Monday, September 10, 2012

Displaying Points Using Point Groups

"How to display points, turn them all off, or all back on again"

(without using layers)
Laugh do you?  I cannot tell you how many times i see people trying to manipulate points and point labels by using layers.
This should be one of those "WNTDNC3D"  (what NOT to do in Civil 3D) items... do NOT use layers.  In fact, there are very very few times i even use or even need to use layers any more in Civil 3D.
So here we go... typical drawing with points brought in through a CSV file (comma seperated value), this particular point list was brought in using description keys.  That is why you see some trees showing immediatly upon import, but thats a different subject for a different blog.
We also have several point groups as shown below...
The "Invisible" point group contains all the points in the project, just as the "All Points" group does.
Below you will see that the Invisible point group has no point style, and no point label style.  This is what makes it invisible.
Turning all the points "off" or making them invisible is simply a matter of moving the invisible point group "above" all the other point groups in the list.  (as shown here)  You get to this particular window by right clicking on the words "Point Groups" in the prospector and choosing properties.
Original point group list.
Select the "invisible" group, and click on the top right "up arrow" to move this group to the top of the list as shown.
Modified point group list.
This is similar to the "bring to front" options for objects in AutoCAD or Civil 3D... point groups are displayed in the order they appear in the list.   Because "invisible" is first, that is the style used for all the points in that group.  All other groups will now be displayed below invisible, and therefor not show up on the screen.  (Except for the "Gotcha" i mentioned earlier) Notice the problem below.  All points are invisible except a few...

Here is the problem, and the solution   If you select any one of the points still on the screen, and look at properties, you will notice (red arrows below) that the style and point label style are set.  This means that the individual point properties are overriding the point group properties.
Ok, so how to fix this...  Right click on the "Invisible" point group and select Properties.  Now navigate to the "Overrides" tab as shown, and place a check mark in the "Style" and "Point Label Style" override boxes.  (see below).

This will make the point group "Override" the individual point styles and point label styles we saw in the properties box.
Click on the OK button and you should see the points dissappear.
To display one point group simply "move" that point group above the "Invisible" point group and you will see the results.  In the example below, Topo points are now shown above Invisible points, therefor the Topo points will display, and all others below invisible will not.  Simple enough?
Point Group Order is Key here.
As you can see below, the Topo points are displayed, while Aerial points are not.

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