Working With Images Frames in AutoCAD Civil 3D

First, I'd like to give credit to Mike Williams, and his great site AutoCAD Tip of the Day and the daily email I subscribed to with - you guessed it - an email with an AutoCAD Tip of the day. Today's tip is AutoCAD Tip of the Day: Inserting Images and removing.

Please visit the site and sign up for the daily email. You'll be glad you did.

The referenced post describes how to insert images and your options for controlling the image frames.

Because I use an image for my professional land surveying company logo on my AutoCAD plans, which I don't want to have an image frame shown or plotted, and often have other images, such as locus maps and aerial orthoimages, where I do want the image frame to show and plot; the information Mike Williams provided in his AutoCAD Tip of the day Inserting Images and removing is important to me.

I asked Mike Williams and commented on his post, if there was a way to individually toggle the image frames on and off. Mike Williams commented that

"The system variable controls the frames on all images. The way I handle this situation is to set my IMAGEFRAME = 2 and then draw a rectangle around the image that I want to have a frame"

This is I handle image frames, too.

Let's break it down into steps:

  1. Insert your image as outlined in Mike Williams Inserting Images and removing post.
  2. At the Command Line, type "IMAGEFRAME=2" (no quotes). This displays the image frames, but they won't be plotted. Alternately, you can use the MAP menu, IMAGE, TOGGLE FRAMES, for those who would rather use menus. But this will make the image frames both not seen and not plotted (same as "IMAGEFRAME=0", again no quotes entered).
  3. Draw a rectangle around the images that you want to see an outline for when plotting. You can snap to the corners of the image frame, to keep it neat, and make sure that this rectangle is on an appropriate layer. Too many times I've drawn the rectangle on the wrong layer, accidentally, like my viewport layer, which is set not to plot. Guess what? The darn drawing then does just what I told it to and then doesn't plot my image rectangle! I hate when computers do exactly what I tell them to do. As with all aspects of drawing and designing with AutoCAD Civil 3D, be tidy and organized with your work.

I wish there was a better, more automated and flexible, solution. But at this time I think it's as good as it gets.

Maybe Autodesk could address this in a future release. It seems like a simple solution could be implemented that would eliminate all of the extra work (not that it's that bad, but it adds up) in having to manually draw boxes around your images. With larger computer memory, faster processors and graphic cards, bigger hard-drives and more availability online, images are more and more playing a larger role in design and plan production.

If you've got a better solution, please leave a comment and share it!

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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