from Civil to Inventor

The Autodesk enthusiast exile

Civil 3D – FileDia Switch

image A buddy of mine took 2 subscriptions of Civil 3D home, while brooding over the need to reinstall his Civil application.  2009 or upgrade…. The rest of his project team are on 2009.

It appears as though the whole platform was fouled, because every time he tried to open the non-default drawing, Civil 3D would crash.  I was neck deep in an overdue project, so he went on his way.

This morning he reported to me that before wiping everything, he set his FileDia switch back to 1.  That’s the switch that initiates a dialog for file operation such as Open, Save, etc.  Without the switch, you just get command line options.

I like command line, but not that much…

Lo and behold, everything perked right up.  He was able to recover his drawings, and open anything from Civil, inside or out.

The moral to this story is before you reinstall due to crashing while opening a DWG, try checking your FileDia switch first.  Just type “filedia” at the command line, and set it to1.

October 5, 2009 Posted by | 2009, 2010, AutoCAD Civil 3D, Autodesk, Bug Report | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Civil 3D – Find *Bug*

I was correcting a mistake that went out on one of our drawings.  It’s across the Alabama border, and Florida always gets left somewhere on a drawing.


So I used one of my favorite tools – _Find.

Really, none found.  Ok, good. Then I can count on being safe from that embarrassing issue, because I was prudent enough to check.

September 28, 2009 Posted by | 2010, AutoCAD Civil 3D | , , , , | Leave a comment

Civil 3D – 2010 Pipe Network Label BUG

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NOTE: I have revisited this issue and article 4 times over now.  I am rewriting this…again…, but the images are old because I don’t have time to cut new ones.  I hope the article is still understandable.

I needed a fast certificate of completion letter, and the drawing to go with it.  I’ll just throw down some pipes here in 2010; it’s simple, no need to go to 2009. A good job to start getting a feel for this part of the new version.

I thought I would put down some simple structures, labeled automatically, edit the network, and spend the bulk of time messing with the profile (at least I hoped).  My styles are all formatted, and all work smoothly.

Things did not go as planned.  The profile was a lost cause.  Perhaps we’ll discuss that later.

Pipe Network Labels


I laid down this arrangement from my (imported 2009 template) Network Parts List. Notice the disgusting mismatched labeling on the pipes and structures.  The blue, while not labeled correctly, is formatted to what I thought I’d get by default.  The Red is useless.  You have to manually change the description.

Continue reading

June 19, 2009 Posted by | 2010, AutoCAD Civil 3D, Labels, Pipes | , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Civil 3D – 2010 Point Label style BUG REPORT

I logged a Bug Report on, and you can check it out HERE.

Autodesk Welcome Screen

I wanted to thank James Wedding and the staff at EE for putting up with me, and always being willing to assist.  I always know I’ll get some relief when I call.

I want to thank my VAR, Applied Technologies Group, for some outstanding dedication and support.  The entire team was at a remote function.  I called John Sayre who was driving in a hail storm at the time.  He insisted on getting all the details and reassured me, when most would have backed out for obvious reasons. The bug confirmation came within 10 minutes, and the support case was already logged in to Autodesk by the time I got the message. Rob, you better hang on to that guy, he means business.

Thank you Dana, for always trying to help.

June 15, 2009 Posted by | 2010, Bug Report, Points | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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 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

Civil 3D – (Bug) MapExport Shape File shells out

Is seems like I wrote this bug report once before, but I can’t find it.

Attempting to export Shape File results in a CTD.  This error has been advertised, and the fix is available.

Copy the file from the following path:

(XP) -> C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Autodesk\AutoCAD Civil 3D 2009\R17.2\MapExport.ini
(VISTA) ->C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\AutoCAD Civil 3D 2009\R17.2\MapExport.ini

and paste it to:

(xp) -> C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\AutodeskC3D 2009
(VISTA) -> C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\C3D 2009

If the command has been run, then a file will already exist.  OVERWRITE IT.

December 8, 2008 Posted by | AutoCAD Civil 3D | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Civil 3D – (Bug) Parcel Descriptions in XML

I have noticed during XML imports of my Parcels, that the first space in the Description field gets nuked.  The remaining spaces seem to be ok, but the first one is gone.

As always be observant and careful.

Civil 3D 2009 Menu

November 22, 2008 Posted by | Parcels | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Civil 3D – (Bug) Invalid Character in Layer Name

Problem:  If you use an invalid character in a layer name, the layer manager will not allow certain functionality with the layers, especially selective things.  With certain tasks an error message is associated, that states something about an invalid layer.  The character in question was a pound sign (#). 

Reasoning:  The bounds checking is not complete on creating Layer Names. 

Fix:  Rename the layer through the layer manager.

November 11, 2008 Posted by | AutoCAD Civil 3D | , , , , , | Leave a comment