Join Eric Chappell for an in-depth discussion in this video Annotate surfaces, part of Cert Prep: AutoCAD Civil 3D Certified Professional.
- [Instructor] Labeling is going to be a big part of the certification exam, especially when it comes to surfaces. Let's take a look at what you'll need to focus on when preparing. I'll start by launching the add labels command. I'll just go to the annotate tab and click the top half of the add labels button, and this opens the generic add labels dialogue. From here, I can label just about anything. So I'll pick the feature at the top, which in this case is going to be a surface, and we see that we have what looks like six different label types, but it's really kind of three groups, we've got a slope label, we've got spot elevation labels, and we've got contour labels, so that's three different styles you'll need to worry about as well, slope style, spot elevation style, and a contour label style.
So let's do the slope first, I'll choose slope. I've got one choice for slope label style. The reason I call attention to that is because later on you'll see multiple styles in play, and when I click the add button, I'm asked to select a surface to label, so I'll go ahead and zoom down into this area and pick a contour on this parking lot area. Now I'm given the option of either a one point or a two point label, what's the difference? Well if I pick one point, I choose one point on the surface and I'm given no control over the direction of the slope.
The software picks the direction for me and it's always going to point in the steepest downhill direction. If I pick a point over here, we'll see it's 1.4% in the other direction, so I basically have a ridge line down this parking lot and everything's draining to the left and to the right. Now if I click the add button to kind of reset the command, select the surface again, this time I'll pick two point. Now I have full control over the slope direction. I can tell it to go that direction, I can tell it to go uphill if I want, I can even tell it to go up this slope right here, this steep slope, and I see that I've got a three to one slope in that area.
So that's how slope labels behave. Let's take a look at spot elevations now. We've got two to pick from. We've got just the plain old individual spot elevation and then we've got spot elevations on a grid. We'll do the individual spot elevation first. Notice we have two styles at play here. The label and the marker, so there are two parts to a spot elevation label. I'll go ahead and click add, select the surface that I want to label, and perhaps I'm interested in labeling a few spots along this ridge line, simple enough.
So what if I use spot elevation on grid, how does that work? Well now when I click add, after I'm prompted for the surface, which this time I'm going to pick the existing ground, I'm asked a series of questions that will help me define the grid along which many spot elevation labels are going to be created. So for my grid base point, I'll pick this point here. For the rotation, I'll indicate this direction. Take note that the base point is the lower left corner of your grid and you want to draw your line kind of along the bottom side, so if you're picturing the grid, you just pick the lower left corner and you're drawing this direction line along the bottom of the grid.
It can be confusing if you do it any other way because after it prompts me for the spacing, where I'm going to enter 50 and 50, it now will prompt me for the upper right corner, and if I drew this in a different direction, upper right can actually be lower left or something of that nature, and it can be confusing, so I want to actually draw the lower left corner and the bottom side of the grid so that I don't get confused. Notice how my cursor is kind of jumping around on that 50 foot increment. Once I pick a point, it will give me this blue outline showing me the grid layout.
If I don't want to make any changes, by clicking no or typing N for no or just hitting enter, it will go ahead and create the labels. If I want to make a change to the layout of the grid, I can click yes and it will kind of loop me back to the questions it just asked me. I'm happy with this, I'll click no. It will think for a few seconds and then it will lay out all of my spot elevation labels in a nice neat grid. Alright, let's take a look at contours now. We've got single, we've got multiple, and we've got multiple at interval.
Basically, how many contour labels do you want to create at one time? This is one at a time, this is a lot, and this is a ton, basically, so let's start with one at a time, I'll choose that option. Notice I now have three styles, major, minor, and user, which you almost never use, but major and minor, you definitely will, so you'll have a separate style for major than you do for minor, a lot of times the major labels are maybe a brighter more prominent color and a larger textile. Minor are smaller and dimmer colored to just make them less prominent in comparison to the majors.
Okay, let's click add, see how this works. It's going to prompt me to select a surface, so I'll select EG, then it's going to prompt me for individual pick points for labels, so wherever I pick on a contour, it's going to add a label. If I pick a point where there is no contour, nothing will happen, so how does multiple work? I'll choose that option and click add. Now I'm going to draw a line, after selecting a surface, I'm going to draw a line, and everywhere that that line intercepts a contour, it's going to create a label, and you can see all of the labels that have been generated, and actually if I click on one of these, it displays the label line and that can actually be modified, which can be handy.
I can label fewer or more contours or go in a completely different direction with where my labels are. And then finally, I'm going to go ahead and delete that line, we have multiple at interval. This is basically going to label the entire surface at one time. I'll click add, select my surface, pick my points, just like I did before, but now it's also going to ask me for an interval along the corner, so it's going to spread out from this line and work its way along each individual contour and add an additional label every 100 feet in this case.
That's going to be a ton of labels, so I'm going to stretch that out to 500 feet and press enter, software's going to think for a few seconds cuz it's got to create a ton of labels in this case, and now we can see the labeling kind of working its way out. You can see all of the additional labels out here and out here and so on. Now just so you know, as you create a label, it's also possible to move it around, so you can move a label in a different location on a contour, you can also move slope labels and spot labels around as well, so I can move this slope label over here.
Notice that the two point labels have more grips than the one point labels. The one point labels will automatically orient themselves to the slope, whereas the two point labels, it's all up to you which way they face, and spot elevation labels can also be moved and they will actually change elevation as you move them around. All very helpful and useful. So there you have it, a full run down of all the different types of surface labels.
This course isn't designed to teach you the basics, but to help you refresh your Civil 3D skills and prepare for the exam topics and format. Once you're finished with the course, you can feel confident taking the AutoCAD Civil 3D Certified Professional exam.
- Creating and using styles
- Using line, curve, and point creation commands
- Creating and editing surfaces
- Annotating parcels
- Creating alignments
- Designing profiles and profile views
- Creating sections and section views
- Managing and sharing data
- Producing plan documentation such as sheet sets
Skill Level Intermediate
Q. What should I do if I have an older version of the software?
A. This course uses AutoCAD Civil 3D 2017 exercise files. If you have an older version of the software, but still want to follow along with this course, one option you might consider is downloading a 30-day free trial of the software.