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Treat alignments similar to xrefs

Treat alignments similar to xrefs

Many times alignments endup being double displayed in a layout becasue the alignment gets displayed in the model tab so that it will appear correctly in the layout tabs, then someone working in an xref will display the alignment to measure a station offset. This second display of the alignment may not have the same display settings as the alignment displayed in the model tab of the file. You end up with sets of double stationing or minor ticks at 20 and 25 foot intervals, or the geometry point displaying from the xref when they were not shown in the model tab.


If alignments and labels (and maybe other types of C3D elements) could be treated like xrefs where you have the option of attachment vs overlay, it would eliminate the overlap and redundancy.

Status changed to: Future Consideration

I don't understand what you are asking for here. Why would you attach an xref with an aligment to measure station offset? Why wouldn't that just be done with the shortcut alignment?


Are you looking for a way to turn off the shortcut alignment that would be different than setting its display to a "no display" style?



Peter Funk
Sr Product Manager
Civil 3D
Autodesk, Inc.


FWIW @peterfunkautodesk - Since Civil 3D was introduced, I've never understood why DREFs do not work like XREFs in terms of supporting Overlay, and Attachment.



As a recent example:


In my proposed site plan drawing, I need to DREF the Alignments for my entire subdivision, because I have drawings that only XREF my proposed site plan... However, my Profile drawing(s) require the Alignments be DREFed (as Surface sample & Profile View from DREF Alignment in XREF isn't supported?!), _and_ my proposed site plan.


So now, I have the same Alignments twice (once for XREF [which are DREF], and once as DREF in the active document), which for that particular 1,000 AC subdivision ended up being +/- 20 Alignments that slowed everything down during synchronization at drawing open - mostly because Civil 3D isn't even smart enough to see that the active document's DREF Alignment == the XREF Alignment (same DREF source!), and only sync the Alignment ONCE.


[Edit] - I *should* be able to DREF an Alignment (or any other Object) as an Overlay, and _still_ produce Labels, Profile Views, etc. from same, where the former does not show when XREFed, and the latter DO show still (as static Objects/Blocks). 


All of my Plan and Profile sheets XREF proposed site plan, and profile drawings, so they too are now bogged down at drawing open... Yes, I know, you'd prefer we use Plans Production Tools (PPT), but so you know, having worked for a large international firm, and small shop alike, I've never met a single person that uses them. Not ever. I'm sure someone, somewhere uses it, and don't even care if they end up being the majority - fact is, it's not used here, and never will be, but that's another topic altogether. Haha




Civil 3D needs to be a heck of a lot 'smarter', and remove redundancies such as this... Especially if we're going to continue to be subjected to this internal database malarkey, rather than utilizing today's technology to consume a single, centralized, external project database.


The latter would better allow us to 'edit' the critical database Objects when needed (using Core Console to expedite the process further?), and benefit from expedited plans production when not... There are many good things about Civil 3D, but I'd be remiss to not point out that Land Desktop on a WinXPx86 machine was measurably faster in many respects.





Not applicable

The way that I understand data shortcut workflows for alignments is that the data shortcut allows users to display alignments (along with many other C3D elements) in all the different files - design and production - and that through data shortcuts and styles the same alignment can have a different appearance depending on the preference.

For instance, a highway has plan and profile (PNP) sheets and metal barrier sheets. The scale on the PNPs is 1:200 and on the metal barrier sheets the scale is 1:20. Since the scales are so different the stationing on the PNPs is every fifth station but on the metal barrier its every station. Using data shortcuts and styles this separate annotation setup is very easy - and that is a good thing.

The problem is when the sheets have been setup and the team is in the middle of a major milestone. Someone on the design team needs to get a station, offset of some feature. That individual opens a design file to retrieve said station, offset. However, in this file the alignment is not data shortcut, but that is an easy fix. The team member brings in the alignment and gets the needed data. Oops, the team member displayed and labeled the alignment with styles that print, and did not remember to then turn off the alignment and labels or go back and set the style to "no display". Now this alignment and label displays are propagated throughout the production set, wherever that design file is referenced, with the alignment and label styles chosen at the time. This style is different the one of the style in the PNPs or the metal barrier sheets.

My idea/request is that alignments - and maybe some other C3D elements like surfaces - be treated similar to xrefs; with the option of overlay vs. attachment. The alignment would still be managed through the prospector but when it is data shortcut into another file you have the option that its visibility not propagate when the file is being xrefed.

I hope this helps explain my request, if not feel free to contact me via phone.

Matthew Nighbert, P.E.
Senior Engineer

Personal Registrations: NM Engineering (19479)

Souder, Miller & Associates
Engineering * Environmental * Surveying
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Not applicable

Sounds like a good idéa to me. I also end up with multiple alignments, as the model file I'm working in gets xreffed (along with its alignments) and then if I need to make some special drawings I still need to fiddle with the alignment settings for that particual drawing - so i dref in the alignment in my drawing to change labels/station range/etc.

Status changed to: Gathering Support

@peterfunkautodesk - 


Just ran into this again today -


As example: I COPY+PASTEd a Pipe Network from one drawing to another  - I still do not understand why this doesn't play nice for COGO?! -   the Command Line shows that 'Duplicate block <SomeBlockName> ignored' for blocks that are referenced in a Null Structure Style.


Why is Civil 3D not smart enough to adhere to the same behavior - 'Duplicate [Surface/Alignment/etc] ignored'...?


At minimum, there should be a simple Task Dialog that prompts user to choose 'Ignore', 'Overwrite', 'Duplicate', or 'Choose for each object' for that operation.

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