Civil 3D Question of the Day:
I have my linework and points in a drawing that gets XREFED into ALTAs and other design files.
When I want to freeze a particular layer to hide the points all of them freeze! I can't leverage styles easily because you can't manipulate styles via XREF.
What is the best way to set up my point styles?
There are two ways (ok maybe 1.5 ways) to accomplish what you are after.
The first place Civil 3D looks for Styles and layers is the Description Key Set. The overall point layer always comes from the Description Key set. In the event you have a field code that doesn't match, the layer ends up as the default set in the command settings.
Method 1: Forget Layers, Use Point Groups
This is what I train my newbies to do, since I have the benefit of being able to brainwash them in the ways of Autodesk.
- Takes Layers out of the picture
- Quick control of many points at once.
- How the software was intended to operate (or so I assume)
- You still need to worry about layers when it comes to plotting - so you will also have a description key set. (Otherwise, because you are not using layers you would lose the ability to use VP Freeze)
- Can't manipulate Styles via XREF.
- Set up a bunch of point groups in your template that you anticipate using. Or make them in the current project. Doesn't matter.
All the new groups that you create will utilize the style and label style overrides.
Create an _All Points (Style Override) to display all points uniformly.
The order in which the points groups appear here is which group controls the style. Because points can belong to more than one group at once, you need to determine the precedence. For instance, a Topo point will be in the All Points groups, Topo group and No Display. If No Display is higher in this list, that's the style that "wins".
Points that reside in groups ABOVE No Display will show up. Points that are in groups BELOW No Display will be hidden.
Method 2: Layers only Method
Since the first stop for Points is the Description Key Set, use this to set the layers. And use Traditional CAD Freezing to control what groups are visible/not visible.
- Many people are used to this method
- No worries about VP Freeze
- Need to Simplify styles
- Can be cumbersome to remember what points went on what layer.
- Points that do not match description keys are all sent to the same layer.
Regardless of what is in the style layer-wise the layer from here is the layer most people use when freezing & thawing.
The way I think of it is, assuming you are familiar with how blocks operate: You have the layer that the block is inserted on. Some blocks may also have layers hidden inside of them (not if I taught them CAD, but you get the picture). The insertion layer of a block is analogous to the point's layer from the description key set. Those "hidden" block layers are similar to the layers within a style. 99.9% of the time if you want to freeze a block, it is the insertion layer that you are aiming for. Same for points.
In other words, the layers you see inside of a point style are more or less irrelevant. The only time they will rear their heads is if you explode a point down to its core components. UNLIKE a block, changing the LAYFRZ settings to Entity will not give you access to these underlying layers.
My Wish for the Future:
A lot of headache could be avoided if point groups had data shortcuts. That way I could make a point group that contained the points I wanted to show in my new drawing and make a reference to them. Perhaps there is some logic or programming reason that this can't be done. But I would love it! This would also facilitate surfaces using a point group that did not exist in the same drawing.