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 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.

Continue reading

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

Civil 3D – 2010 Design Criteria ribbon

I wrote a little bit on Selective Design Criteria and posted it on Civil a while back.  I am currently going back to edit the 2010 criteria files, and thought I’d post this ribbon update.


The criteria editor is still available on the ribbon.  Select the Modify Tab, pick Alignment, and you should find the button on the Modify Panel.  This is the only way (only good way) to edit criteria files.

To remind everyone why we were editing the criteria file, is because we needed Stopping Sight Distance, but not Passing Sight Distance.  The road in question is an old edge of municipality, unpaved road on a fairly steep hill, and subsequently I simply need to validate Stopping Sight, and not Passing Sight, and we will post the region as a “No Passing Zone”.


The design speed for this road is 25 MPH.  Here you can see that  I have satisfied the SSD K of 19, but the error persists.  A tooltip hover shows us that the error is for PSD.  You can’t make it go away.   This will eventually cause me to overlook an error somewhere else.

So we edit a file copy, attach that to our design criteria instead, and get on with our lives.


If you’d like to read the article, you can get it here:

January 15, 2009 Posted by | 2010, Alignments, AutoCAD Civil 3D, Autodesk, CUI, Profiles | , , , , | Leave a comment