Hi, I’m Charles Ellison. I’m a Civil 3D designer and trainer at autocadcivil3dtraining.com. Today we’ll be looking at Part 2 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. They can also be used in conjunction with parameters to reformat the scale of a point or control the look of a label.

We need to add another description key, to address our power pole. So we’re going to, with our description key editor, right click on any one of the keys and choose New. It creates a new description key, So when a power pole point description key is found, apply a new style to that point. I checked that box. I can now select the style and in this list of styles available, we’re going to choose the UTIL-POWERPOLE. Click OK. I also want to override the points default label style. So it’s checked and then I can click and choose to label style, just description. We’re going to leave the format alone, so it’s still just going to read PP for the description or PP-100 or whatever else may be written after that. We’re going to check this box because we do want to apply a layer to this as well. So I’m going to scroll down and you’ll see that we have a V-UTIL-POWER-STRC layer I’m going to apply that to. Go ahead and click OK and now we have a new description key added to our set. So if I right click on the All Points and say Apply Description Keys, it’s going to go back through and identify any points that are found with these descriptions used, and applied to Settings. So you see new styles have been applied. A label style has been applied, layer, all of that has been set.

There is even more power within the description key editor. And we’re not going to go into a lot of detail. But let’s just take a look at one way we can control this, and that’s by scaling our points. So you see how small our oak tree is. Well it’s a 24-inch diameter tree, so we’re going to simply apply the rule of that we want the edge of our tree to show up roughly the size of our drip line. And we’re going to apply the rule that the diameter in inches of the tree at breast height is roughly a foot of the size of the critical root zone, or the diameter of the tree. Notice he entered the diameter of the tree at 24. And so we’re going to use that, and we’re going to use the ability to scale. So this box is checked and says Parameter 1. Why Parameter 1? Well, it’s a zero-base collection. And how this works is we’re going to read the first piece of text as a number after our code. So our code here, OAK is zero. Power pole is the zero parameter. So anything after that, that would be Parameter 1 because there’s a space in between these two. If we add another space and another piece of text, that would be Parameter 2 and so on. So we’re always going to have confidence that in the field they entered the diameter at breast height after OAK as Parameter 1 or the second piece of text after a space. We’re going to use the ability to apply that scale to the X, Y, and Z, X, Y, and Z. So scale that point symbol accordingly. We’re also going to change this up a bit, and we’re going to use the format, which is a little weird. What we’re doing is taking what is the raw description, OAK 24, and reformatting that. It will read when we visually display the point in a way that makes more sense. Wouldn’t 24 inch oak make more sense than OAK 24? So what we’re doing is we’re taking Parameter 1, putting a little quotation mark for inches, space, and then Parameter 0. Now we define that as a Parameter with a dollar sign. Dollar sign equals string. So you see the dollar sign here. Dollar sign asterisk simply says read the entire string that is the raw description exactly as is. Or we can override it completely and say ignore the raw description and we’re going to put in our own.

So we have three different methods here of how we’re changing this, what they call, full description. Which our style is utilizing. So now it’s going to go string of Parameter 1 and then add the quotation marks, and then read string of Parameter 0, okay? Let’s go ahead and apply our description keys. And you see now how large our oak tree is. It’s sized up according to the diameter that’s entered for the tree. And then it took those values of the raw description and changed the format so that it looks nice and clean for printing. Add it all did that by simply applying description keys.

So you can imagine that if your surveyors have a standard list of descriptions that they use, codes, which most companies do, and you’re able to utilize that to automate how those points look in Civil 3D how easy it is, then, to complete your drawing and make it look on the right layer, they right styles, the right labels, all within the description keys.

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