AutoCAD 2016 saw the introduction of the Geometric Center object snap. If you aren’t familiar with this snap, it basically will snap to the “geometric center” of an object, such as a polyline. What’s the geometric center? Well, it’s the centroid or center of mass. The problem is, this snap is not available in the Snap Override menu within Civil 3D 2016 or 2017.

<note>It was pointed out to me that this doesn’t work in 2016. The shortcut menu in the ACAD.CUI that is installed with Civil 3D 2016 is incomplete as well. If you are using 2016, you’ll need to copy the menu from the ACAD.CUI that gets installed with AutoCAD, not the one installed with Civil 3D. Open the ACAD.CUI in the transfers tab and copy it over that way. </note>

AutoCAD vs. Civil 3D.png

AutoCAD vs. Civil 3D

You’ll also notice that in AutoCAD, you get the icons showing what the different snaps do whereas in Civil 3D, you don’t. If you want to enable this, you’ll need to replace the Civil 3D Snap Override menu with the AutoCAD version. To do this, go into your CUI editor (type CUI at the command line if you haven’t been there before).


Copy AutoCAD Menu

In the CUI, scroll towards the bottom (I hid the Command List to make it easier to see), expand out Partial Customization Files, ACAD, and Shortcut Menus. Under the Shortcut Menus, right click on “Object Snap Cursor Menu” and choose “Copy”. Now that the AutoCAD version is copied, we’ll go replace the Civil 3D version with the AutoCAD version. Collapse up the Partial Customization Files and expand out Shortcut Menus (directly under CIVIL), right click on Object Snap Cursor Menu and choose Delete.


Replace the Civil 3D menu with the AutoCAD menu

Once the old menu has been deleted, right click on the Shortcut Menus and choose Paste. This will paste the AutoCAD version of the menu that we copied into the Civil CUI file. Now, simply close the CUI editor and return to Civil 3D and be happy with your new snap overrides menu.


Civil 3D with the new snap menu


Note from Brian: Something new in the 2015 release. The images plot. HERE

So AutoCAD 2014 has this cool new feature called Live Maps and Geographic Location (basically, AutoCAD now owns the coordinate systems for Civil 3D and Map 3D). When a coordinate system is assigned to the drawing, you get a new tab on the ribbon allowing you to display an aerial map, a road map, and do some cool stuff.

The problem is, this isn’t in Civil 3D 2014 at all. Here are the steps to add this ribbon tab to Civil 3D 2014.

HERE is a video showing the steps

  1. Open AutoCAD 2014. This can either be AutoCAD 2014 or Civil 3D 2014 as AutoCAD 2014.
  2. Go into the CUI (Customize User Interface) dialog box (type CUI at the command line).
  3. In the CUI, go to the Transfers tab and create a new CUI file.
    CUI Transfer Tab

    CUI Transfer Tab 


  4. Drag the Geolocation ribbon tab from the ACAD.CUIX file to your new CUI file (just drag and drop)
    Drag and Drop

    Drag and Drop


  5. Save the CUI file and close AutoCAD.
  6. Open Civil 3D 2014 and type CUI just like in AutoCAD (don’t go to the Transfer tab, stay on the Customize tab).
  7. Load in the CUI file you saved in AutoCAD
    Open Partial CUI File

    Open Partial CUI File


  8. In the just loaded CUI file, drag the Geolocation ribbon tab to the Geo Coordinate System Assigned Contextual Tab State.
    Contextual State

    Contextual State


  9. Save and your off and running.

Now, when you assign a coordinate system to your drawing, you can also display aerial maps or road maps in the drawing as well.

Map Display Options

Map Display Options

Last week, one of our tech support geniuses (thanks Deni) solved a problem for me. I wanted to be able to reset the classroom computers back to a factory install for Civil 3D 2011 and 2012. Well, it turns out to be simpler than I thought it would be. All you have to do is delete a folder in Windows Explorer and delete a folder out of your registry.


Now that I have that out of the way, simply do this. Go into Windows Explorer and delete the folder the corresponds to the version of Civil 3D you want to reset (this works for other verticals as well as regular AutoCAD as well but make sure you get the right stuff for those other programs) from “C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Autodesk” (replace <username> with your login name on your computer). In this case, since I’m trying to reset Civil 3D 2011 and Civil 3D 2012, I’ll delete those two folder. NOTE: This location is for Windows 7. I’m not sure what the path is for other operating systems but since you are running C3D, you are running Windows 7, right? If not, you should be.

Now, you just need to make a slight modification to your registry (see my disclaimer above). Hit your Windows Key on your keyboard and type “regedit” and hit enter. This will bring up your registry editor. Now simply browse down through it till you find “HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Autodesk\AutoCAD\” This is where all your AutoCAD based Autodesk software is stored (at least the part of it we are concerned with). The versions I wanted to reset were 2011 and 2012 so, 2011 is found in the R18.1 folder and 2012 is found in the R18.2 folder. Now, for Civil 3D 2011, delete the R18.1\ACAD-9000:409 key and for 2012, delete R18.2\ACAD-A000:409.

Once you are done with that, simply restart C3D and the Secondary Installer will run and you will get a nice freshly installed C3D on your system.

If you are leary about editing your registry, check out for instructions on resetting C3D without the registry edits. (I have to give credit where credit is due, that post from the Seiler CAD Support Blog was the inspiration for this post.)

If you are still using Civil 3D 2010, perhaps you’ve seen what it is I’m talking about (not sure if this is a C3D issue or an AutoCAD issue):

What The?

Who in their right mind needs to see this much information every time they happen to pause over an XREF? The fix is amazingly simple.

First go into the CUI (type “CUI”) and select the Rollover Tooltips. Since the XREF is an AutoCAD entity, I like to do it under the ACAD CUI file. If you are running C3D, it’s one of the Partial CUIs. If you’re running straight AutoCAD, it’s the enterprise CUI. Under the rollover tooltips, you need to toggle on the External References but, you’ll notice that there is no option there. By default, the CUI doesn’t display all the options all the time so, you have to add it to the list, to do that, select the “Edit Object Type List”.

CUI Editor

That’s all you have to do. Once you exit out, you are good to go. I think that because the XREF option toggled on, it displayed all the properties. Once you toggle it on, it only displays the properties that are checked on. Now, if you want to change what info is displayed, simply go back and toggle what you need on and off.

Much Better

Fortunately, this doesn’t seem to be an issue in 2011.