I mean, come on!  How much information do you really think I need right there in the middle of my drawing?  You know what I really like to see in the middle of my drawing?  MY DRAWING!  There are several things that can clutter up your drawings, the least favorite of mine is the AutoCAD rollover tooltips.  You know, that HUGE white area with the widely spaced text taking up a ton of room!  In this post, I’m going to give you some information on how to choose what information you want to see.  So, there are four things that have a tendency to pop up and clutter your drawing area, the quick properties, rollover tooltips, Civil 3D object tooltips, and dynamic input.  I personally use three of these and the forth I can’t stand.

So, let’s start off with the first culprit, the Quick Properties.  Now, you can simply disable the quick properties but I’ve come to love my quick properties.  In this post I explain some of the things you can do with the Quick Properties but real quick, this post is about where it’s displayed.  Turn your Quick Properties on, select something, and then, just under the X to close it, there is a little arrow.  This will bring up your options.  One of the options is location mode, change that to static and wherever you put your Quick Properties, it will stay there.

The next one I find to be more annoying then useful, and that’s the rollover tool tips. I mean, come on!  Do you have to cram each line of text so close to each other and can’t you at least put a little bit of room around the box instead of putting the border right up next to the text?  Ok, so I’ve been told that sarcasm isn’t becoming but that’s the way I roll (pun intended).  So much space is taken up for such a small amount of information that it just doesn’t make sense to me.  You can turn off your rollover tooltips via the options.  Right click in your drawing and choose Options (or whatever way you want to get there).  On the Display tab is a toggle for Show Rollover ToolTips.  Simply toggle this off.  You can also toggle this on and off via the system variable ROLLOVERTIPS and changing it to zero (off) or one (on).

The Civil 3D Object tooltips aren’t quite as annoying as the Rollover Tooltips but they’re close.  The nice thing about these tooltips is you have full control over what objects display these tooltips.  There are three levels of control; the object, the feature, and the drawing.  You can turn off tooltips for any object by going into that objects properties.  At the bottom left of the information tab, you can toggle on and off the tooltips for that specific object.  If you want to turn all alignment tooltips off (or surfaces or whatevers),  you’ll need to go to the settings tab of the toolspace.  Right click on the feature you want to disable/enable the tooltips for and choose Feature Settings.  In the Edit Feature Settings dialog box, expand out General and you can toggle on and off the tooltips for that feature.  In the same way you can turn off the tooltips for a feature, you can turn them off for the entire drawing.  Again, on the settings tab, right click on the drawing name and choose Edit Drawing Settings.  in the Edit Drawing Settings dialog box, choose Ambient Settings (far right tab) and here you can expand out general and toggle on and off the tooltips.

The final culprit of clogging up your drawing is the Dynamic Input.  Now, when I first started using the dynamic input, I didn’t like it.  I found it to be annoying to have to find where my command line input was.  Now, I like the dimensional input but it’s not worth it if I can’t have my command line.  Well, you can have the best of both worlds.  In your drafting settings (right click on the dynamic input toggle in your system tray and choose settings) toggle off “Show command prompting and command input near the crosshairs”.

Well, this will be my last post for the year.  Happy new year to both of you that are reading my blog and may all your dreams come true.


Welcome to my new blog.  Hopefully this will be a great resource for those of you wishing to take Civil 3D to the next level.

Recently, I’ve talked with several people that haven’t been using the new user interface (i.e. ribbon) to it’s full capabilities.  I put together a quick little video showing a few modifications that I like to make that hopefully you’ll be able to use as well.  The first thing about the new interface is that the quick properties is an excellent (vital?) tool to use with Civil 3D.  In 2009, the quick properties often caused the program to crash but, in 2010, I’ve yet to have that happen.  You can quickly rename objects and change their styles using the quick properties.  There are also additional properties that you can add to the quick properties depending on what kind of projects you work on.  All this is nice and good but, man it sure is annoying when you select something and that quick pr0perties shows up right on top of what you are trying to see.  Even if you move it out of the way, it will still pop up where it’s least wanted.  Well, you can change the properties so that it always pops up in the same place.

When I first started using the ribbon, the thing I disliked most is that the layer pulldown is on the home tab.  If I switch to any other tab, the layers aren’t readily visible.  Well, if you right click on any tool on the ribbon, you get the option to add it to the quick access toolbar.  Now, no matter what I’m doing, I always have access to my layers pulldown.  Another command I like to add to the quick access toolbar is the add labels command.

I look forward to writing more posts.  If anyone has anything they would like me to post on, feel free to leave a comment.


For future posts, I’m planning on embedding any videos I create directly into the blog so, sorry about the link for now.