AU Tip: Labeling a Surface

In the back of the room at my Best of the Blogs class at AU, a sidebar discussion broke out regarding why C3D doesn’t/can’t automatically label a surface for you. While I had to stop down the discussion to keep things on track, one of the attendees actually had a good tip on this subject, shared it with me after the class, and now I share it with you. Follow the jump to see Steve Boon’s solution for nearly instant surface labeling.

Once you have your surface, extract that border to a polyline, and offset it a few feet to the inside. Now, use the Label Multiple option, and select the extracted pline. Pick some spacing distance that makes sense, and you’re set to go.

A couple of caveats:

1. Closed contours won’t get labeled since they never cross the outside edge. Just grip edit some of the short contour label lines and get those areas covered.

2. The style has to have a boundary to begin with. Not a major thing, but worth noting.

That’s it. A tip of the C3D wunderbar hat to Steve Boon, long time reader, AU golfer, and all around good guy.


  1. Steve Boon says:

    James you’re making me blush…

  2. Steve Cattanach says:

    I’m new to civil 3d and I’m always trying to learn as much as I can. I tried this and I must have done something wrong. I exported the border to a polyline then converted the polyline to a 2d pline to do my offset and went to label multiple. I never get an option to set the contour spacing. I know there is a label multiple with intervals but then I can’t pick my offset pline as the object. My offset line gets labeled along the contours but none of the contours inside. Any help would be great.