Creating those perfect labels

They are still are a few true drafters out there. Those who expect, no demand that their drawings look correct according to tried and true drafting standards and are willing to spend extra hours drafting to make it so.

With Civil3D there is less need to draft and more need to make the styles do the work for us. We are just going to briefly look at using an overlooked tool in label styles that will give you a lot more control on label placement after the jump.

One of the biggest cries I have heard through the years is that the station marker for station labels should line up with the tick marker. In the figure provided we see that is NOT the case. Yet, it is so easy to set up ‘those perfect labels’.

In the text component editor when we select what properties we will insert to make up our component there is an option at the very bottom named output.


If you change the output to being only the station character then you can control where that character (the “+” sign) is.
Thus, I edited the style so that there are three text components – the station character, the text to the left of the station character (which is anchored to the station character), the text to the right of the station character (which is also anchored to the station character). The result is shown in the figure.

As you can see now the station marker is lined (and will always be lined up) with the station tick.
With a little creativity, we can create a perfect label that meets good old drafting standards but requires no extra drafting.
Isn’t Civil3D AWESOME?!


  1. Ken Martinez says:

    Joshua….due to the nature of your set-up, this does not work so well when you put one of the labels in the Drag State. Any ideas on how to fix this?


  2. If you’re dragging a station label (bad idea IMO,) then change that particular label to another style that uses a more conventional methodology.

  3. Ken, I am grasping what you mean by not working so well.

    If the text components are anchored to each other (the station text before the station character is anchored to the station character) and you have the dragged state as composed, then it looks great! Of course, great may be relative.

  4. Bryan Thomasy says:

    This is also problematic when it comes to readability, if you have an alignment that goes East to West, and then you have to rotate your view West to East, the lables are reversed (10+00 becomes 00+10). So be aware !!!!

  5. Bryan, in the Label Style Composer, on the General tab, Plan Readablility Property, change the Flip Anchors with Text from False to True and it will work correctly.

    Regardless this style requirement isn’t in the standards, so you should be using it anyways.

  6. robert darnell says:

    how do you get a vertical curve calculation to show all elements. the only options that we can find allow us to show the length, beginning sta, ending station, elevations, and K factor. what about the AD, the ordinates, and the rest of the information that belongs to the vc. we can hand calculate it, but shouldnt the s/w give you all of the information for the curve? i have used eagle point and microstation in the past and have had no problem selecting from a pull down menu what i wanted to show on my vertical curve information. with 2008 C3D the pull down in styles is very limited in what curve data you can pick. is there a solution or is this one of those “upgrade to 2009” for the fix type of question?


  7. Interesting question Robert.

    You may want to take a look at the following post: