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.

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.