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


CAD-1 has been selling a library of parts for the pipe networks that assist in modeling waterlines, sewerlines, as well as some local storm sewer parts. I’ve had several people call asking for assistance on how to use these parts so I decided to create a series of videos that should help with that. Now, if you aren’t using our part library, there is still a lot of good information in these videos for anyone that is using the pipe networks for modeling your waterlines.

If you are interested in purchasing the library, please see our website at

If you would like to see the entire video, please click HERE

I’ve broken the video up into the different parts and have included them all here for your enjoyment.

Part1 – Introduction

Part2 – Drawing Settings

Part3 – Creating Styles

Part4 – Rule Sets

Part5 – Parts Lists

Part6 – Creating the Network

Part7 – Adding Additional Pipes

For those of you out there that often need to take screen captures for blog posts, training materials, or bragging rights, there are some great options out there.  Here are the ones I use as well as one I don’t use but is readily available.

Print Screen – Windows

You know, that key on your keyboard that is supposed to take screen captures but you can never seem to figure it out?  Well, it’s really not all that complicated.  Simply press the button and whatever is on your screen is put in an image on your clipboard.  You then simply need to paste it into whatever program you want, such as an e-mail, word, or power point.  There aren’t a ton of options but there is one.  If you hold down the alt key as you press the Print Screen key, you will only capture the active window.  The main drawback to using print screen is that you need some other piece of software to narrow down your selection even further or to add annotations or additional information or, for that matter, to even see it.  In fact, this tool is so straight forward and simple, I’m not even going to include any screen captures for it (ironic, huh?).

Snipping Tool – Windows Vista and Windows 7

The Snipping Tool is available in Windows Vista as well as Windows 7.  This tool basically is the next level above the print screen button.  Using this tool, you can more precisely choose the area you wish to capture.  You can select just a specific area of the screen using a rectangle, selecting a window, or (and I like this one) using the free form option.  The free form option allows you to draw a closed figure and whatever is within the figure will be captured.  The best part about this tool, if you have Vista or W7, you already have it!  The default location is under the start menu, accessories, Snipping Tool.  Try it out, you might like it.

Snagit by Techsmith

This is a great tool for taking screen captures and one I use quite often.  There are a ton of options for how you want to take the screen capture.  You can choose the entire screen, just a portion of it, one window, if what you need doesn’t fit on the screen you capture a scrolling window, and you can set up custom screen capture settings.  The thing that I really like about Snagit is it comes with an editor.  In this editor you can add text, put in arrows, send it out to other programs, trim it, etc.  If I’m doing complex images, this is the tool I’ll use.  It’s not photoshop but it is a great little image editor.  The biggest drawback to Snagit is that it’s not free.  It’s not really expensive but, it’s not free.  If you do a lot of screen capturing, it is probably worthwhile getting.  If you do this on occasion, probably not so.  You can find more information about Snagit HERE.

Jing by TechSmith

TechSmith also has a little program called Jing.  This is a great program because not only does it allow you to choose the area that you want to take the screen capture of, it also allows you to publish it directly to the internet for use online.  In order to do this, you have to set up a Screencast account.  Don’t worry, just like Jing, Screencast is free!  The other cool thing about Jing is it also allows you to do video capture of you screen and publish that to the web as well.  It’s limited to three minutes of video but, hey, that’s all most people need.  Once the file (image or video) is uploaded, the link to it is immediately placed in your clipboard so you can paste it wherever you need it.  You also have the option to save the image, edit it in Snagit, or even post it up to Twitter.  I often find myself taking a screen capture of something with Snagit, editing it in the Snagit Editor, and then taking a screen capture of the Snagit editor with Jing to quickly share it online.

I’m sure there are other programs out there and some that might even be better then these but, I like these programs, especially Jing.  If you use a different program, let me know.  I would love to check it out.


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.