This has been a pet peeve of mine for a long time, survey figures don’t honor linetype gen. What does that mean? Basically, it means the linetype will not pass through vertices. If you have a survey figure with a lot of closely spaced vertices, it looks like a continous line even if you have a linetype assigned to it.

Survey Figure with Linetype Issue

That’s not what I want. What I want is something like this:

Text placed on figure to simulate linetype

Unfortunately, what I’m about to show you doesn’t work real well for generic linetypes (dashes, dots, etc.) but it works really well for putting text labels on your survey figure. The trick is to create a marker style that displays a piece of text. The text must be a block (you can enable background mask in the text if you want to, I did) and then assign that block to a new marker style. If you aren’t sure how to create a block in AutoCAD, click HERE.

The marker styles are found in the Settings tab of the Toolspace under General->Multipurpose Styles->Marker Styles. Create the style and use the block with the text in it.

Marker Style

Now that you have the marker style created, assign this to the survey figure style. Survey figure styles allow the use of quite a few markers, you can place them at the end, the beginning, and the vertices, as well as additional markers, and these additional markers is what we will be using to simulate a linetype with text in it. Edit your survey figure style and on the display tab, turn on the display of the Additional Markers.

Survey Figure Style - Displaying Additional Markers

Now that the additional markers are displayed, you need to choose the style and options for those markers and this is found on the Plan and Model tab of the survey figure style. Here you can specify the different marker styles for all the places markers can be used, down near the bottom is the Additional Markers section. Choose an appropriate marker style (most likely the one you just created) and then change the “Additional marker placement method” to At Interval. Choose an appropriate interval and you are done.

Additional Marker Settings

There are a few limitations to this technique

  1. The text can (and most likely will) be displayed upside down. I haven’t found a way yet to resolve this issue. If anyone knows a technique, please let me know. If the survey figure goes left to right, it’s displayed right side up. If it goes right to left, it’s upside down.
  2. The space between the text isn’t controlled by the drawing scale. If you are going to plot this at different scales, you would have to edit the style to get the spacing the same on the plotted page.
  3. It’s a lot of work.

Now, most likely, because I just created this post, the very next version of Civil 3D will have fixed the issue of linetypes for figures and feature lines but until then, hopefully this will help someone out.

Credit for this goes to Kelvin at Lamp, Rynearson & Associates


A while back I was getting ready to do a demo for one of our clients and I wanted to show off the corridor section editor.  Well, as I was preparing it, I kept getting these HUGE markers in my section editor.  I ended up not showing it off because I didn’t know what was causing these markers.  Well, thanks to Ken on the discussion group, I now know the culprit.  Read on to find out. (more…)