What is your Solution to managing styles?

I recently went to LUG meeting and one of the individuals really wished there was a well-built interface to handle the management of styles in Civil3D. In the Go Out in Style blog, there was a comment about a similar tool.

This is actually a cry that many have made.

The question is simply – what do YOU see as a permanent solution of having to keep track of so many styles? If you could have a tool created just for you – what would it do? How would it work?

Post your comments, your wish is my command.


  1. Jeff Paulsen says:

    We have one template with all of our styles in them. Fortunately we don’t need different sets for different clients/agencies, at least not yet. The drag and drop functionality in C3D works but is severely lacking. I posted a wish with everything I would like to see a manager do. This particular wish is a compilation of my thoughts and some other wishes that were posted separately.


    Another wish that was submitted recently asked for style themes.


  2. Bryan Thomasy says:

    I want a tab that is within toolspace (or a seperate fly-out bar) that can be linked to a master dwt file which contains all the styles I populate it with. Within this tab/fly-out I can then expand it out to see the styles, I then check off the styles I want in my drawing, and click the ‘Go’ button at the bottom, and all the styles I wanted come in clean. No more opening a template, swapping back to the drawing, going to the setting tab, searching through the styles, and then dragging over to my drawing.

    Now lets talk about layer tools that actually go into the style and isolate the layer within the style….(just kidding, maybe another blog…)

  3. Bryan,

    Good suggestions.

    What you are looking for is built nicely into EE ProPack already.

    What we were curious is if there were suggestions beyond the normal current process with regard to managing Civil3D styles.

    Let’s see if there are any more comments.

  4. Morrison Maierle says:

    We continue to talk about bringing styles in from one drawing to the next bet what about the command settings. What would like to see a command setting manager that would allow for you save states similar to the layaer manager.

    As far the styles go we have several templates to help with are management. We of course have the one that cantains everything. We also have one for each topic or entity i.e. profile, surface and so on. So if I am working on a alignment all I need is my alignment template, but if I need to bring in corridor styles I just insert the corridor template.

    It works okay.

    Can styles be view through design center ?

  5. William Berry says:

    Joshua says:

    “. . . built nicely into EE ProPack already.”

    You do? How many months has 2010 been out and I haven’t seen it.


  6. EE ProPack 2009 had the ability to import / export styles en masse from a DWT or DWG. EE ProPack 2010 will have the same capability and more.

    EE ProPack 2010 has been in Beta for about two months and we are on the VERGE of releasing it. I don’t promise anything but if I were a betting man, I would keep my eyes on Civil3D.com this week.

  7. Dean Turner says:

    I would like a customizable interface that can bring in specific SETS of styles for particular drawings. I.e. I am creating a Storm Sewer base drawing, I want all the styles I need for that to work, Alignments, Storm pipes, etc. I do not want to have multiple templates because some of the info is repeated and any time there is a needed change I would have to go to multiple templates to fix it. If I have them all in one template, it is cumbersome. I want one place to keep them all to easily make changes, yet only get the SETS I need for any particular drawing. I know the EE Pro Pack would be very helpful but I am not sure if it covers this particular request. We had several VB apps in LDD that did the very things I need, but it just no longer works and is not usable now because of the styles and command settings that it is not setup to use. It was all layer and block based but was very efficient.

  8. Okay Dean, This is kind of what I had in mind and Bruce Dana wishlist item.


    The questions that remain are:

    1. Where would you store these sets? In the drawing? In an external file?
    2. Where would you store the styles? In a master template drawing? In an external file (maybe XML) that can cross versions?

  9. Jakub Svoboda says:

    I strongly agree with Dean – style sets would be great. Too bad everything is so template based; seems very limiting. I’d like to be able to access any style or set of styles from any dwg at any time without having to dig into the template system.

    What would be really phenomenal would be for custom styles to be automatically (or manually) saved out to your master library as you work, and put into a placeholder location for future filing (or directly filed via dialog box). Kind of an instant backup system that also assists in creation and management of styles on the fly. So you’d be creating custom styles in your current dwg and they’d automatically be placed in your master style library while you’re working, saving tons of time and making customization much easier to manage and share.

    I really don’t like the cumbersome and crash-prone drag and drop method we have now. At least it can be done that way, but surely a master style (and perhaps command settings) library would be many times better.

  10. I would like this to be a tool that can look at a bunch of drawings that you add to a list and then have it search through those files for styles and compare the styles with the same name and show differences. It would allow you to see changes that a user made to a style that makes it different from the “standard”. It would also be able to push styles into multiple drawings and delete styles from multiple drawings. It would also be able to update styles in multiple drawings. In addition to that it would be able to do all of the above combinations of tasks to the “Drawing Settings”. To change these settings for multiple drawings is very tedious and can only be done individually by hand. There is no “drag and drop” capabilities like there are with styles. So I would like to be able to grab a group of drawings and apply the same “Drawing Settings” to them or look for difference in “Drawing Settings” between two or more drawings. I know some of that is in EE Pro Pack, but your request didn’t say anything about EE Pro Pack. I am thinking more of the features that Autodesk should include.

  11. Great ideas and suggestions.

    We will be looking at these ideas and see if we can create an all encompassing solution to the challenges of styles (and settings) management.

  12. J. Stevens says:

    The ability to import child styles as well would be a big addition to the ProPack. I know this was an Autodesk limitation in 2009 but maybe it won’t be with 2010.

  13. J. Wedding says:

    Feel free to ignore this comment, I’m just testing out to see if I got threading working properly. I doubt it…

  14. Brendan Butt says:

    How about a coding interface with a search and replace tool to change embedded entity names such as layers, linetypes? We do this with InRoads preference XIN files (it’s equivalent to an external styles database) to modify symbology and style names or from one client standard to another, since NCS is not widely used. This makes it easy to batch convert templates and their styles.