Hi, I’m Charles Ellison. I’m a Civil 3D designer and trainer at autocadcivil3dtraining.com. Today, we’ll be looking at Part 1 of Managing Points with Description Keys in Civil 3D 2020. Description keys are used when importing field data from our survey crew to set the look and format of our points. Once description keys are applied, points are automatically put on specific layers and organized into point groups.

Another way to manage the look and feel of points is with description keys. Let’s go with inside our exercise file and see what description keys are and the power that they have to manage how points look. I’m going to use the Quick Access Toolbar and open up our exercise file, that would be 03_PointDescKeys, or point description keys, within this CAD file, you’ll notice that we have four points already there. The two that we’ve been working with, the fire hydrant points, a tree, it’s an oak tree, it’s 24 inches in diameter, and then a power pole. Now, these descriptions are actually what the surveyor entered in the field, So when he shot this point, he entered PP. When he shot the tree, he entered OAK 24. We’re going to use those raw descriptions that the surveyor entered in the field and apply a style as well as even a layer to put the points on, and even use additional information that the description has coded from the surveyor to better control how our points look. This makes description keys more powerful than point groups when it comes to visual control of our point. Now point description keys is considered a style, it’s a set or collection of keys, and it’s found per drawing.

So I come to the Settings tab in our tool space and expand out Point, and you’ll find Description Key Sets here, expand that out, we have a description key set. You notice again the little dot and square, that means there’s a collection, there’s a list of point description keys that will be stylized when we apply this description key set. I’m going to right-click on this description key set and choose to edit the keys. It opens up our panorama, our panorama is a palette. I do not want it to dock so I’m going to right click and choose to uncheck Allow Docking. But I am going to slide it up here. And notice we currently have two rows or two keys within our description key set. FH is the code for the first row. What that means is it’s looking for all the points with FH in the point description. We can use asterisks here as well for wild cards if we so desire. I’m going to leave that out for now, but you get the idea you can use asterisks in our code column. Now when it finds a point that matches the code of this row it’s going to go through and anything that’s checked or entered here is going to apply to the point that is found.

So we’ll change these two points to the style of VU to a water hydrant. It will change the label style of these two points to just description. It will even change the format of the full description from FH to reading XFX, or existing fire hydrant. It will then put the point on a layer that’s assigned here. We’ll do the same with the point that starts with oak, but nothing will happen with our power pole. Let’s go to our Prospector and apply our description keys and see what happens. So under Prospector I expand out Point Groups. I’m going to right click on All Points and choose to Apply Description Keys. So you see, our two fire hydrants have the description itself overridden to read EX fire hydrant. Now we’re not changing the raw description. In other words, if we exported this to a point ASCII file it would, depending on the style and settings we use, it would still say FH. We are simply changing the format, what’s being read out visually, to the drawing. You also see it being placed on the correct layer, having the right styles applied to it. Even with our oak tree a different layer was applied to our label. And an oak tree symbol was placed there, a little bit small but we’ll change that up as we go through this video.

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