AutoCAD Civil 3D Surveying Quick Tips and Tricks: Using Layer Source From Other DWGs When Creating Styles

AutoCAD Civil 3D With Two Drawings Open

AutoCAD Civil 3D With Two Drawings Open

In today’s AutoCAD Civil 3D Surveying Quick Tips and Tricks I will show Using Layer Source From Other DWGs When Creating Styles. This technique helps you speed up the creation of AutoCAD Civil 3D Styles by using already created layers from your other AutoCAD Civil 3D drawings and templates.

The Problem:

You are creating new styles in an AutoCAD Civil 3D drawing or template and in doing so you want to speed up the process of assigning Layers to the new point style; let's say for display, for example. If the layer is not already in your AutoCAD Civil 3D drawing or template you have to create that layer (and its settings), which is either cumbersome through the Style Editor, or you need to exit the Style Editor to do it using the Layer Manager.

Either way, it requires a certain amount of manual input and risks inconsistencies between drawings and templates.

Two things we're trying to accomplish are:

  1. Work faster by select an existing Layer from another AutoCAD Civil 3D drawing or template to use in creating Styles.
  2. Maintain Layer consistency.

In General, What We Will Be Doing Is:

  1. Creating a Style and assigning an existing Layer from a second drawing.
  2. To accomplish this you need the second AutoCAD Civil 3D drawing Open. So, open the second drawing with the Layer / Layers you want to use, but make the first AutoCAD Civil 3D drawing (this is the one you will be creating the new Style in) the active drawing.
  3. In this AutoCAD Civil 3D Surveying Quick Tips and Tricks the drawing I'm creating the new Style in is called "Drawing1.dwg" and the drawing I'm getting the existing layer form is called "Drawing2.dwg". Original, I know...
  4. AutoCAD Civil 3D With Two Drawings Open

    AutoCAD Civil 3D With Two Drawings Open

And Away We Go ....

1. Create a new Style. In this example I am creating a New Point Style, but any style will do. Now, switch to any part of the style that you want to add / switch a layer. In this example I selected the Display Tab and will adjust the Marker Layer from "0"  in Drawing1.dwg to a layer that exist in Drawing2.dwg.

AutoCAD Civil 3D Style Display Tab

AutoCAD Civil 3D Style Display Tab

2. Now click on where it shows the layer (see above image - in that case, click on the "0", or zero layer shown) and a Layer Selection screen will appear, showing the available layers in your active AutoCADCivil 3D drawing (Drawing1.dwg in this example). You will see, under the "Layer source:" the path to your active drawing and all the available layers in this drawing.

AutoCAD Civil 3D Style Layer Selection Layer Source

AutoCAD Civil 3D Style Layer Selection Layer Source

From the drop down menu select the AutoCAD Civil 3D drawing that has the existing layer / layers that you want to use. Note: if that drawing is not open, then it will not be available to select in the drop down menu.

3. Once you've selected the second drawing in the Layer source drop down menu, Drawing2.dwg in this example, then that drawing's layers are now available to you to select.

AutoCAD Civil 3D Layers From Second Drawing Now Available To Select

AutoCAD Civil 3D Layers From Second Drawing Now Available To Select

I chose an existing layer called "V-NODE-TOPO" that was in Drawing2.dwg (it's not shown above, but trust me, if you could scroll down you would've seen it in the layers for Drawing2.dwg). Once you've chosen and selected your desired layer, then enter "OK".

4. Now that layer shows up in the Style editor.

AutoCAD Civil 3D Layer From Second Drawing Now In Style Display Tab

AutoCAD Civil 3D Layer From Second Drawing Now In Style Display Tab

Make sure you click on "Apply" to save your settings.

That's it! There are other ways to accomplishing this, like dragging and dropping an existing Style fully setup from another AutoCAD Civil 3D drawing, but this I found pretty slick when setting up totally new Styles from scratch (which I was doing for a new template which will soon be available for purchase).

This AutoCAD Civil 3D Surveying Quick Tips and Tricks is brought to you by the Professional Land Surveyor Source, showing Using Layer Source From Other DWGs When Creating Styles.

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Eric D. Colburn, PLS, "The Geo-Business Innovator", helps geo-professionals improve through innovative solutions, mastery of marketing and business growth strategies, and coaching/training. Eric is a successful, serial entrepreneur, podcaster, industry writer, product development consultant, and RI licensed professional land surveyor.

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2 comments on “AutoCAD Civil 3D Surveying Quick Tips and Tricks: Using Layer Source From Other DWGs When Creating Styles
  1. Great tip and nicely explained.

    Keep up the good work.

  2. Sinc says:

    Nice to see Autodesk has finally added something like this! Still pales in comparison to similar functionality in the Sincpac-C3D, where you can also grab layers from drawings that aren’t open, such as the drawing template used to create the drawing, or your QNEW template, or any XREF of the current drawing, or a couple of other user-specified “favorites”… But nice to see anyway!

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