Archive for Fundamentals

Civil 3D Annotation Scaling Revisited

One of the most frequently-asked questions in the Civil 3D discussion groups has to do with how scaling works for Civil 3D labels and tables.  The question usually comes up phrased as “How come my text looks good in modelspace, but is huge (or tiny) in paperspace?” or “How come my Table columns overlap in paperspace?”

At first glance, Civil 3D labels and tables seem to scale much like Annotative Text.  However, Civil 3D Labels and Tables were capable of their auto-sizing behavior long before AutoCAD got Annotative Text, and do not use the Annotation Scale at all.  Instead, Civil 3D Labels size according to their own rules.  Read on for more…

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Profile Transparency Commands

Do any of the following questions sound familiar?

1. I have a location in PLAN view and I want to know where that is on my PROFILE?

2. I want to come off a PVI at a certain percentage, go to the next PVI and come off it in the opposite direction at a different grade, and where the two cross set a new PVI or adjust an existing PVI?

3. I want to set my PVI at an exact station and elevation but can’t snap to, or offset, any of the profile grid lines in Civil 3D; why is this soo hard?

2010.03.01-Trans Cmds 

After the jump learn how the Civil 3D profile Transparency Commands can help you accomplish these common tasks.

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Command Line Monkey

There are days that I just recall the oddest things.  Today is one of them.  While I like the ribbon and all, there are a few commands that aren’t on it, like the FIND command.  ( to Find and Replace… type _FIND at the command line)

If you have a vague idea of the command, start typing that command in, and press the TAB key until you locate the command you are looking for.


For example,  you seem frustrated with crashing, and would like some training. 

at the command line,


Press the TAB key until you arrive at:


if that doesn’t help, try stopping at:


If you are really frustrated stop at:

Command: ai_send_feedback

or as I did in the image, typed as to find ASSOCIATESHORTCUTPROJECT.

Happy keyboarding!

Note to you Civil 3ders – the Civil commands typically start with AECC.

A New Way of Thinking for Drawing Setup.

This is kind of an add-on to Josh’s post about Xref, Dref and Plotting. I just think it is such an important concept that I still see the people just starting out in C3D struggling with.

Here’s the gist. In order for all the dynamic ability for C3D to work all that data has to be readily available at the nano-second request for it. So all that unbelievable amount of data is stored in the drawing. Wow great! Well Yes and No. See why after the jump. Read more

A little bit further

Sometimes, one needs to dig a little bit further to understand things that you do not know.  AutoCAD Civil 3d does have tons of settings that do a lot of different things.  After reading  the discussion group earlier this week before my service provider cut out, and watching James tweak the masking of the new 2010 offset alignment, this tip is due.

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