Friday, November 11, 2011

What's Missing In the World of Civil 3D Points? Not This!

Sure there are feature requests that we all have for Civil 3D points such as having full functionality of dynamic blocks within a point style, but this post is actually about what is no longer missing.

This morning I was asked how to find ranges of point numbers that were not currently being used in a drawing. In older versions of Civil 3D, one might have tried to look at the All Points point group properties for a list of points in that group. Well, now there's an easier way to get the answer.

Beginning with Civil 3D 2011, we were given this nifty new command:


This command returns a list of point numbers that are not in use in the current drawing. Now you might be thinking that is a really long command name to remember but don't panic. Here's a how you can access the command:
  1. In Civil 3D 2011, at the command line, type LISTA then press tab then enter. Civil 3D will auto-complete the command for you.
  2. In Civil 3D 2012, at the command line, type LISTA then press enter (no tab key required). Civil 3D will auto-complete the command for you.
  3. In Civil 3D 2011 or 2012, select a Civil 3D point. On the COGO Point contextual ribbon tab, look for the COGO Point Tools panel . Left click on the bottom of that panel and a fly out will appear. Choose List Available Point Numbers from the list.

So now you know one thing that is no longer missing from the world of Civil 3D points.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

It's an Excel-lent Round Up

When working in the civil engineering world, you sometimes need to round a number up. For example, if you're looking to size circular rcp storm sewer, then you will need to be able to round to the nearest half foot. When working in Excel, the formula =ROUND(Number, Num_digits) will not give you the desired result.

So instead you should use the Excel CEILING function =CEILING(Number, Significance).  The Ceiling function allows you dictate your rounding to the nearest multiple of significance. 

In the case of a value of 3.298 feet that needs to be rounded up to the nearest 0.5 feet, we would use the formula =CEILING(3.298,0.5) to return a value of 3.5. Likewise a value of 2.033 would return a value of 2.5.

This great tip was provided by Steve Zobal, a coworker of mine at MWM DesignGroup.