Friday, September 23, 2005

Style Management

Land Desktop users are finding that the procedures that they are accustomed to following are significantly reduced with Autodesk Civil 3D 2006. Creating & designing is accomplished more easily with Civil 3D.

For many their "New" challenge is managing the styles that they need to create and use. Because Civil 3D object styles reside in a drawing (similar to Page Setups) we should have a plan as to how to insure we have appropriate styles available when we need them. Although there are many styles that come "in the box" these should be considered a good starting point for your custom styles. We know we will have to make styles to use in the future, we also know that we will have to continue to create new styles and tweak the old ones.

Here is my plan.

I have a template (.DWT) file that contains the styles that I have created up until now. I have also saved this file as a drawing (.DWG) with the same name.

For New Drawings: I simply use the template to create my new drawing. Nothing surprising there.

For Existing Drawings that do not contain my needed styles: I insert the template file that I saved as a drawing (.DWG). When it asks me for the insertion point I cancel the command. This will introduce my styles into that file.

For Existing Drawings that do not contain my needed styles (Alternative): I create a new drawing from my template and insert the entire drawing (without the styles) into the newly created one and then save to the old name.

So far so good. But here is when things start to get a little tricky.

For styles that I create while in working files: I immediately open my template file and drag-and-drop the new style(s) from the toolspace "Settings" tab straight in to my template and save it. I also immediately save my template file as the drawing (.DWG) mentioned above. I will post about the "SAVE" command at another time.

Other methods of course are possible. Input anyone? The important part is to have a PLAN of some sort to manage the styles. With 83 objects that can have styles, we need a PLAN in order to be efficient.

I certainly appreciate the fact that larger organization will have a structure in place to handle "Object Styles". Not every user can, nor should be making styles unregulated. For those organizations that have a good library of style in place this can be a tremendous advantage for them. Imagine designing something and it be as it will appear in the final drawing.


symantec said...

Hello Angel,

thats trough, this is a very big problem for all users and your post ist the only workarround.

The only way is, that autodesk create a stylemanager for civil. A globale management (manager) is the only way. Thousends of Styles in a Drawing - NO !!!

Some users tell me, that another stylemanager is part of the architectural desktop - is this trough ?


Seth said...


I couldn't agree more. I am an InRoads trainer/consultant but I am looking at Civil 3D and I really like it. However, one of the features I don't like is exactly what is posted here. Styles need to be stored in a seperate file and functionality for referencing a styles file needs to be added to the project category. The styles file can still be a DWT file, just the reference funtionality should be added. This is how InRoads works in that it has an external "preference" file that all (or specific) projects can load in.

Thanks for the opportunity to talk on this subject, and I really have learned A LOT from your Blog Angel!

Angel Espinoza said...

A "Styles Manager" is a feature that many have requested. I like the idea of a centralized Styles Library.

We will see how this unfolds