for each and every one, but I rarely go there – there’s just no reason to. I’ve already chosen my settings in the other tabs. This one, however, is in Summary tab, and ONLY on the summary tab, as shown:


If you change the value of Leader Stops At Marker from yes to no, the arrow head will behave exactly how you want it to, as shown:


Have a great weekend!


  1. Deb Williams says:

    This is great. When when you save and close out the drawing–this setting doesn’t hold in 2008; however, it has been fixed in 2009. Any ideas for 2008?

  2. Rick Graham says:

    Niiiiice tip. Thanks for sharing Jason.

  3. Atta boy! So that is where they were hiding that pesky setting! Nice find! I’ll make sure I explain this one at my AU presentation on description keys.

  4. Bret Tremblay says:

    Is there a way to do this same idea with Pipe Structures?

  5. Eric Colburn says:

    I always wondered about this. Fantastic tip-which only shows how much there is to learn.

  6. Jose Martinez says:

    Sorry about the inexpertice but we’re just getting used to Civil 3d. My boss has been working with it for a couple years and he created some styles, now the way in which he moves them from one to the other does not seem to be working and I will be getting Civil 3d 2009 soon. What is the best way to copy styles and lables and all of those from one drawing to the other?

  7. Jose,

    There are three ways that come to mind:

    1. With both drawings open, you can drag and drop each style
    Cons: Time consuming among other things

    2. You can insert one drawing into another
    Cons: You get all the mess (blocks, layers, lines, ALL styles, etc) from the drawing

    3. You can use EE ProPack’s Import Styles to accomplish this

  8. Richard Penci says:


    To import a bunch of styles open both drawings. Make the one you want to copy to is current. Go to the settings tab. Scroll to the drawing with the styles you want to copy in the upper pane. You can “grab” an entire group of styles and drag them into your drawing in this pane. Expand “point”, click & drag “point styles” into your new drawing and it will ask you if you want to overite duplicates if you already have those named styles in your drawing. You can only copy the group containing the styles. I know it works in 2008.