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Autodesk Infrastructure Technical Specialist, Jeff Bartels and the guys over at the Civil Immersion blog have periodically be releasing short videos on the new features of Civil 3D 2018.  Rather than you having to find them among their other amazing blogs, I've added them here for you to view in a video library.  There are some really great features.  Enjoy! Clear Corridor Bowties: Relative Feature Lines (Part 1): Relative Feature Lines (Part 2): Section View Buffer: Plan/Profile & Profile/Profile Sheets: Offset Profiles & Connected Alignments (Part 1): Offset Profiles & Connected Alignments (Part 2): Extracted Feature Lines as Corridor Baselines:  Section View Buffer:

Have you ever drawn a line from a point node and become frustrated because the Z value of the line absorbs the elevation value of the point?  Next thing you find that you have a drawing with a bunch of lines all drawn at different elevations.  Yes, there are times you want this, but there are also times you don't.   If you decide that you need to draw several lines from several point nodes and you want to guarantee the lines will be drawn at a 0.00 elevation then set your OSNAPZ system variable to 1.  The OSNAPZ controls whether object snaps are automatically projected onto a plane parallel to the XY plane of the current UCS at the current elevation.   0 - Osnap uses the Z-value of the specified point 1 - Osnap substitutes the Z-value for the specified point with an elevation set for the current      UCS If you choose to have your elevation something other than 0.00 then type in ELEV in at the commandline and set the desired value.  WARNING:  The OSNAPZ is a system variable and therefore, when ...

Lately we've been receiving quite a few phone calls regarding an issue where the installer fails installing SSA 2017 with an error 1721.   Just last week Autodesk released this solution: The Installer Fails Installing SSA with Error 1721  

Just in case you've not yet heard. . .Civil 3D 2018 and Infraworks 2018 were both released last week.   Some of the highlighted new features in Civil 3D include. . . The ability resolve corridor bowties Enhancements to the plan production tools to include new templates The ability to connect two separate alignments to create a new dynamically linked alignment and profile.  Some of the highlighted new features in Infraworks include. . . The ability to manager inventor-based bridge components within the Style Palette The ability to export quantities to a CSV file for review, reporting, or estimating costs Simplified tries to improve performance A gizmo that to make it easier to edit roadside grading Read more in-depth description about all these additions and updates here:  InfraWorks and AutoCAD Civil 3D 2018:  They're Here!    

If your Civil 3D software is experiencing major performance degradation where files take too long to open (depending on complexity), plotting is slow, purging is slow, and AUDIT does nothing to help alleviate the issue, then you may want to attempt the recommendations within this Autodesk document:   Civil 3D Performance Degradation Please note that the downloadable zip file mentioned in the solution is at the bottom of the page. And one last very important note:  The update needs to be implemented on every user’s machine. The performance problem will return if an unpatched version of Civil 3D is used to open a file. The performance problem is fixed at the time a file is saved in the updated version of Civil 3D. The first time a user opens a file the update will not be evident. Performance will greatly improve after the first save. External references will need to be resaved to see the benefit of the update.  Check this to verify if your software needs the new DBX file:

Are you one of those companies who names their layout tabs to reflect the actual sheet numbers?  Are you finding yourself updating layout tab names only to have to return to the layout to update the sheet number?  Are you not using the sheet set manager to manage the sheet numbers?  If so then, you may want to try using a field that reflects the layout tab name.  Here's an example . . . Here I have a layout tab titled "A-1".  I'd like my title block sheet number to reflect that layout tab name: So in the title block (either use the block editor or edit the title block prior to inserting it) I use the FIELD command to add a system variable ctab field: Adjust the justification and height as needed, but when done you should have something similar to this: Now (after you close the block editor and save changes or upon the insertion of the title block) you will see that your title block sheet reflects the layout tab name: And it should follow throughout your project for any tab ...

John Sayre, Technical Marketing Manager for Autodesk, and Eric Chappell, Civil Community Evangelist for Autodesk, put together this great video that explains the way to use the Autodesk Shared Reference Point productivity pack tool to seamlessly share a file between Civil 3D, Revit, Navisworks, and Infraworks so that the content of the files locates itself on the site correctly.  I highly recommend watching this video:

Yesterday AutoCAD 2018 was released by Autodesk.  If you don't yet see it in your Autodesk account or you don't yet have an Autodesk account then you can download your free trial here: AutoCAD 2018 Free Trial.   So what's new in this release of AutoCAD?   First and foremost, it must be known that the drawing format has changed to 2018.   Some of the highlighted enhancements include: Updates to PDF imports including better importation of geometry, SHX font files, fills, raster imagery and True Type fonts. The ability to fix broken external reference paths for externally referenced files. A stronger object selection to include items you've selected even if they pan or zoom off screen.  Updates to the user interface to include some of the more commonly used tools. High-resolution monitor support for the best possible viewing experience, even on 4K and higher resolution displays. And much more!!! Here is a general overview of the new features: Here is a link to all the ...

You've gone through the procedure of creating an Infraworks model and you'd like to have the model appear in another group.  Well, you cannot have a model appear in two groups.  That's simply not possible.  So how do you move the model from one group to another?  Well, that's not possible either.  So here is the workaround. . .  1. Open the model.   2. Within "Settings and Utilities" navigate to the "Duplicate" button: 3. In the newly duplicated model, click on the "Publish" button: 4. In the "Publish Model" dialog box select the group you want to add the model to:

Do you have the latest version of Infraworks installed?  Don't know?  Here's how you find out. . . 1. Click on the button with the 3 vertical lines in the top left of the Infraworks homepage and select Application Options: 2. In the "General" section, click on the "About" button: 3. You'll see the version in the dialog box that appears:

When launching Civil 3D you receive a message similar to this: Autodesk has provided several solutions to resolve this. . . 1. Uninstall the AutoCAD 2017.1 update OR 2.  Install the AutoCAD 2017 SP1.1 OR 3. Uninstall the Bridge Module If you choose this option, simply go into your Control Panel and find the Autodesk Bridge Module, right click, and select "Uninstall": You can read more about it here:   Error: "Rex startup failed" when launching AutoCAD Civil 3D

I met with a client who had a need to make his quick profiles a permanent part of this drawing. This is a quick way to accomplish this. And yes, I know we could have simply drawn an alignment and made a profile as well.

Last week the Civil Immersion blog site released a video that explains how to extract a point list that notates a point with station and offset in respect to an alignment in your drawing.  I highly recommend watching this video, especially if you're a surveyor.   While watching the video it triggered in my memory the very first blog I ever posted back in 2010 for a site that no longer exists.  In my post I go in the opposite direction of the video.  I import points that have stations and offsets and create a point label style that expresses the values.   Here's the original post. . . A few weeks ago one of our clients called me up with an uncommon question. He had an Excel file (CSV format) that had point numbers, northings, eastings, elevations, offsets, and station numbers as follows: (I’ve replaced the column headings with the correct title to make the file format clearer.) His desire was to import these points into Civil 3D with a label style that would only express point numbers, elevations, offsets, and station numbers as ...

NOTE:  This cannot be done directly in Civil 3D because Civil 3D overwrites the command sequence and therefore the output is incorrect.    Therefore you must begin this process in Map 3D and then complete it in Civil 3D. First let’s discuss the setup needed in Excel.  Setup the columns in your Excel file so that each column represents the needs of your transparent command, quadrant, appropriate ENTER placeholders, bearings, and distances.  Similar to this: Notice that in order to add the single apostrophe in the transparent command cell you must enter two apostrophes in the Excel formula line: Now select the cells and copy them to your clipboard: Now, launch Map 3D and turn off object snaps, object snap tracking, and dynamic input.  I found these had to be disable for this to work correctly.    Start the line command and pick start point. Click your cursor in the commandline, right-click and paste. Here is the image of the linework from the above spreadsheet beginning at 0,0 and continuing from there: Save the file and, if you need to convert it to a parcel or label it, ...

In AutoCAD you notice that the text within menus, the ribbon, dialog boxes, and palettes is rather large and may overlap other elements within the user interface or not appear at all.   The cause of this due to the fact that the Windows operating system governs how the user interface text is displayed in AutoCAD, and a high definition or high DPI monitor can make the program interfaces appear very small on the screen.  Scaling up the text size to compensate for this can have an adverse affect on how user interface text shows in AutoCAD. Current versions of AutoCAD-based products are optimized for monitor displays with a resolution under 2000. The solution is to install update 2017.1.1 for AutoCAD 2017 and AutoCAD LT 2017 and other AutoCAD 2017-based vertical products.  However, you cannot simply go to the Autodesk website to install this update.  The AutoCAD 2017.1.1 update can only be downloaded and installed via the Autodesk Desktop App.   To read more about this issue and resolution read this:  Odd text display within user interface elements in AutoCAD

"I'm fine with my current version of AutoCAD.  There's no need to upgrade."  "My current version of AutoCAD does everything I need." "There are no new features in the new software that I need."  We've all heard this before.  I hear it almost daily.  Why are some folks so reluctant to make that move?  There are several factors that prevent users from making the move forward to the newer version of software. .  . Comfort - Some users are just satisfied with their current version. Cost – Some users believe that the cost of implementing the new software will be grand.  Time – Others believe that they’re just too busy to make the move right now.  Don’t allow these factors to put you so far behind the curve that playing catch up is almost difficult to accomplish.  Every year there are updates to the software that are implemented because users have requested them or because technology is driving us there.  If you adopt these changes in one release at a time they’re ...

When at attempting a standalone or network version to launch AutoCAD 2017 (or any 2017 vertical product) for the first time the software opens and then displays a dialog box titled "Licensing Error" and the message inside reads, "The License manager is not functioning or is improperly installed. AutoCAD will shut down now."   Autodesk provided a solution for this problem here:  The license manager is not functioning or is improperly installed

Are you having trouble accessing your Autodesk account?  Can you not add or remove a user to your Autodesk account?  Can you not grant a user access to specific products in your Autodesk account?   Of course, we here at Applied Software enjoy assisting you with all that we can, but there are some instances where even we just need to go to Autodesk directly.  This is one.  We don't have access to your Autodesk account and, therefore, we cannot get in there to adjust any settings.  Your best option would be to contact them directly.  There are two ways to contact an Autodesk agent...either by chat or by e-mail.    Use this link to make contact:  Autodesk Contact 

When importing points into Civil 3D within the Survey tab (into a survey database) a point group is created automatically within the Prospector tab named the same as the point file or FBK file.  What if you do not want this functionality. Yes, you can simply delete the point group and the points remain, but there is a way to turn off the option so that no extra point groups are created. . . You must first go through the process of importing the points (specify the database, specify the data source, specify the network), but in the "Survey Data - Import Options" dialog box you must toggle off the option to insert survey points: Then proceed to the Survey Points in the database tree and insert from there: Back in the Prospector you'll see you have only one point group. . ._All Points!!! ...

I've seen this issue in the past (as far back as Civil 3D 2010) and had not been able to figure out the cause until recently.   A user contacted me the other day with this issue so I just had to figure it out.   The company created a project folder and a survey database to that folder, but when they attempted to create a new local database they would receive a box stating the survey database does not exist and could not be recreated and it looked like this: Initially, I was unable to recreate the issue.  I then attempted to recreate the issue with the exact same folder structure he had but on my local drive, guess what...I got the same error.  After some testing, I was able to finally figure out that since the folder had an apostrophe in the name the error was being generated.  We removed the apostrophe and all worked fine.  

AutoCAD for Mac and AutoCAD LT for Mac versions 2016, 2015, and 2014 are compatible with Mac OSX v10.11 (El Capitan), but are not designed to run on the Sierra.  For the official word from Autodesk read this:  AutoCAD and Apple MacOS Sierra (10.12) what you need to know. The only workaround appears to roll back to the supported operating system.   UPDATE:  There was an update released shortly after this blog was written that resolves this issue.  However, this update is only for AutoCAD 2016 for the Mac:  AutoCAD 2016 for Mac Update 4 and AutoCAD LT 2016 for Mac Update 4.  For 2015 and previous versions the above workaround is still the only solutions.  

Autodesk released this funny video/commercial which humorously highlights the abilities of AutoCAD Civil 3D.  I hope you enjoy it and have a good chuckle.  If you're in the civil engineering industry you'll definitely want to watch this video:

The other day I was working with a client and they had a dynamic block that needed to have a stretch action in which, when the grip was stretched in one direction, the opposite side of the block would stretch in the opposite direction equally.  I showed them this method, and, since there was very little spoken about this on the web, I decided to make this short video.  I hope you find it helpful.  

When you toggle on ortho mode using the F8 key you notice that AutoCAD either freezes or takes long to respond. But if you use the icon in the task bar to toggle on the option it responds immediately.   We have found this to be an issue with AutoCAD products on a Windows 10 operating system.  It seems to be the Windows 10 Anniversary update is cause of this issue.  To resolve, simply adjust your TEMPOVERRIDES system variable to 0.  But be aware that by adjusting this value you will be disabling the option of using your SHIFT key to temporarily enter into ortho mode should you not have ortho mode toggled on.   This is a Microsoft issue and it should be noted that this is only a "band-aid" until another Microsoft update resolves this issue.    

Autodesk recently released an update that has some really exciting features, however, the update is strictly for subscription-only users.  Well, this means that I cannot even provide you a link (because one does not exist) to this update.  So how do you get it?  You can only find it in the Autodesk Desktop App.  It is titled, "AutoCAD 2017.1 English Update 64-bit."   Some of the new features that I find most exciting are. . . You can now import a PDF file that contains SHX geometry.  Several popular SHX fonts are supported.  The performance and reliability of 3DORBIT are improved for rendered visual styles, especially for models with a large number of small blocks containing edges and facets. To see a full list of what has been updated you can read the ReadMe file here:  Autodesk AutoCAD 2017.1 and AutoCAD LT 2017.1 Update Readme