from Civil to Inventor

The Autodesk enthusiast exile

Part 2 of the Point Creation scenario

Point and label styles. Check out Part 1 here.

I needed a Point Style to show 2 different datas on a single location.

Hey! Isn’t that what points styles are for?

Yes sir, that’s right. In this example, I need 2 different elevations. Yeah I know, not rocket science. But for the newbies out there, it might be a bit confusing.

 Through the remainder of this discussions, we will cover the following:

  • Point Styles without blocks
  • Point Label Styles
  • Point and Point Label Display layers  

Navigate the following path:




Right Click on the Point Styles collection parent, and select NEW.

In the Information Tab, in the Name box, we type Muck. This will be the name of the temporary point style to display the information, in the manner we want it displayed.

Point Shape

Select the Marker Tab.

 Here you will see the various properties about the physical appearance of the new style. In this example, I want to get a line separating 2 texts, top and bottom. Then I want a data circle in the middle for insertion. I don’t need the PLUS symbol, but I thought the small cross would have a nice effect.

I am using 0.02″ for the symbol height. This may seem small, but I don’t want this to be to large. After some experimenting I found that 0.25 * text height was good. 

Object Elevation

In the 3D Geometry tab we will leave the default USE POINT ELEVATION in place. We will cover the pitfalls of this method later. 

[*TIP*: I keep my control point Point Styles set to ‘Flatten to Elevation’ of 0′.  I maipulate alot of data with autocad commands using control points.  If these are set to ‘Use Point Elevation’ then your data will probably get skewed along the horizontal plane.  More on this later.]  

Display Layers

Next the all powerful Display Tab.

The Point Layer.  In the Component list, pick the Marker (actually the point) layer. Immediately a Layer dialog will appear. No, my little army of typers, you can’t just type what you want. You will need to gang up on the Mother ship (Autodesk) for that. At the upper right area, you should see the NEW button. If you need a new Layer, this is how you get it from here. The Create Layer dialog will appear, where you can create a new layer, color, linetype and a load of other options. Enter the desired layer name, and hit OK until you can’t stand it, and you will be returned to the Point style dialog.

The Label Layer.  (I will post a page later on the breakdown of this and the other style features)

If we leave the Label layer as 0, the properties of layer 0 will fall through, and muddy up the colors and control.  We could control the color from here. Notice the color selection next to the layer selection.


Here, I simply want the point to distribute consistent display details with the simplicity and control of color Bylayer.  I rarely hardcode colors.

Hit OK and move on to the Point Label Style.


The Point Label contains label components.  These can be Text, Line, and blocks.  Each of these have a connection point.  For example, the Lower Left of a text component. Each component is then bound to an anchor.  This is either the node feature that the label is attached to, or a component already in the component list.  The point inserts the component using it’s conection, onto the anchor point requested.  Each component can have it’s own different anchor, or share the same anchor with the other components.

A typical point having Number, Elev, and Desc has 3 text components. Each has it’s own connection and anchor point.  The elevation component’s middle left is stuck onto the ‘Feature’ (the point) Middle Center (the Autodesk default here is Middle Right). Then the Number is set using it’s Lower Left, onto the Elevation’s Upper Left.  Conversely the Description component’s upper left is stuck onto the Elevation’s Lower left.  If we offset the Elevation, the entire label assembly would move with it.  If we anchored each component to the Feature, we would have to adjust all 3 components if a change needed to be made.  With component anchoring, we only adjust 1. 

 In the Toolspace, scroll down to the Point Label Style Collection Parent. Right click it and select NEW. 


In the Information tab under Name, type Muck. 

Display Layer and Text Style

In the General Tab, I change the Text Style, Orientation, and Readability Bias as shown below.  Leave the layer as ‘0’, so the properties of the point style come through.

Note: The Orientation is set to view, so no matter what rotation we are at, the data will always be shown in a readable form. 


In the Layout Tab is where the meat of the work is completed.  Here we will set the various components to orient themselves as we wish:

  • Elevation of the muck surface
  • Elevation of the underlying substrate (earth)
  • A separator line (pretty)  

First we adjust the Point Elevation Component to be centered above the feature location. I set the bottom center of the component to be the Middle Center of the Feature.  *Note: This is important in some drag states.

We also set the final ‘Paper’ size of the component to 0.08″ 

 Next I move on to the second component, the underlying substrate elevation.  I select the Point Description (default component).  If you can use an existing component, then why not. 


I renamed this by picking in the Name field, and adding my Bottom of Muck name. 

 We are using the FULL DESCRIPTION. In the next session we will use the Full Description formatting to extract the 2nd elevation that we want to show. 

I set this component to lie under the Feature. I again made the anchor to be the feature Middle Center.  Consistency!!!!! Makes modifying and derived parts much easier to deal with.

I set the Top Center of this component to be tied to the Anchor point. Here you will also need to take the time to set the Text height as well. 

Select the Dragged State Tab.

I have selected ‘As Composed’ for the Display style. If the Point Label is dragged, I want the Components to stay exactly as I have composed them. The other option is stacked text, which would stack our text components in the order they were created, and justify them. This will not be the Display Order you can set. No, I think I will keep it like I composed it.

Make sure the arrow is visible here. We need it to pinpoint where the actual data is, in case we have to drag it. 

 Now I need the separator line (pretty). Next to the component name pull down, we can select the create component fly out, and select line. Immediately a line component is added to the component list.

We change the length to something useful, here I will try 0.25″. We also need the line to start -0.125″ away from the anchor point of the feature (the node). Change the X offset to be -0.125 (half of the length of the line).

See the Preview to the right below. You won’t be able to see the combination of the Point and Point Label styles together until another post. 

 The sizes here were not the final product. I tend to rough out what I want, and then later fine tune them when I can see it on the screen. Just for clarity, below should see what it looks like now. In the next session, I will reformat it a bit.

 In our next discussion I will pick up here where we left off. We will discuss Point Creation and Full description Formatting



October 9, 2008 - Posted by | Points | , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. […] Continue to Part 2 – Point and Label Styles […]

    Pingback by Part 1 of the Point Creation Scenario – Design and Motion | May 18, 2010 | Reply

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