Visual Manipulations and Many Segments – Part 10

Tags grips, grip edit, parcel, parcel segment, segment, property, selection

We been discussing the Most Important Fact that How you use the Civil 3D interface in the manual manipulation of Parcel Segments matters. There is really a lot to keep track of and these skills obviously apply to more than just Parcels inside of AutoCAD Civil 3D. The key User interface use issues remain clear:

  • Cycle Your Focus
  • Selection Create and Edit Skills
  • What You See is What You WantIt’s not about What You See is What You Get

The Parcel Posts - a study guide to Read and Test in AutoCAD Civil 3D
Site Parcel Essentials – Part 1 | It’s Not Yo’ Daddy’s Parcel – Part 2 | To Edit Parcels is to Create? – Part 3 | Parcels Have Priorities - Part 4 | A Strange Universe of Parcel Inverses and Mapchecks – Part 5 | Dances with Parcels – Part 6 | Pack Dances with Parcels – Part 7 | Cycle Manipulations of Segments – Part 8 | Select Manipulations of Segments – Part 9 | Visual Manipulations and Many Segments – Part 10

It was once a significant CAD software feature to have What You See is What You Get. We moved on.
In Civil 3D we get something else…

What You See is What You Want

Some Annotated Parcels

In previous Parcel posts we talked a lot about Parcel Segment Style and Area Labels and about the detailed reasons why segment labels produce different results.

Civil 3D Annotation is an Edit and QAQC Tool

You can employ multiple Parcel Labels as a tool in Parcel creation and editing. They provide handy instant feedback as you make small to large adjustments.
Perhaps you might employ tweaked QAQC Label Styles with more precision than you might eventually publish. Small unseen values tend to pile up at times into unexpected results.

There is a balance to this. The Site Parcel model spares us the task of being perfectly precise and accurate. It allows us to produce Suitable results in less time. Read this important post.

As we said before The General Line & Curve Label work on different geometry than Parcel Labels.

  • The Generals Labels recognize the underlying geometry of the segment
  • Parcel Labels recognize the resolved Site Parcel model

If you want Start and End “Z” labels or segment Slope data for grade and elevation work, you must employ a General Line and Curve Labels.

Sorry. The internal resolved node elevations (that might be potentially available by interaction with the entire Site Parcel model) are not currently exposed in any Feature’s Label Styles.

Many times it pays to employ both kinds of Parcel Segment Labels when editing. Unfortunately these days you cannot have more than one Multiple Label Style assigned to Parcel Segments on any linear Features for that matter.
This was possible back in the day, but either object model “clean ups” or people’s wish lists (focused on annotation) complained this useful functionality away. Stacked multiple labels were useful. Boo who -Change can be annoying.

Add Labels

A visible Add Labels box becomes pretty important. Thankfully this box is modal. It can hang around and wait for your time and need. In 2011-13 you’ll also get mad that the Generals section of Add Labels cannot replace Multiples. Get used to manual deletes (Select Similar) and relabel from the Add Labels box.

More and More Labels

Alignments actively may participate in Site Parcels. They remain a separate Feature. They have their own independent set of Line and Curve Labels. Yep. The can use the General Line & Curve Labels too. The numerous and potentially very detailed Alignment Group labels can also produce useful information on screen to help aid you in your Parcel construction and editing.

Currently, the only ways to snap a Parcel segment end to an Alignment/Profile pair elevation is to employ a Feature Line that references such a pair. There are a couple of ways to do that as we discovered in a previous post. It pays to keep these “reference” Feature Lines is a separate Site.  We’ll talk more on Site Parcels and Alignments next time.

Figures in AutoCAD Civil 3D 2013 now have their own independent Line & Curve labels as well. Figures can also be labeled with General Line & Curve Labels like Parcel Segments. What data do you need data from the Figure?

If it sounds to you like General Line & Curve Labels are the simple best choice to use for everything, you may have missed the point. Read the previous posts…maybe read them again with Civil 3D running.

Quick Select is Needed

When you have to work with Parcel Segments, ACAD selection skills matter a lot. Typically, you may have Parcel Segments from more than one Site Parcel in your drawing. The Quick Select tool which is available in both the screen Right click menu and the Properties palette is a lifesaver. Sweet!

Not So Sweet

Unfortunately the Select Similar command (also in the right click menu) is grossly insensitive to Site and to Parcel Label type – This is both Good news and Bad news. Custom settings for the Select Similar command is another thing Autodesk could tweak.

Quick Select Parcel Segments

The Quick Select tool is the only easy way to select Parcel Segments that are currently unresolved and that may be displayed as an Invisible Parcel Style. Quick Select in the fast way to collect Parcel Segments en mass and change their available Properties.  Yes you can Right click and Move or Copy the selected Parcel Segments to another Site. You search for Parcel Segments in Quick Select with a “Site” by name match.

By the way, when you search for the resolved Parcels within a Site with Quick Select you must search for “Parcel Site Name” not by “Site”. Is this another case of “indecent” exposure in Civil 3D or not?

A Bunch of Parcels

Display Resolution

The Parcel Segments themselves derive their Style by a process of Style “resolution” that is managed by a Priority.
Remember that a Parcel Segment may be shared by two (or more) different Parcels . The adjoining Parcels may have different Parcel Styles. The Parcels collection has a Display Order Priority that is controllable in the Composition Tab of the Parcels collection in every named Site Parcel.

Remember the outer boundary of the Parcels collection is always also a Parcel. It also shares control of the properties of the outer boundary Parcel Segments of all the Parcels it collects.
That other Parcels duality can make things confusing when you are work out on the edge.

AutoCAD Display Order

How does the AutoCAD Display Order affect the displayed and published results?  This depends on exactly what you are attempting to order.
Remember you have the Parcels (this includes the separate outer boundary Parcel) and the Parcel Segments to deal with and manage.

A New Display Order of Parcel Segments

It is also easy to forget that you cannot actually change the AutoCAD Display Order of a resolved Parcel. The Civil 3D Site Parcel Priority controls that.  See above.
You can change the AutoCAD Display Order of a selection of Parcel segments, but you have to select that input data to do that. Quick Select makes that possible.

There’s More to Style than Looks

Display order and the related Feature selection issues get more dicey when you have multiple Site Parcels at work in a drawing. As I said in many a previous posts, QAQC type Parcel Styles and Parcel Area Styles can help reduce the visibility issues and therefore the access to the most productive Civil 3D edit interface significantly better and faster.

Our latest products have these creative Style tool goodies all built-in By Design. InstantOn Basic has some. The Jump Kit has more depth and variations for all the many related Civil 3D Features that can contribute to a Site Parcel.

Which Properties Matter When?

In the Toolspace selecting either the Parcels collection or the Named Site above it gets you to SAME Auto CAD properties box.  Don’t be fooled. To Civil 3D these are not the same thing.

The Civil 3D Toolspace always has a hierarchy. Where you select and pick ALWAYS matters.

The Civil 3D properties of the higher level Named Site and its included Parcels collection are definitely NOT the same.

The Civil 3D Properties

Named Site manages properties of all the collected stuff. Aside from setting the Parcel numbering counters in Numbering, the 3D Geometry tab properties control the 3D elevation display of the resolved Site Parcel model in views other than Plan. The 3D Geometry tab properties also manage the default layers for Construction segments.

Construction segments are segments that do not currently resolve. A setting of Layer 0 means the unresolved segments “float” to the Style assigned layer. You can force unresolved tangent, arc, and (in the future) spiral segments to display on different layers.

Parcels Property Composition Tab

The Parcels collection manages the resolved outer boundary Parcel Styles, the Parcel Style Display Order, and the assignment of UDP (User Defined Properties) for resolved Parcels in the Composition Tab. In the example above the outer boundary Style has Display Order Priority in the Site.

The Parcel Feature has default properties of Parcel Number, Parcel Address and Parcel Tax ID that are assigned to every resolved Parcel. UDP properties allow you to assign additional properties.
The default Parcel data properties can be managed in the AutoCAD properties box for the individual Parcel. The Parcels Ribbon has tools to allow you to change Parcel Number and Name properties en mass.

Speaking of Parcel names - using Parcel Style names in the Parcel naming template allows Civil 3D to manage and group your resolved Parcels automatically. How to employ that interactive functionality is worthy of a post someday, but not today.

The Feature Line collection in a Site Parcels employs similar Toolspace mechanics to Parcel Segments. The Feature Line Site Properties box:
The Statistics tab reports on the total collection of Feature Line in the Site.
The Grouped Statistics tab allows you to see the Feature Line Grouped By Style and By Layer. This is really handy quick check of Feature Line Style and Layer assignment errors, omissions, etc.
The Options tab helps you manage the Style based weighting of Feature Line Priority within the Site. This is called Split point crossing resolution. Simply put (if there is such a thing) when Feature Lines cross which elevation is employed at the resolved intersection node location. That resolved elevation value gets processed out of the Site Parcel into one of a number of potential linear Surface Definitions (e.g. Breaklines, Boundaries, etc.).

Site Feature Line Priorities In Options Tab

In the example above roadway (Corridor) Feature Lines matter more except when you choose to do it differently. The Corridor based Feature Line Styles (CR) are “favored” over Site Styles (GR) in this Site Parcel. How you name Styles matters in subtle ways inside AutoCAD Civil 3D. The Feature Styles here come from our InstantOn Basic template’s Styles collection.

In a bit we'll talk about Alignments and their ever growing influence and power inside the Site Parcel.