| Feb 14, 2013
How you use the Civil 3D interface in the manual manipulation of Parcel Segments matters. There is really a lot to keep track of.
A number of User issues are clear:
- Cycle Your Focus
- Selection Create and Edit Skills
- What You See is What You Want
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 | Site Parcel Alignment – Part 11
Last time we talked about the how’s and why’s of the Civil 3D interface Cycle in the manual massage of Parcel data. This post we’ll move our focus to Selection skills - A different form of sleight of hand.
Selection Create and Edit Skills
The Tool User’s Dilemma
If you still work and think in classic AutoCAD Verb/Noun vernacular, it might be time to rearrange your work method and behavior to conform your mind to Noun/Verb. This is about what we do. It is not about what we know and “understand” in our conscious mind. This is about how your body employs the tools. It takes willful practice for our bodies to perform repetitive physical tasks differently. It is emotionally uncomfortable to perform this willful practice work. Doing that makes us feel incompetent. Modern neuroscience tells us it’s a figment of the way our mind operates. It’s an illusion –albeit a powerful and intensely personal one. We have the power to change that. The only way to do it is to practice differently.
No. There’s nothing “wrong” with the old AutoCAD way. It’s just slower and much more cumbersome to employ in object oriented software.
In Civil 3D sometimes the old way makes things invisible or even impossible.
A Selection Setup That Works
I never employ the AutoCAD out of the box Selection tab configuration available in Options that many folks habitually employ in AutoCAD.
Check the Shift to Add checkbox and the Allow press and drag on object checkbox.
Shift to Add allows you to manually adjust the current selection set more quickly and with more explicit detail. Since a crossing window in empty space clears the current selection you almost never hit the <Esc> key. You can change what you have selected much faster. You can move from Segment to Parcel or from Segment to Alignment in just one pick. Give this Selection Setup set up a try.
Be warned that specifically the Parcel and Parcel Segment Ribbons do not currently respond “correctly” to this method of selection change. These Ribbons expect you to manually clear the previous selection with Esc to get them to update correctly. Arrrgh. This Ribbon behavior is inconsistent with most of the rest of Civil 3D.
Attached Parcel Segment Edits Get Funky
Your Options>>Selection settings aside, the Panorama’s Elevation Editor (and Edit Panels) behaves strangely for attached Parcel Segments. The Elevation Editor tool needs to be told by pick and reload to show the data information from this or that Parcel Segment. There is a hidden mystery here.
I consider this a serious bug and a subtle and disconcerting one at that.
Click first on an attached Segment and the Edit Geometry and Edit Elevations panels will ALL be greyed out.
Does this mean the geometry and elevations of an attached Segment cannot be edited?
It does not.
You must load or reset the Elevation Editor with data from a regular Parcel Segment first; then pick over to an attached Segment; hit the tool icon again to reset the Ribbon and the Elevation Editor to make elevation edits on the attached Segment.
Without Shift to Add ON you can never do this. Funky Stuff.
Once you get the Edits panels loaded the remaining Edit Elevations panel tools function for attached Segments for the most part. Obviously, the curve related tools will not. Attached segments are tangent segments.
Quick Elevation Edits for All
The Quick Elevation Editor in the Parcel Segment>> Edit Elevations panel and the Feature Line version of the same will easily get you around most of this Funky selection and reload mechanics for attached Segment elevation edits. However, you don’t get the overall visual feedback benefit of the Elevation Editor with the Quick Elevation tool.
Hey. You can slip from Parcel Segment to segment with ease if you please.
And Then By Extension…
When using Grips (often in Move mode) the Extension OSNAP is one of my favorite OSNAP stand byes for Parcel Segment create and edit. This is really handy to relocate attached segments precisely. Employ Extension with Move to simply supply only the distance changes on any Parcel segment quickly and easily. Does this work with Curve Parcel segments? Does this work with multi-segment input? You bet.
If you Copy an attached segment you get a regular Parcel segment. The regular Parcel segment by default has independent geometry and independent grade breaks that you must be manually edit and maintain.
Maybe you want employ a Parcel Layout toolbar’s Free Form, Slide, or Swing tool instead to create or edit an attached segment?
Read the previous posts to understand why attached Parcel segment interactivity (attached to attached relationships) may save you a lot of work and time.
The classic AutoCAD Grips interface coupled with AutoCAD Civil 3D’s many OSNAP choices and Ribbon tools often provides the fastest way to both edit and construct Parcel Segments.
The world of Civil 3D is about What You See is What You Want. All about that next time plus some more complex selections.