from Civil to Inventor

The Autodesk enthusiast exile

Civil 3D – Accessible Object Properties

As soon as I got into Civil 3D 2010, I noticed the civil ribbon did not have easily accessible object properties.  You remember the standard toolbar, with the Layer, Linetype, Color, etc.  Well it aint there no more.

Object Properties and the Ribbon

So we need to create a simple ribbon to get me that information.  We will just find the respective ribbon component that has those.

Nope.  There isn’t one.

So well drop back and use the old toolbar components.

Not so fast buddy.  Those were controls.  Those controls will not transfer to the Ribbon Panels.  I’m not joking.  They won’t go. 

The WORK AROUND.  Drag the old toolbar (it’s in there) under the Ribbon.  Hoaky? Maybe. Not what I had envisioned, but it does give me real-time control of Object Properties.


*WISH LIST ITEM 1* – We need the object controls back in a ribbon tab.   Someone had to decide that we don’t need that anymore.

The less visibility you have over the object properties, the more hosed up the layers get.  Regardless of what Autodesk thinks SHOULD be the appropriate workflow, those of us who have merged the old with the new, to create a far more powerful application lack the tools the need to be competent. 

So you went ahead and created SOME kind of panel to get you by, and copied it to ALL the application tabs.  Good Job.  One problem though.  When you select an object to see the layer, the Ribbon goes contextual.  You know…Green.  


Contextual ribbons are Great! This is a good thing, but your new panel is not there.  Get ready to copy that panel to ALL those contextual ribbons.  Wheeeeee!

The WORK AROUND.  Drag the panel you want off the ribbon, and set it in a convenient spot (good luck).  It will be there as the contexts change. 


When you want it to go back, reset it.  All will be as configured. Alternately you can drag it back to the ribbon as well.


*WISH LIST ITEM 2* – We need a temporary override on all tabs to allow an appended panel, no matter the tab or context.  This way we can assign a custom panel for a special workflow, without having to hack up the context panels etc.  Switch it off, and the thing goes back like it was configured.

Quick Properties

The folks and the Imagine Event did remind me about the Quick Properties dialog.  Type “QuickProperties” on the command line to toggle its appearance on of off.  Once on, the dialog will appear as you select items.  It customizable, and I must say, they did a nice job on it.

*WISH LIST ITEM 3* – put check box button on it that says “send to Context Ribbon”.  When you select an item and the ribbon goes contextual, the Quick Properties is THERE, and not in the way of what you are doing.  I think this one is my favorite idea.

I do like that dialog, I just hate the popping up and gone, up and gone effect I’m left with.

*BUG* The quick properties does not come up when Alignment Geometry Point Label Groups are selected.

Layer Pulldown Color Control

Lynn Allen showed us this one at the Imagine Event.  Pull down on the Layer control (the ribbon one) and hit the color square.


Go ahead, hit it.

The color control dialog appears.   Nice!

Thanks Lynn!

May 25, 2009 Posted by | 2010, CUI | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Civil 3D – 2010 Labels

Labels are predominantly the same as in 2009.  No big surprises.  There have however been some interaction enhancements.

Edit style of multiple Labels

We used to have iterate through a selection of Labels, selecting the desired change for each label as the application prompted over and over.  Not any more; select all the labels, hit Edit Label Style on the Ribbon Panel (or context menu), pick desired style, and poof-> they all update.



Note the changes of the leader grips.  Leaders can be edited to add segments, as well as moving the Leader location in relation to the label. 

To add a vertex to a leader, simply select the ‘+’ glyph, and drag.


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May 8, 2009 Posted by | 2010, Labels | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Civil 3D – 2010 Missing Drawing Recovery

Ah yes, Drawing Recovery.

I don’t know how you all feel about Drawing Recovery, but I hate it.  I mean I really hate it.  It’s slow, cumbersome, and annoying.  It’s up when I don’t want it, and gone when I …. Actually, I really don’t want it.  I usually navigate to my autosave location, to find it doesn’t exist.  Then go to the drawing location, and… nope.

If something in Civil just crashed you, how good are your odds that Autosave was functioning properly, Hmm?

Once in awhile I get frustrated, and just use the recovery.

I spent the first day doing this:



It took me a little while to notice something at startup.

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May 8, 2009 Posted by | 2010 | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Civil 3D – 2010 Lost Feature ?

If anyone was worried about lost features, I don’t think it’s too much of a concern.  Autodesk may have moved it, but it’s probably still in there.

Like the pleasant Crash Feature.  I used this to mark ‘Time for a Break’, and ‘Time to check my email’, as I get very preoccupied while in a design.  As you might imagine, I was really concerned the feature would be removed, and it has been very helpful in the past.

No need to worry folks, it’s still there.  Hell, I had 6 ‘breaks’ on the first day.

May 1, 2009 Posted by | 2010 | , , , | Leave a comment