from Civil to Inventor

The Autodesk enthusiast exile

Civil 3D – 2010 Publish DWF

I have always been a huge fan of DWF publishing.  I found a few new things, and thought I’d make a few notes.

Batch Plot


Selecting Batch Plot activates the publish dialog, and feeds it all the current drawings that are open.  You get same publishing interface as the ‘Select Tabs, right click and publish’ that we were used to, but here you are not limited to selected layouts.


The publishing is similar to the previous version, however there are a few differences.


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April 30, 2009 Posted by | 2010, Publish | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Civil 3D – 2010 where the …. did it go?

Ok.  The interface is nice.  I have had the pleasure for years of using a context based interface in Inventor.  Civil 3D had had a slow migration of this in some parts of the application as well.  There are times when, no matter how nice the interface is, you just can’t find something.

Here’s a good example.  The edit menu->FIND.  I used this a great deal to search and replace information.  I use some * and keywords to index things in borders and text paragraphs when I don’t want sheet sets.  Find will replace the keywords at the tail end of the job, when I have more information.

It’s not there.  What gives.  Here is a nice help feature to get you going.

Where Is My Command?


Go to help, and in the huge list of options (apparently they were prepared for a lot of questions…. I wonder, maybe they checked out the forums.

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April 29, 2009 Posted by | 2010, CUI, Help | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Civil 3D – 2010 Setup

Well, guess what came in the mail from Santa. 

There were no surprises during the installation, but install configuration contained a bit more options than expected.  There were a great deal of path settings, of which I suspect were some of the program data options.  I left everything default except running all my Autodesk installs to the c:\Autodesk\ path as usual (instead of the c:\program files\ path).  As I suspected, everything installed to the locations I had become accustomed to.  If you don’t like where you pipe catalogs, etc are being installed, you may want to make some path changes now.



For what ever reason, my registration wigged out. 


I opted to try the website registration option.  It took me to a panel, which used my subscription login.  Once in, the registration interface asked for OS, and my serial number.  Then it wigged out again.

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April 28, 2009 Posted by | 2010 | , , , , | Leave a comment

Civil 3D – Point Style File Size Issue

If you hadn’t noticed (I didn’t), the size of your Civil 3D 2009 drawing will change depending on style factors. 

A buddy of mine questioned me yesterday about some substantial differences related to the size of the drawing he was using, and noted that while he saved his site plan with trees (point styles) on, the drawing was twice the size.

I just tested it.  I took a huge site plan, and saved it with trees on, and saved it with all point styles overridden to standard.  Sure enough, I got a 30% reduction in size.

It appears that the application does not treat the Point style blocks as it treats normal blocks.  Normal blocks are place holders, an entity shell that contains the standard DXF table entries for location, scale…….etc, and then upon regen, it goes to the block table, and pulls the information to display it, where the place holder says it should be.  Instead of saving 40k 1000 times over, it stores 1 40k reference, and stores 1k 1000 times. 

However, for point styles, it appears as though the application is treating the drawing as if it had 1000 different entities, and is storing all the reference information at each point location.

If anyone has additional input, please comment. Christopher, James, Dana, that means you!

April 27, 2009 Posted by | 2009, AutoCAD Civil 3D, Points | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Civil 3D – Clearing Object Dependencies

I was adding a large XML EG surface to a quick job, and noticed the usual XML garb brought in.  After deleting some of them I ran into Object Dependencies (because I approached it in the wrong order), and thought I’d write this for the newbies.

Various objects in Civil 3D are dependent on others.  Styles are included in this scenario as well.  This is a good thing.  These dependencies make the world go round.  Surfaces are dependent on Point data and Feature lines.  Profiles are dependent on Alignments, and The alignment is dependent on the Visual Alignment style.  It makes the object oriented world go round.


The downside is when you need to delete something, and it just won’t go, in fact, the option to delete is just not there.   Like below:


There is no delete options.  The reason is that this Object is being referenced by another.  In this case we’d need to know what that is.  unfortunately, there is no good way to determine that except to plow through the design in the Prospector.

Hey Autodesk, how about “Go To Dependency” or similar type function!

Anyhow, in this case a surface is using the object.


Here, once we delete the Point Group from the Surface Definitions, the Dependency will clear, and I can delete the group.


April 15, 2009 Posted by | 2009, AutoCAD Civil 3D | , , , , | Leave a comment

Civil 3D – Point Style Default

I thought I had something on this, but I couldn’t find it.

One reader was having trouble with the default points.  He wanted to do some specific point styling for a specific purpose, but regularly, and to that I offer to following possibilities:

Best Solution –> Description Keys!

Set a permanent Key and use FG perhaps as the description code, and the application will assign the Point Style and Point Label Style as specified in the keys.  This is hard coded to the point.

Next –> Point Groups

Us FG as the description code and crate a Group up at the top to trap all FG codes, and specify the Style and Label Style there.  This is only as permanent as the group remains at the top of the list.

Lastly –> Point Defaults

Set the current default Point and Label style to what you want in the Create Point command settings.  Then all the points you set will default to the FG style.



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April 13, 2009 Posted by | 2009, Points | , , , | 1 Comment

Subscription Renewal – Musical Chairs and Subscriptions?

Recently I got a tip that I could drop some seats off of my subscription, and pick them up for pennies on the dollar.

Hmm… One of the vendors really wants my renewals.  Good!  I think I just found out how to get past this year, and get a decent deal too.

Well, if there is a good angle, someone will figure it out pretty quickly, and plug the hole.  Starting March 16th, to pick up a dropped subscription seat will now run you 50% cost.

That scenario will no longer work for me (which is what the mothership expected).  So much for the bennies I was trying to pull together, as well my Christmas bonus and the petty cash for Vegas. 

If you are renewing, and planning on a little musical chairs with the subscription seats, you may want to talk with your VAR or ISV.

April 10, 2009 Posted by | Autodesk | , , , , | Leave a comment