Civil 3D: mix and match Reference Templates

May 1, 2024 Leo Lavayen

I was kicking around the idea with on how to create different plots from a base file using multiple Reference Templates:

SWAPPING TEXT HEIGHT:

Let's begin by controlling text height in a design drawing by adjusting the order of the attached reference files.  For testing purposes 2 file were created, both shown with sample data at a 40 scale:

  • Small Anno REF Template.dwg:  all labels have been set to a height 0.05
  • Large Anno REF Template.dwg:  all labels have been set to a height to 0.01

From the design drawing both configured files will be used.  The key here is leveraging their order to control text height. 

With the drawing file Large Anno REF Template.dwg set to the top of the list; text set to 0.1 height:

With the drawing file Small Anno REF Template.dwg set to the top of the list; text is reduced to 0.05 height:

This could allow users to create different plots using the same base file by adjusting the order of attached references.

Below a layout is created with a partial site view is shown at a 1”=20’ scale, using the reference with LARGE text height.

As second layout is created with a zoomed out site view at a 1”=100’ scale, using the reference with SMALL text height.

CHANGING THE ENTIRE LOOK:  

What if we wanted to control more with the reference template tool?  Manipulate items such as: Color, Linetypes, Blocks, Fonts, and more.  In this example we will leverage an “Existing” vs a “Proposed” condition templates.  In the example below, I started with something simple.  Using the Out of the Box Acad.dwt template, the drawing is stale as shown below:

Let’s bring some life into the sample drawing by leveraging the 2 reference files and assigning layers and styles: 

  •  _REF Engineering (PR).dwt:  alive with COLOR and Text set to a bold 0.1
  • _REF Survey (Ex).dwt:  layers muted set to GRAYS and Text set to a slim 0.08

Showing off a colorful stylized result, the Proposed Engineering file could make the drawing look like this:

Adjusting the order of the reference files, tells different story.  When the data is set to use the Existing Survey file, it could have clean appearance:


WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:  

Shown above are two simple examples of how reference templates could be used in design to help standardize the look of drawings for different delivery types.

In testing, I did see how after a file order was moved up or down on the list I had to  focus on the lower part of the dialog box.  Notice how boxes are unchecked, typically because those styles were duplicates in the previous file order,  causing them to be ignored:

Make sure to visit all the tabs in the lower left corner and review the status of selections:  Styles, Settings Layers, Other Resources and Property Set.


I encourage you to test this Civil 3D feature and control the display of your drawings.  IMAGINiT can help you create, understand, and configure Civil 3D and make it work effectively for you.


 

About the Author

Leo Lavayen

Civil Applications Expert<br><br>As an Applications Expert, Leo is responsible for supporting, training and implementation of software for survey and civil engineering professionals. He has more than 17 years of experience helping large and small, public and private clients in the eastern United States.

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