Presto-Chango, Abracadabra; Pull a Surface out of a Hat

Ever add a whack of spot elevations to your surface, but you changed your mind and want to use a different surface, but you don’t want to redo all of your spots because it’ll take too long and you’re too lazy to do it, or it’s Friday and you have a deadline?  Ever written a run-on sentence?

Read on…

Here’s the situation, I have a surface here with a bunch of spot elevations, nothing special.  What is special is that the entire hill you see will eventually be removed.  Now I just made this up to show an example, don’t ask.  After the hill gets removed we need to label the new surface in the same spots as before, but I don’t want to mess up the original surface.  We’re going to be using an entirely different surface in a completely different drawing with a whole different name.


You could apply this same technique to any project, a corridor, anything that uses that surface.  Point is, it would be a real pain to recreate all of those spot elevations.

At this point we have a spot elevation drawing that has a DREF’d surface.  This is the key to make this work.  You MUST be using a DREF.  We have also just been given a new drawing containing the new surface with the hill flattened.

surface - no hill

Close your drawings.  It’s all about the new Data Shortcuts Editor.  Open it up and open your data shortcuts folder.  Change the surface name, change the drawing name, change the matching.  And then hit the Save button.  Close the DSE



Before opening your drawings, right click Data Shortcuts in the Prospector and choose Validate.


Open your spots drawing and you’ll see the new surface and your spots will magically update.



If you have any other drawings using this same Data Shortcut, they will ALL be using the new surface.  if you don’t want this to happen, well, we’ll have to think of something else.

I hope you can use this.  I’m certain you’ll think of other cool things you can do with this technique.


One comment

  1. john coutinho says:

    One should be able to select one spot shot, right click select similar, change properties tool, and be able to select a different surface. The drop down option itself is not available. It is like changing a style, drop down arrow and one can change everything.
    Why cant it be made available to select various surfaces?