Civil 3D Custom Layer Standards Unleashed

Tags spreadsheet, Layer Standards, CAD Standards, AutoCAD, Civil 3D, customization, implementation, AddOn, Update, standard keys, Major Key, Minor Key, color, layer color, ACI, RGB

What if you had a tool that made the customization all the many details of a Layer System for AutoCAD Civil 3D and AutoCAD-based applications easy? What if that tool worked for interoperable STB or CTB based templates and drawings?

You’d probably want that tool to be easy to use, but able to handle all of the detailed nuances of the many critical Layer properties. You might also want to support the details of the NCS (National CAD Standard) in multiple versions and variants in a pinch. That would be one powerful tool. We do that.

You probably don’t want to spend piles of money to buy a specialized piece of software to do all of that. You don’t have to. That would be silly. The Framework for Civil 3D includes these tools in Microsoft Excel spreadsheets. We call them Layer Standards Spreadsheet Tools. The Framework’s many, powerful Spreadsheet Tools help make the Framework for Civil 3D

A Better Managed System for Civil 3D

As we proactively prepare for the upcoming AutoCAD 2019 and AutoCAD Civil 3D 2019 releases and a new Framework of Civil 3D Release 8, we want to make life, work, and Layer scheme customization simpler for our current customers in the Release7 of the Framework.

Our customers asked for better tools. We can to that. Silly me! We should probably charge big bucks for the…

Layers Standards Update AddOn

If any competent AutoCAD user can and will make a Layer and mess with the Layer properties, then we never saw a Layer scheme we can’t manage better and improve.

The Framework for Civil 3D tackles the standards for Layers as a managed system that is adaptable and flexible and yet will always produce consistent repeatable results in many production environments.

The Framework employs classic AutoCAD Layer States methodologies to unleash the full potential of a Layer system where any and all of the Layer properties can be changed at the will and need of the user.

The latest, greatest, and now even more robust Layer Standards Spreadsheet Tools are supplied in this Layers Standards Update AddOn.

Both STB and CTB Layer Standards Spreadsheet Tools Included

The Framework for Civil 3D is agnostic about your publishing preference and/or the publishing preferences of your clients.

  • Full interoperability or exchange of templates and drawings for both STB and CTB versions of the Spreadsheet Tools results is maintained.

You can Work the Same and Publish on Demand.

That could and should get you more clients.

Improved NCS Details

The Framework for Civil 3D is agnostic about your Layer Scheme preference and/or the publishing preferences of your clients. Most people these days work in projects or environments that employ some variant of the NCS.

We have improved the both the capabilities and ease of use in the new Layer Standards Spreadsheet Tools to comply even better with all the many nuances of the NCS versions and variants.

  • Full support for both small and large project NCS Discipline based Layer naming conventions
    You can employ and/or modify classic “C-“ (small project conventions) to “CG” two-character (large project) NCS Discipline Key systems.
    The NCS requires you employ one or the other but not both in a published project.
    A more complete and current list of NCS Discipline Keys is supplied.
    Previous versions required you to customize the Spreadsheet Tool yourself.
  • Full support for the NCS end of Layer name Status or Phase modifiers
    The NCS requires you employ one or the other but not both in a published project.
    You could now generate numeric Phase based Layer modifications to the Layer scheme and push them to the Civil 3D Styles for any Civil 3D Feature – Parcels, Surfaces, and Corridors for example. You could optionally generate specialty scripts to rename Layers for publication.
    You could now generate single character Status based Layer modifications to the Layer scheme and push them to the Civil 3D Styles for any Civil 3D Feature – Parcels, Surfaces, and Corridors for example. You could optionally generate specialty scripts to rename Layers for publication.
    Previous versions required you to customize the Spreadsheet Tool yourself.
  • Support for single tilde characters in Key names
    The generic NCS occasionally employs tilde characters in Major and Minor Keys particularly in specialty Key circumstances.
    Previous versions of the Spreadsheet Tools did not automatically resolve searches for such Layers.
    Previous versions required you to customize the Spreadsheet Tool yourself.

That should allow you to work on projects small and large with more demanding clients.

The Joys of Color

The Framework for Civil 3D is agnostic about how you employ color in a Layer Scheme. The Framework does employ a Rules-based System and even generic color themes to simplify all of the nuance so user work and publication tasks require fewer user production man-hours.

We think if you or those you are beholden to don’t like the Rules, you should be able to rewrite them.

We have improved the both the capabilities and ease of use in the new Layer Standards Spreadsheet Tools to implement all the nuances of color in a Layer scheme.

  • Employment and complete customization of the first 9 simple AutoCAD colors
    or optionally any and all the AutoCAD ACI colors.
    By default the first 1-9 colors are dealt with as exceptions.
    This range can be adjusted as desired or required.
    If you want to rewrite the color rules down to an individual color basis, you can now more easily accomplish the task.
    Previous versions required you to customize the Spreadsheet Tool yourself.
  • The potential ability to convert from AutoCAD ACI color scheme to an RGB color schemes
    More recent versions of the NCS only recommend the use of RGB (true color) color schemes.
    These can only be employed in the context of STB based publishing.
    CTB does not support RGB color.
    The new version of the Spreadsheets include the RGB lookup list resources (from official Autodesk sources) and the basic output columns to produce ACI to RBG conversion scripts.
    No default script columns are currently provided. These can be easily reconstructed by copying and editing the existing formulas from the existing script generation resources.

Like we said - you can now cope with more demanding and picky clients in less time with less effort.

Help and Support Resources

If we can build this new super tool, we’d better make sure you can learn and understand how to use it.

The Release 7 Details page was updated with relevant details of changes provided in the AddOn in a separate section that is easy to find in the table of contents.

The Spreadsheet Tools documentation for both Layer Standards (STB) and Layer Standards for CTB were updated with appropriate details. Both review the new capabilities and particulars of the appropriate Layer Standards Spreadsheet Tool.

Unbridled Excellence

That all seems like impressive stuff. We certainly continue to innovate and rearrange how you might want think about your Civil 3D Templates, Civil 3D Styles, and Civil 3D Standards resources.

The Framework for Civil 3D is all about affordable and sustainable competitive advantage.
Maybe it’s time to get some of that.
Get more work.
Get more work done faster.

Funny thing is technically, these more robust Layer Standards Spreadsheet Tools allow you a lot more managed systematic control of all your AutoCAD Layer resources and details. You could say that they bridle the wild horse, and yet still they somehow manage to unleash your ability to get more work done in AutoCAD Civil 3D.
You could say they help make sense out of nonsense. We do that.

Get the Magic Beyond the Code
Get the Framework for Civil 3D

Are you done yet?

Not quite. The recently released NCS Classic Utility Layers AddOn was also updated to include the features and capabilities listed above. Whoa!

The NCS Classic Utility Layers AddOn update is available and free to all current InstantOn and Jump Kit Release 7 customers from the appropriate Downloads page.