Civil 3D QTO File Creation from Agency Data, Part 1 - CSV Files

September 2, 2020 Kevin Stacy

The creation of the Civil 3D Quantity Takeoff (QTO) files to support projects permitted by major review organizations, such as municipalities, environmental agencies, and state departments of transportation, might at first appear to be a formidable task.  However, this effort can frequently be mitigated by making good use of an agencies available data.  Many agencies post construction and material pay item information on web pages like the one displayed in the image, below:

1_ODOT Item Master Web Page

This information is usually available in a standard spreadsheet file format.  But, if it is only available in a text file format, it can still be easily converted.  The data required for the Civil 3D QTO comma-separated value file (CSV) can be readily be identified within an agencies’ data file (see image below).

2_ItemE19 Unedited

Any extraneous data (as illustrated in the image below) must be selected and removed.


The remaining, required data must be arranged in the proper order and saved in CSV file format.  Removing extraneous data and rearranging data columns is a quick and simple process that can be performed in Microsoft Office Excel© or other spreadsheet software.  Conversion to CSV file format is accomplished by selecting this format when saving.  An example of the completed process is shown in the following image.


This CSV file can be saved to the default location (as shown below) or to a network location, if preferred.


This file can be selected in Civil 3D from within the QTO Manager available on the Analyze tab, as shown in the following images.


Once selected, the QTO item data in the edited CSV file is available for use in Civil 3D, as shown.


Note that, although the item numbers, descriptions, and unit types are all shown, no categories are established to help navigate through this large volume of information.  A categorization file is required to accomplish this.  Creating categorization files from available agency data is demonstrated in a separate blog titled “Civil 3D QTO File Creation from Agency Data, Part 2 - Categorization Files”.

About the Author

Kevin Stacy

Civil Solutions Team Manager<br><br>Kevin is responsible for managing a team of Technical Engineers who educate and support Autodesk products for all AEC Engineering Services. He has 40 years of industry experience specializing in public sector surveying and right-of-way needs for infrastructure improvement projects and Global Positioning System (GPS) surveying services. Kevin’s 40 years of experience also includes management and field surveying experience on hundreds of transportation, site development, environmental, and construction projects throughout Ohio.

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