| Oct 26, 2009
The first symbolic brass tacks were committing to the clean-up of your blocks and identifying what you really need. On a practical level, an Excel spreadsheet will do fine to make and manage your plan. You just need a column and a corresponding Blocks drawing for each variation of the Symbol Set that you plan to publish in.
Remember that the Block and Style Names stay the Same and just your pictures change. Think carefully about what the KEY ID column is going to be in your spreadsheet - Maybe your Description Key? Maybe not.
While we're on the subject of documenting and writing things down...
Why TEXTSTYLES Matter
The Jump's Symbol Set intentionally employs ONLY two textstyle references. One for existing conditions and one for proposed. They are used in ALL the textual and symbol annotation of every Civil Feature. All the other Feature Label Styles in the Jump also ONLY employ these same two textstyle references.
The default textstyles are named "arial" and "oarial" to conform to the worldwide Windows standard True Type fonts that they intentionally reference. How many fonts do you really want to have to pass around? Contrary to a popular myth you may have heard, Windows True Type fonts work and perform fine on most reasonably current output devices. Without delving into all the arcane specifics of font graphics:
The arial font conforms reasonably well in its graphic specifics of the Simplex font
that many ACAD using agencies, jurisdictions, etc do accept as a de facto standard.
Arial's graphic specifics also map acceptably to New Time Roman and
the Roman shx fonts that are also commonly employed.
Whether you actually USE this specific font as a reference is NOT the key issue. You can change the references to ANY fonts you want or a jurisdiction/client requires in your production/publication templates.
You can size annotation by making adjustments in your production/publication templates by specific Feature, Label Style Type, Parent or Child Label Style because the Jump Label Styles do conform to Civil 3D's structured hierarchical model.
The model is built to work when Label Style Defaults (LSD) are applied from the top down. Drawing LSD>>Feature LSD >>Label Type LSD >>Parent Label Style>>Child Style. This is indeed a strange trip. As human beings, we tend to think Label Style specifics first. Don't do that. It makes you work too hard.
If you do lots of different projects with lots of differing scales, sizes, and jurisdiction specifics using Project based template may make More sense. Remember to keep the production and publishing templates in a project specific resource location. You do the set up work down the Toolspace Settings tree for the project template(s) at the setup start from a generic project template(s).
Do you Need the Old Attributes?
Getting rid of unneeded Attribute references whether the attribute visible or not in your Symbols is also important. Recognize that Civil 3D will produce almost all the annotation you need directly from the Feature's data. In the case of most Features, the Table Styles will also produce ID and/or Named-based data tables of the data directly from the Civil 3D Features too. I hope that Autodesk continues to make this data export easier in future releases via improvements to LandXML, but even a Windows Copy and Paste works in a pinch.
Practically moving from attributes to this Label and Table Style approach results in fewer man-hours invested to unique object maintenance while producing More useful results with less customized code in the long term.
I will admit that this does takes a significant leap of faith especially if your organization is really good at the task workflow, particulars, and specifics and have therefore probably customized and programmed your LDT/ACAD to the max. In that case, you may need and want some expert help from your Autodesk Reseller and/or a skilled Autodesk consultant.
Civil and GIS/BIM
If you have to publish to a GIS or BIM, the really good news is that getting there is probably easier from Civil 3D because of the Dynamic Model's built-in data capabilities. Civil has a More structured and complete database than LDT or AutoCAD. However, all your existing methods and processes, if they are based on old school ACAD attributes, are going to change. The good news is you do NOT have to do it tomorrow or wait to put Civil 3D to use.
Remember that Save to AutoCAD is going to be part of your publishing process. Remember that Civil 3D is built on Map and that Map also has Features. These Map Feature you can even build into your updated templates.
Next time a clean up thing or two that might getcha...One bit me.
But More Help is Here