Masking Labels in Autodesk Civil 3D

Kevin Breslin

James Branagan | Applications Expert

When placing text on drawings, many times, the only place to place the label will be over lines in the drawing. This obscure the text and make it difficult to read. To remedy this, you can place a mask around the text which will wipe out or hide the objects under that mask.  When working in Autodesk’s Civil 3D and AutoCAD there are a few different ways that you can add a mask around the label.

Single line text:

Single line text can be masked using the Wipeout command on the Markup panel of the Annotate tab.


To create the Wipeout, select the tool and create a polygon to represent the area to be hidden. A Wipeout is its own separate drawing object so it may need to have its display order adjusted so that the text displays but the underlying lines do not.


With both Multi Line text and Civil 3D labels, the masking is attached to the text.

Multi line text:

Create Multi Line text and select it to open the text’s contextual ribbon. On the Style tab select the Mask button.



The Background Mask dialog box will allow you to choose whether to use a background mask or not as well as what color it will be (or the same color as the drawing background color). It will also allow you to control the size of the mask to some degree.

The size of the mask is ultimately controlled by the text editing box (the big grey box that’s placed around the text when you select it for editing). The Border offset factor further increases the mask by the amount you specify. In conjunction, these two items control the overall size of the background mask

Since the mask for MText is tied to the text itself, any changes you make will be automatically reflected in the mask

Civil 3D Labels:

The last way in Civil 3D to add a mask to a label is through the Label Styles dialog box.


On the Layout tab of the Label style underneath the Border section, there is a setting for Background Mask. Setting it to True will turn it on and setting it to False will turn it off. Again, you have the ability to control the size of the mask by adjusting the Gap size.

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