Join Eric Chappell for an in-depth discussion in this video Create and use object styles, part of Cert Prep: AutoCAD Civil 3D Certified Professional.
- [Male Voiceover] There are two main types of styles in Civil 3D, object styles and label styles. In this video, we'll take a look at object styles. Nearly everything about the way an object looks and behaves is controlled by a style. For example, this surface, which we see represented by grey contours, is represented by grey contours because of the style that's assigned to it. If I click it and click Surface Properties, we see that there's a style assigned called Contours One Foot and Five Foot Background.
And if we were to dig in to the different components of this style, we would discover the reasons why it is displayed in this way. If we look at another object, an alignment, we see that it's green in color and that it has a solid line type on the tangent areas, but here, in the extended tangents, we see this grey dashed line. This is also a function of the style that's being assigned to that alignment, which in this case, if I go to Alignment Properties, is a style called Proposed.
And one more example is a pipe. If I thought the storm pipe layers in this drawing, we see some storm pipes represented by these heavy, light blue lines, and in longer instances we see that there are dashes in the lines. And just as we saw with the surface, and with the alignments, if we go to Pipe Properties, we see that this is because of a style called Double Line Storm With Pipes.
So, if we change the style that's assigned to an object, it will change the appearance of that object. So if we look at our pipe once again, we go to Pipe Properties, and we change the style, let's say to Single Line Sanitary, we should see a dramatic change in the appearance of the pipe, it's now a single purple line, as opposed to the heavy blue line that it was a moment ago. I'll undo that change. Also, if we change the style that is assigned to an object, so in other words, if we were to go in and modify the style that's assigned to this surface, change something about it, it would change the appearance of the surface, because it's referencing that style.
So, let's try it. I'll go to Surface Properties, and there happens to be, on the Information tab, a little pencil icon here that I can use to edit the style. And let's say we want to take our major contours, and instead of that color being by layer, we want it to be red, it's a very simple change, but as we'll see in the drawing, it automatically changes to reflect the change in that style. And if we had multiple surfaces in that drawing, that referenced that style, we would see them all change.
For example, if we take a look at the storm pipe once again, and we'll do the same thing, I'll go to Pipe Properties, and edit this Double Line Storm with Pipes style, and again, I'll change a color so that we can see a difference, I'll change the pipe center line color to red, once again. Click OK, and because all of those different pipes in the drawing, reference that same style, they all change to red, so it's a very powerful way to effect a drawing.
So how are styles created and managed? There are a couple of different ways, probably the most common way is to open the Toolspace, go to the Settings tab, and find the style collection that you're looking for. So for example, with surfaces we would go to the Surface Node, and the very first folder under Surface is Surface Styles, these are the object styles for surfaces. Beneath that, we see Label Styles and Table Styles, which we'll talk about later. But in this video, we're looking at the object style itself, which, in this case, is a surface style.
Now, I can create a new style by right clicking Surface Styles and picking New, but it's actually a better practice to make a copy of a style that all ready exists that's similar to something that you want to create. So for example, if I wanted to make a variation on this One and Five Foot Background style, maybe with a more frequent contour interval, I could right click that style and pick Copy. I'll go to the Information tab and maybe change the name here to 0.1 and 0.5 Background, so our interval, we hope to be a little more dense.
And then I can go to the Contours tab, under Contour Intervals, and change the minor interval to .1, and the major interval will change automatically. With that change made, I'll go ahead and click OK. And we have our new style, Contours 0.1 and 0.5 Background. Now all I have to do is assign that new style to the surface, and I'll do that in Surface Properties. And we immediately see the change, the much more dense contour interval.
So that's how easy it is to create a new style, and assign it to an object. So to prepare for the certification exam, you should really practice by creating and applying styles of all types. Just looking at the list here, we've got Surface styles, Parcel styles, Grading styles, I would work my way down through this list, and look at each individual style, because they're all slightly different. Now there are common elements, for example, if I take a look at a surface style, we see an Information tab, a Display tab, and a Summary tab.
And you'll find this with all object styles, Information, Display, and Summary. Information has general information about the style, it's name, it's description, and who created it. The Display tab is really important because it controls not only which components of the object are visible when the style is applied, but also, what it's display properties are, what's it's layer, it's color, it's line type, and the list of components is going to vary, depending on the type of object.
Right now we're looking at a surface object style, so we're looking at things like contours and grids, and elevations, if we were to look at an alignment style, we would see different things. So I'll right click and pick Edit, we'll go to the Display tab, and here we see things like lines, curves, spirals, line extensions, a completely different set of components for an alignment style than you would have for a surface style. So getting familiar with all of these different components, how their displays can be changed, and then also the tabs in between Information and Display are different based on the style.
Again, if we go to Alignment, we see that we've got Information, Design, Markers, and Display. So it's a fairly basic style, there are only two tabs between Information and Display. But if we go up to Surface style, once again, we see that between Information and Display, we've got quite a few tabs, Borders, Contours, Grid, and so on. If we look at a third type of style, let's say a Pipe style, we'll see a different set of tabs between Information and Display, this time it's Plan, Profile, and Section.
So it's impossible to learn one style and say that you know everything, or nearly everything, about another style, because they're all, pretty much, different, with the exception of the Information, Display, and Summary tab. And by the way, the Summary tab is just simply a tabular, or hierarchical summary of everything going on in that style. Frankly, I seldom use this view, because it's just too much information presented at one time, but it is a tab that is available for all styles.
Now that you've completed this video, you know what you'll need to study to handle questions about object styles.
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.