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You have a classic Civil 3D Template that works. You are just about already good to go with a simple TREF implementation using the Reference Template Tool. What’s a TREF? In Civil 3D we know all about and employ XREFs (external reference drawing files), DREFs (Data references to the Civil 3D data behind), and IREFs (image data references like aerials and those wonderous publishing DWFs that can smash down plotimes on deadline day).

A TREF is a Target Reference

A TREF is a collection of Styles, Settings, and AutoCAD Styles from an outside resource dwg or dwt file that is used in the Reference Template Tool stack to make those vital pieces of Civil 3D external to the current drawing.

In the recent Civil 3D Reference Templates Made Easy post we walked through the detailed steps in both a video and in written form of how to implement a practical single file TREF in a project. In other words, how to take an existing project drawing and upgrade that dwg to employ referenced Styles and Settings from your existing classic Civil 3D Template that you know works. A neat trick.

We can get immediate improved production results even from simple TREFs without undue effort or major training and implementation efforts. In time a collection of edited and refined, project-based TREF resource template targets should produce better and more task specific classic template target collections. No one said:

  • the sanitary or storm design group can’t use a separate generic TREF
  • you couldn’t use different TREFs to automate publishing better to different project requirements

Like anything new in Civil 3D we have both new skills and workflows to learn to employ.
You should check out the Style Maintenance Handbook posts. What’s not to like about head-scratching, deep content about Civil 3D Style improvement and Style maintenance mechanics? Register and login to learn more.

This means our new start root templates in Civil 3D really are like a trip back in time. It’s a simpler time too. Sounds like a blast from the past to me. Very retro. Here’s how easy it is to build one…


The New Civil 3D Root Template

Ok. Maybe this Civil 3D template is so darn cute, huggable, and marvelous we should call it the Groot baby template -aka Root from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2. Bring it on home to me.

Civil 3D user can start a project drawing from a super simple Civil 3D template that only contains the STB or CTB publish choice, the basic Layer, Block, and other classic CAD Standards, and the only essential Civil 3D Standard Styles. The attached TREF resource(s) do the rest of the heavy lifting in a controlled environment. Nice.

The Civil 3D Reference Template Tool TREFs won’t solve all your Style management problems. TREF tech simply allows us the manage the end results much easier and better.

Join the TREF Revolution

The latest and greatest Framework for Release 8 and Release 7 ship with Civil 3D projects in both STB and CTB that employ this basic single file TREF method. This allows you to easily delete unwanted Styles and tweak what you must from the Style collections in the InstantOn Desktop and get instant project-based feedback. Faster template construction made easy. Imagine that.

The latest Framework for Civil 3D 2020 also supports and includes built-in multiple file TREF resources and the essential resource structure to manage and improve them. Did I mention that the Framework for Civil 3D is the largest, project-proven Style collection on the planet? Like we say, “It’s in there.”

But the galaxy on the other hand…that is a big place.

Release the Power Beyond the Code
Get the Framework for Civil 3D Release 8


Reference Template TREF Posts Series

Civil 3D Reference Template Target Method

  • Reference Template Target nuances and those Other Important Style Maintenance Tools in Civil 3D from the Style Improvement Handbook.

Civil 3D Reference Templates Made Easy

  • A step-by-step how to on Reference Template (TREF) implementation in a working project - with video.

Back to the Future in Civil 3D 2020

  • The power of Adaptive Standards coupled with Reference Templates (TREF) and managed Style libraries in Civil 3D - with video.

Civil 3D 2020 TREF Root Template

  • The simple step-by-step nuance of Root Template construction for use with Reference Templates (TREF) in Civil 3D - with video.

Together We Do Work to Improve Civil 3D

  • A simple workflow to tweak Linetype Layer assignments with Layer States in Civil 3D