Thursday, February 28, 2008

What? You Don't Use Bands?

That was the reaction I received during a presentation at my local user group meeting last week.  That group may not remember anything else I said, but that comment definitely got a reaction from the crowd.   So here's the story behind that statement...

Some engineers and companies are very particular about how certain items are labeled on their profile views.  I was working with one of those engineers on a project last year when I ran into a snag.  I was supposed to show the elevations of the profile in the "band" at the bottom of the profile view but I had to add the text "TC=" in front of the elevation.   The problem was that the "TC=" text appeared even on stations that had no profile. 


Obviously, that wasn't going to work, so I had to find a different way to display this label.  Having recently made some changes to the default profile styles in the company template, I decided to give something a try.  I created a profile label style that looked just like the band style, but it only appears where the profile exists.  That means if the profile only exists from station 1+00 to 12+50, then you'll only get labels from station 1+00 to 12+50 according to the major and minor station labels requested. 


So here's how you create and use this style:

  1. Open or create a drawing in Civil 3D.
  2. Make sure the toolspace is visible (command:  showts)
  3. Select the Settings tab of the Toolspace.
  4. Double click "Profile" from the list of objects.
  5. Double click "Label Styles".
  6. Double click "Station".
  7. Double click "Major Station"
  8. Now you should see a list of the existing Profile Major Station Labels in this drawing.  The list may only contain "Standard".
  9. Right click on "Major Station" and choose "New..."
  10. Select the Information tab and change the Name of the Label Style to "XX-FG-LT". Replace the XX with the initials of your company.
  11. Apply.
  12. Select the General Tab.
    • Change the Layer to the one of your choice.
    • Set the Orientation Reference to either View or World Coordinate System.  Band_Style3 
  13. Select the Layout tab.
    • Left click the Band_Style4 enough times to remove all existing components from the list.
    • Left click the Band_Style5 to insert a new "default" text object.
    • Change the Name value from "Text.1" to "Profile Elevation".
    • Set the Anchor Point to "Anchor Station Extension"
    • Modify the Contents Value:
      • Left click on the "Label Text" box then left click on the Band_Style6 to change the text value for this label
      • Select all the text in the Text box on the right of the Text component Editor - Contents dialog box and replace it with the desired "prefix text" in the same location (TC=)
      • Make sure your cursor is after the last character of the "prefix text"
      • From the Properties drop down list, select Profile Elevation
      • Set the Precision, Rounding, Decimal character, Sign and Output as desired for your project
      • Left click the CreateMacro to create the macro
      • The result should look something like this:  Band_Style6
      • OK
    • Set the Text Height to the desired value
    • Change the Rotation Angle to 90
    • Change the Attachment to Top Left
    • Change another other border and dragged state settings as required.
  14. Apply
  15. OK

Now all that's left to do is add your new style to a Label Set.  The tricky part is that you have to set the Dim anchor opt to "Profile View Bottom" and adjust your Dim anchor val to an appropriate setting.


So, that's all it takes to create a band style that only places labels where the profile exists.

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