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Real quick now - What are the differences between the plethora of Line and Curve Labels in AutoCAD Civil 3D?

Oops! Please do it That Way

Line and Curve Labels

Yep. Some are Civil 3D Feature (object) specific like Alignment, Parcel, and the latest new Figure versions. There are General or generic Line and Curve ones too.
Yep. Each Feature’s labels gives you access to the specific “exposed” Feature data, but we aren’t locked into that. Sometimes the specific Feature data is important and sometimes it is not. We can go plain Jane.

"Please explain to me WHY I get this ginormous list of Line or Curve label styles when I modify the Label Properties of a Line (or Curve) Label on many different AutoCAD Civil 3D Features?"

Curve Label Styles List

What Feature’s Label is it Anyway?

Does this mean you can slap a Parcel Line label on a tangent segment of an Alignment? No.

For Line & Curve labels you always get the choice of the current Feature’s Line or Curve Label Styles and the General (generic) Line and Curve Label Styles. You can’t switch an Alignment’s Labels to a Parcel’s  Label Style. Ah rats!
In Civil 3D, such ability is currently an act of indecent exposure.

Right Click is Your Friend

You can select (collect) Feature labels and modify them to refer to a Style for the Feature or a General one.
Many people discover the core Civil 3D Right click menu’s Select Similar command often works great as a selection tool.

Right Click is Your Friend

Does the Select Similar command sort by the assigned Style for Labels? Not exactly.

You’d better pay attention. You may not currently see other labels that get selected that you did not recognize as being “similar”. Secondly, a Label Properties pick from any Ribbon is the same action for any selected Labels. All the different types of assignable Label Styles for a Feature with Label Styles are presented in the same Property box like interface. This interface has evolved in small but important ways over the releases of Civil 3D.

Label Properties

Toolspace Label Trickery

If you pay careful attention in the Toolspace>>Settings tab you’ll also note you can replace all found instances of one Label Style with another. Instead of attacking the change from selected Feature(s) you make the change from a selected named Style.

Replace By Style

The Replace Style command (found a selected Style in right click Toolspace menus) is handy for rapid changes in a drawing when you KNOW the Styles you want to change from A to B.
You should also note the Replace Style command is NOT Feature specific at this moment in time either. Way Cool!

Replace Label Style 

Maybe you’d like a command to slap all the Feature Style and Feature Label Styles assigned in a drawing back to Standard? We all sometime have to follow someone (maybe us) who messed up. I know I would. We all may need that niffy chain saw one time or another.  Tell Autodesk.

Replace Label Style in Action

By the way, you can do this violent act systematically by working from the Toolspace when used in conjunction with Style Purge command. Get rid of the unused Style clutter and change the rest with Replace Style. Remember to Do It on a copy of your drawing.

Label on Reference in the Project

This approach probably deserves posts (there are already some here in this blog), so I’ll just mention it here.
In a working project environment it can be better to annotate references as much as possible. You get the annotation you require when and where you need it, but you aren’t so locked in. You can always kill the reference. Say, “Goodbye”. Reload, re-annotate, and basically publish on demand.

Create and Edit Labels Differ?

To modify a Line and Curve Label the annotative object must already be connected to the Feature’s linear components. If there is no connected label on a Feature, no changes are possible. Huh?

Since there are a lot of ways to create Features inside Civil 3D some of these methods can leave you up a creek without a Set or an assigned Label where you need them. Remember…Right click is your friend.

When you initially Annotate (from the ribbon) a Civil 3D Feature you definitely do NOT get all of these many Line and Curve choices. The Label engine inside Civil 3D these days remains Feature Label Style specific. So, just slam in Standard labels and modify at will. I do. U do 2?
It is faster to Edit than Create.

Add Labels

Small wonder why the” simple” annotative task of getting labels on linear objects is at times so befuddling in Civil 3D. Flexibility and Complexity can create Confusion.

We occasionally have users say that InstantOn Basic and The Jump Kit have “too many” annotative choices. More can be overwhelming at times.
Hey. We do tell you that you’ll probably want to delete the Styles you don’t think you’ll use from your production or publishing templates.
The deleted Styles don’t disappear forever either. We’ve got them organized and put away for you when you do need them.

Next post how to we really get better at this?