Civil 3D

With regard to Civil 3D Cogo Points, you probably know that the point labels include a "Dragged State", the properties of which take over when you drag the point label away from the point location.

    Read more about Civil 3D Cogo Points: Sub-Item Grips

Generally speaking, in AutoCAD you either select one or more entities and choose a command -or- you choose a command and then select one or more entities. When you are finished with the command, AutoCAD returns to the previous state where nothing was selected. I have noticed a different behavior in Civil 3D when working with C3D objects. When you select an object and perform certain commands (such as properties), when you are done the object remains selected. Read more about Working with Selected Civil 3D Objects : Are they Selected or not?

For certain tasks in Civil 3D, I have Quick Properties (QP) enabled. I started noticing in 2013 that when QP is enabled and I select an entity, the focus is removed from the AutoCAD window. In other words, the crosshairs change to the pointer. So if I want to pick a Grip or a command on the contextual ribbon - it requires an extra pick. One pick to restore focus to the window and a second pick to activate the grip or menu item.

In this image, the manhole is selected, QP is visible, and the crosshairs have been replaced by the standard windows pointer. Read more about Quick Properties issue in Civil 3D 2013

Many moons ago in the AutoCAD world, when you received a command prompt instead of an expected dialog box, you could check the system variables FILEDIA and CMDDIA and make sure they were set to 1. Over the years, CMDDIA has all but been phased out in AutoCAD, although FILEDIA (for FILE DIAlogs) does still apply. Here is a related post on this.

In AutoCAD MAP (and for MAP commands in Civil 3D) however, CMDDIA does still have an effect on many commands. If you run a MAP command and do not get an expected dialog box, check to make sure CMDDIA = 1. This includes command such as MAPCSCREATE, ADEDEFDATA, ADEQUERY, etc. Some other MAP commands such as MAPCLEAN, do not honor this variable and will always display the dialog box. Read more about Missing MAP Dialog Boxes in AutoCAD Map or Civil 3D?

A Quick overview of Quick Profile in Civil 3D

Below is a simple animation of creating a quick profile in Civil 3D. No, this is not a new feature, but there are new Civil 3D users every day - and if you have never seen or used this feature - this may help you out.

Read more about Civil 3D Quick Profile

This tip came to me while working with Cogo points in Civil 3D, but it could apply to many things. A while back I had a tip about setting PICKADD to 0. Now generally, this system variable set being to 0 would annoy most people since it only allows you to select one object at a time. But if you are working with Civil 3D Cogo points, say for example dragging labels to create a dragged state, and you are doing this over and over, setting PICKADD to 0 can be a big help. Doing so means you do not have to press Escape to clear the previous selection. As soon as you pick one point, it is selected and all other selections are cleared.

Remember to turn OFF the Properties Palette when working with Cogo points. If the Properties palette is on, Civil 3D has to look up and display the properties each time a new point (or points) is selected and this slows it down tremendously. Try it both ways and see if you see a difference.

Also see this note about PICKADD if you are running version 2011 or later. Read more about Civil 3D, Cogo points, and PICKADD Read more about Point Table with Station Offset

Do you have the need to import GIS data, typically ESRI SHP files*, into Civil 3D? Are you still doing it the old way with map queries? Take a look at this tutorial over at Civil 3D for Beginners titled Quick and Dirty GIS Surface Import.

It explains how to import an ESRI SHP file directly into Civil 3D as a Surface. This will save you a lot of time compared to the old method. Even though the article mentions version 2012, it also works in version 2011.

There are actually quite a few good articles to explore while you are over there. Have fun.

*Otherwise known as shape files, but not to be confused with AutoCAD shape files that are typically used in linetypes. Read more about Import GIS data into Civil 3D

On many civil engineering projects, horizontal control is established by the creation of an alignment, or baseline, and then identifying locations using stations and offsets from this alignment. In some cases however, we are asked to provide only the actual coordinates of the proposed feature. Civil 3D makes this easy using a Note label, configured with a style to match your needs. Below is a sample Note label configured to show the coordinates and elevation.

Read more about Civil 3D Note Label

If you are having issues with your cursor freezing up (±45 seconds) in Civil 3D when you hover over a Cogo Point - then this should fix it. There is some indication that this is only an issue in Civil 3D 2011, but I cannot confirm that.

Please see the link below to a post in the Autodesk forums, so that the author gets proper credit.

Civil and Raster Design cogo point freezes Read more about Civil 3D cursor freeze when hovering over a Cogo Point



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