Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Civil 3D - Its Not Your Fathers LDT (or... Make Invisible Syles)

Sorry, but you heard me right!

Ever freeze a layer to turn off a surface or an alignment?  Of course you have, but this is definitely NOT a good idea in Civil 3D.  Why?  Because its not your fathers LDT, and its definitely not your grandfathers AutoCAD!  When you freeze (or turn off) a layer, you may not (ok probably not)  know what else is on that layer.  THATS WHEN THINGS DISAPPEAR!

So you get into a drawing, or you come back to a drawing and discover that there are things missing.  Yes, this has happened to all of us at some point.  And whats the first thing we do?  Of course...  we run around the office accusing everyone of destroying our drawing.  Because after all, isnt that the job of any other employee? To make YOU look bad?

You see, Autodesk came up with these brilliant items called "Styles".  Now there may be hundreds of them in any particular drawing, and yes, they may even be a little difficult to learn, but they are there for a reason, and they most certainly make a LOT of things easier.

For example, have you ever thought of making a style called "Invisible"?  Surely not,  if it had to be invisible why would you waste time putting it in the drawing in the first place.  Well then why did Autodesk make those cute little buttons in the layer manager that lets you freeze or turn off layers?  Because there comes a point in time when you may just want something in your drawing, yet be able to "hide" it for a while. Like when you want to plot the drawing without the surface, or without the alignment.

Now...  lets talk about this "invisible" style for a bit shall we?  My opinion is that almost every Civil 3D object, IE: Surface, alignment, corridor, etc etc. should have an invisible style.  This makes it quite easy to change to the invisible style which then will turn off a surface, corridor, etc. And this is done without freezing or turning off layers and accidentally turning off anything else that you would spend hours of time looking for later.  (Not to mention all the enemies you'll make when the accusations start about someone touching YOUR drawing.)

Yes, i am a consultant, and a Civil 3D instructor, i have been for many years.  But i still get the call almost weekly where some object, or group of obects has suddenly disappeared.  So next time that happens, look for layers that are off or frozen, then do yourself a favor, create an invisible style for the object you were trying to hide.  And if you dont know how to do this, give me a call....

Did I mentioned i'm a Civil 3D instructor?

Till next time... 

"Step away from your fathers LDT"!!!

And visit for all your Civil 3D and Map 3D training needs.

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