Points Tutorials

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Points Tutorials

Post  Admin on Wed Apr 23, 2008 9:09 pm

In this chapter
■ Tutorial: Creating Point Data
■ Tutorial: Displaying and Editing Points
■ Tutorial:Adding User-Defined
Properties to Points

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Creating Point Data

Post  Admin on Wed Apr 23, 2008 9:12 pm

This tutorial demonstrates several useful setup tasks for organizing a large set of points.
In this tutorial, you will learn about managing a set of points related to stormwater manholes and detention
ponds. You will create description keys and point groups to sort the points as they are imported into a
drawing, and then you will import the points from an existing file.
Description keys can help you automate a number of tasks for point handling at the time that points are
created or imported. A description key uses the raw description code of a point to determine how to process
the point. For example, you can configure a description key to apply different styles or place points on
different drawing layers.
You can classify a set of points into several point groups, based on the type of point, elevation, date of creation,
source, or other criteria. Then you can run various queries or operations for point display against a point
group, rather than the whole set.
Points can be imported from a text file or a Microsoft Access database. Data created in Autodesk Land Desktop
can be migrated to AutoCAD Civil 3D by importing points directly from a project database.
While you can create a large point set and organize it later, it is usually more efficient to classify points into
several groups as they are being created.

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Creating Description Keys

Post  Admin on Wed Apr 23, 2008 9:12 pm

In this exercise, you will create description keys to sort the points as they are imported into a drawing.
For more information, see the AutoCAD Civil 3D Help topic Description Keys.
To create description keys
1 In the AutoCAD Civil 3D window, click File menu ➤ Open. Navigate to the tutorial drawings folder
(page 201). Open the drawing Points-1.dwg.
2 In Toolspace, on the Settings tab, expand the Point collection.
3 Right-click Description Key Sets. Click New.
4 In the Description Key Set dialog box, Name field, enter a meaningful name for the new set, for example
Stormwater Keys.
5 In the Description field, enter a short description, for example Stormwater manhole and pond points.
6 Click OK. The new description key set is created.
7 In Toolspace, on the Settings tab, expand the Description Key Sets collection. Right-click Stormwater
Keys and click Edit Keys. The DescKey Editor is displayed in a Panorama window.
In the DescKey Editor, you will next enter the raw description codes, and specify how AutoCAD Civil
3D will handle new points that have these codes. All entries in the Code column of the DescKey Editor
are case sensitive.
8 In DescKey Editor, in the Code column, click the default entry. Change it to POND*. The asterisk is a
wild-card character, so any imported point with a description code that begins with POND, followed
by any other characters, will be handled according to the settings in this table row.
9 In both the Point Style and Point Label Style columns, clear the check box to deactivate these settings.
Clearing these settings allows you to control these settings by using point group properties.
20 | Chapter 3 Points Tutorials
NOTE The Format column contains the entry $*, which specifies that a point’s raw description is copied
without changes and used for the full description in the point label. This is an acceptable setting for the
POND points.
10 In the Layer column, select the check box. Click the cell to open the Layer Selection dialog box.
11 In the Layer Selection dialog box, select V-NODE-STRM. Click OK.
This setting means that the POND points will reference the V-NODE-STRM layer for their display
attributes. In the next few steps, you create another description key.
12 In the Code column, right-click the POND* entry. Click New.
13 In the new description key, click the default Code entry and change it to MHST*.
14 Set the same styles and layer as you did for POND* by repeating Steps 9 through 11.
15 In the Format column, enter STORM MH. This setting ensures that points with a raw description of
MHST* (stormwater manholes) are labeled in the drawing as STORM MH.
16 Click to save the description keys and close the editor.

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Creating Point Groups

Post  Admin on Wed Apr 23, 2008 9:13 pm

In this exercise, you will create point groups to sort the points as they are imported into a drawing.
For more information, see the AutoCAD Civil 3D Help topic Point Groups.
This exercise continues from Exercise 1: Creating Description Keys (page 20).
To create point groups
1 In Toolspace, on the Prospector tab, right-click the Point Groups collection. Click New.
2 In the Point Group Properties dialog box, on the Information tab, in the Name field, enter Detention
Pond and optionally, enter a short description in the Description field.
3 On the Raw Desc Matching tab, select POND*. Click Apply. This specifies that all points with the POND*
raw description will be added to the Detention Pond point group.
Note how the description key setting is recorded on both the Include and Query Builder tabs. If you
know SQL, you can see how you could add more criteria to the Query Builder tab to select a more
specific set of points for the point group.
4 Click OK to close the Point Group Properties dialog box.
5 Create another point group by repeating Steps 2 through 5, but use the following values:
Name: Storm Manholes
Raw Desc Matching: MHST*
Your drawing should now contain the same description keys and point groups shown in sample drawing
Points-1a.dwg.
6 In Toolspace, on the Prospector tab, expand the Point Groups collection.
7 Right-click the _All Points collection. Click Properties.
Exercise 2: Creating Point Groups | 21
8 In the Point Group Properties dialog box, on the Information tab, change the Point Label Style to
Standard.
9 Click OK to close the Point Group Properties dialog box.

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Importing Points from a Database

Post  Admin on Wed Apr 23, 2008 9:13 pm

In this exercise, you will import points from a database to a drawing that uses description keys to sort points
into groups.
For more information, see the AutoCAD Civil 3D Help topic Importing and Exporting Points.
This exercise continues from Exercise 2: Creating Point Groups (page 21).
To import points from a database
1 In Toolspace, on the Prospector tab, right-click Points. Click Create.
2 In the Create Points dialog box, click . Expand the Default Layer parameter, then change the value
to V-NODE.
3 In the Create Points dialog box, click Import Points.
4 In the Format list, select External Project Point Database.
5 Under Source File, click . Browse to the tutorial folder (page 201). Select points.mdb and click Open.
6 In the Import Points dialog box, clear the Advanced Options.
7 Click OK. The points are imported.
8 In Toolspace, on the Prospector tab, right-click the _All Points point group. Click Zoom To.
The points are displayed both in the drawing and in tabular form in the Toolspace list view. In the
drawing window, if you move the cursor over a point, a tooltip displays basic data about the point.
Note that the two stormwater point groups appear to be empty. This is because they have not been
updated with their new content. In the next few steps, you will see how AutoCAD Civil 3D provides
several ways to check the point data before adding it to your drawing.
9 Right-click the Point Groups collection. Click Properties.
The Point Groups dialog box is displayed. Point groups are listed here according to their display order,
with the highest priority group at the top. Arrows at the side of the dialog box allow you to change the
display order. The icon indicates that an update is pending for a point group.
10 To show the contents of the update for each point group, click . Review the list of points that the
application is prepared to add to the Storm Manholes and Detention Pond point groups.
11 In the Point Group Changes dialog box, click Close.
12 To update the point groups, click . Click OK. Alternatively, you can right-click the Point Groups
collection and click Update.
The point groups are updated. Now, you can display their points in the list view and zoom to them in
the drawing.
22 | Chapter 3 Points Tutorials
13 Right-click a point group. Click Edit Points. The points are displayed in the Point Editor table. Review
and change their attributes.
14 To change the width of the columns in the Point Editor, place your cursor on the line between column
headings, click, and drag.
15 To move a column, click its heading and drag it left or right. When a line between column headings
changes color, this indicates that you can insert the moved column in that location by releasing the
mouse button.

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Displaying and Editing Points

Post  Admin on Wed Apr 23, 2008 9:14 pm

This tutorial demonstrates how to use point groups, layers, external references, and styles to display points.
It also explains the various ways to edit points using standard AutoCAD tools.
You can use point groups to organize points and to control their appearance in a drawing. While points are
independent objects that do not have to be categorized into specific point groups, every point in a drawing
is always part of the _All Points point group. The point group display order determines which point group’s
properties take precedence. For example, if a point belongs to a point group that is higher in the display
order than the _All Points point group, the higher group’s properties override the properties set in the _All
Points point group.
The point layer controls the display attributes of the point. To see this, open the Point Group Properties
dialog box, click the Point List tab, and look at the Point Layer column. This column also appears in the
Prospector list view when the point group is selected. The point layer can be assigned by using a description
key. If a point layer is not assigned during creation, points are placed on the default point layer specified in
the drawing settings.
An external reference drawing (xref) is a useful way to see points in relation to other surface features without
adding these features to your drawing. You can reference another drawing and make it appear as an underlay
in your current drawing. Then, you can detach the external drawing when you no longer need it.
Changing the point or label style of a point group can help you distinguish these points more easily from
other points in the drawing.
Each point is an object that can be individually selected and manipulated. Point objects have commands,
property attributes, and grip behavior that are similar to other AutoCAD entities.

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Displaying an Externally Referenced Drawing

Post  Admin on Wed Apr 23, 2008 9:15 pm

In this exercise, you will use a standard AutoCAD operation to display another drawing of the region around
your set of points.
For more information, see the AutoCAD Help topic Attach Drawing References (Xrefs).
This exercise continues from the Creating Point Data (page 20) tutorial.
To display an externally referenced drawing
1 In the drawing Points-2.dwg, click Insert menu ➤ External Reference.
2 In the Select Reference File dialog box, navigate to the tutorial drawings folder (page 201) and open Existing
Basemap.dwg. Select it and click Open.
Tutorial: Displaying and Editing Points | 23
3 In the External Reference dialog box, in the Reference Type area, click Overlay.
4 Clear the check boxes for Insertion Point and Scale.
5 Click OK.
The basemap appears on the screen, allowing you to see the points of interest in relation to the road
design and other contextual features. This external reference remains separate from your drawing. There
is no risk of unexpected changes to your drawing. In a later exercise, you will learn how to detach the
external reference.

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Changing the Style of a Point Group

Post  Admin on Wed Apr 23, 2008 9:15 pm

In this exercise, you will change the style of a point group. This can help you distinguish the points more
easily from other points in the drawing.
For more information, see the AutoCAD Civil 3D Help topic Changing the Properties of a Point Group.
This exercise continues from Exercise 1: Displaying an Externally Referenced Drawing (page 23).
To change the style of a point group
1 Zoom in to the upper left area of the screen where you can clearly see the labels for several POND points
and one or more STORM MH points. Note that both types of points use the same marker style (X).
2 In Toolspace, on the Prospector tab, right-click the point group _All Points. Click Properties.
3 In the Point Group Properties dialog box, on the Information tab, change the Point Label Style to
<none>.
4 Click Apply, and then OK, to save the change and close the Point Group Properties dialog box. Labels
for all points that do not have a label style set in another point group are hidden. The point markers
are still visible because markers are controlled by the point style, which you did not change.
5 In Toolspace, on the Prospector tab, right-click the point group Storm Manholes. Click Properties.
6 In the Point Group Properties dialog box, on the Information tab, change the Point Style to Storm Sewer
Manhole.
7 Click Apply, and then OK, to save the change and close the Point Group Properties dialog box. The
stormwater manhole points are now marked with the symbol defined in the Storm Sewer Manhole
point style.

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Changing Point Group Display Order

Post  Admin on Wed Apr 23, 2008 9:16 pm

In this exercise, you will learn how to use the point group display order to change the appearance of points.
For more information, see the AutoCAD Civil 3D Help topic Changing the Point Group Display Order.
To change the point group display order
1 In Toolspace, on the Prospector tab, right-click the Point Groups collection. Click Properties.
2 In the Point Groups dialog box, note the display order of the point groups.
24 | Chapter 3 Points Tutorials
The point group display order determines how points that belong to more than one point group are
displayed in a drawing. When a drawing is opened or regenerated, AutoCAD Civil 3D searches down
the point group display order to determine how the point will appear. For example, if a point belongs
to all three groups, AutoCAD Civil 3D will first look in the Storm Manholes point to determine if point
label style has been assigned to that point group. If it has not, AutoCAD Civil 3D will look in the
Detention Pond point group, and then the _All Points group until the point label style setting is found.
3 Click Cancel to close the Point Groups dialog box.
4 In Toolspace, on the Prospector tab, right-click the _All Points point group. Click Properties.
5 In the Point Group Properties dialog box, on the Information tab, make sure that Point Style is set to
Standard and Point Label Style is set to <none>. Click Apply, and then OK.
6 In Toolspace, on the Prospector tab, right-click the Point Groups collection. Click Properties.
7 In the Point Groups dialog box, select the Storm Manholes point group. Click twice to move Storm
Manholes point group to the bottom of the display order.
8 Click OK. Notice that the point style for the STORM MH points has changed to an X, and the label has
disappeared. This happened because when the Storm Manholes point group was placed below the _All
Points point group, the _All Points point group’s point style and point label style settings took precedence
over those of the Storm Manholes point group.
9 In Toolspace, on the Prospector tab, right-click the _All Points point group. Click Properties.
10 In the Point Group Properties dialog box, on the Information tab, make sure that Point Style is set to
Standard and Point Label Style is set to <none>. Click Apply.
11 On the Overrides tab, select the Point Label Style box. Click Apply, and then click OK.
This ensures that the Point Label Style setting of the point group will override the Point Label Style
setting of the individual points included in the point group.
12 In Toolspace, on the Prospector tab, right-click the Point Groups collection. Click Properties.
13 In the Point Groups dialog box, select the _All Points point group. Click to move the _All Points
point group to the top of the display order.
14 Click OK. Notice that all point labels in the drawing are hidden. This happened because the _All Points
point group’s point label style set to <none>, and you placed the _All Points point group at the top of
the display order.

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Removing an Externally Referenced Drawing

Post  Admin on Wed Apr 23, 2008 9:17 pm

In this exercise, you will remove the externally referenced drawing that you added previously.
For more information, see the AutoCAD Help topic Detach Referenced Drawings.
This exercise continues from Exercise 3: Changing Point Group Display Order (page 24).
To remove an externally referenced drawing
1 Click any entity in Existing Basemap.dwg to select the whole drawing.
2 Right-click, and click Xref Manager.
Exercise 4: Removing an Externally Referenced Drawing | 25
3 In the External References dialog box, right-click the reference name Existing Basemap. Click Detach.
The reference drawing disappears from view.
4 Close the External References dialog box.

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Editing Points

Post  Admin on Wed Apr 23, 2008 9:17 pm

In this exercise, you will use standard AutoCAD commands to move and rotate point objects to improve
their position in the drawing.
For more information, see the AutoCAD Civil 3D Help topic Editing Points.
To edit points
1 In the AutoCAD Civil 3D window, click File menu ➤ Open. Navigate to the tutorial drawings folder
(page 201). Open the drawing Points-3.dwg.
2 Locate point 992 near the right side of the drawing.
Notice that the label for point 992 is obscured by the hatching. In the next few steps, you will change
the point marker style, rotate the point marker so that it is parallel with the nearby road, and then
move the label to a more readable location.
3 Select point 992. Right-click and click Properties. The AutoCAD Properties palette displays the properties
of individual points. The properties are listed in two major categories: Basic, which are the standard
AutoCAD object properties, and Civil 3D, which lists the properties that are specific to AutoCAD Civil
3D points.
4 In the Civil 3D category, under Display, select Catch Basin in the Point Style property.
5 Click the square, blue grip at the center of the point marker.
Each point is a separate AutoCAD object that you can modify using standard AutoCAD commands. In
the next few steps, you will use an AutoCAD command to modify the appearance of the point.
6 At the command line, enter ROTATE.
7 Rotate the point clockwise until the point marker is parallel to the edge of the road, then click to position
the point.
The point marker now matches the angle of the road, but the label is still obscured by the hatching.
You will correct this in the following steps.
8 Click the square, drag label grip that is offset from the center of the point marker. It turns red.
9 Drag the label down and to the left, until it is in an unobstructed area. Click to place the label.

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Adding User-Defined Properties to Points

Post  Admin on Wed Apr 23, 2008 9:18 pm

This tutorial demonstrates how to add custom properties to points.
A user-defined property can be any useful attribute, such as latitude and longitude, date of acquisition, or
source. To create user-defined properties, you first create a property classification, which is a container for
one or more related properties.
26 | Chapter 3 Points Tutorials
You assign classifications and their associated properties to the points in your drawing using point groups.
After you have added the user-defined properties to a point group, you can add values for each property
either by editing the properties of individual points or by importing values from an external point file.

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Creating User-Defined Properties

Post  Admin on Wed Apr 23, 2008 9:18 pm

In this exercise, you will learn how to create a user-defined property classification and add items to it.
For more information, see the AutoCAD Civil 3D Help topic New User-Defined Property Dialog Box.
To create user-defined classifications and properties
1 In the AutoCAD Civil 3D window, click File menu ➤ Open. Navigate to the tutorial drawings folder
(page 201). Open the drawing Points-4.dwg.
The drawing is similar to the ones you used earlier in this tutorial, except only the points for storm
manholes and the detention pond are visible.
2 In Toolspace, on the Settings tab, expand the Point collection. Right-click User-Defined Property
Classifications. Click New.
3 In the User-Defined Property Classification dialog box, enter Manhole UDP.
4 Click OK.
The new classification is created and added to the list of user-defined property classifications.
5 On the Settings tab, expand User-Defined Property Classifications. Right-click Manhole UDP. Click
New.
6 In the New User-Defined Property dialog box, for Name, enter MH_Pipe In Invert.
7 In the Property Field Type list, select Elevation.
8 Use the default values for all other properties. Click OK.
The property is added to the list of Manhole UDP properties.
9 Repeat steps 6 to 8 to add additional properties to the Manhole UDP classification, using the following
values:
Name Property Field Type
MH_Material String
MH_Diameter Dimension
MH_Pipe In Diameter Dimension
MH_Pipe In Material String
MH_Pipe Out Invert Elevation
MH_Pipe Out Diamet- Dimension
er
Exercise 1: Creating User-Defined Properties | 27
Name Property Field Type
MH_Pipe Out Materi- String
al
10 Create an additional user-defined property classification named Trees.
11 Repeat steps 6 to 8 to add properties to the Trees classification using the following values:
Name Property Field Type
Tree_Common Name String
Tree_Genus String
Tree_Species String
Tree_Diameter Dimension
Tree_Height Distance

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Creating a Label Style That Displays a User-Defined

Post  Admin on Wed Apr 23, 2008 9:20 pm

In this exercise, you will create a label style that displays user-defined property information for a point.
For more information, see the AutoCAD Civil 3D Help topic Creating and Editing Label Styles.
This exercise continues from Exercise 1: Creating User-Defined Properties (page 27).
To add a label style that displays user-defined property information
1 In Toolspace, on the Settings tab, expand the Point collection. Expand the Label Styles.
2 Under Label Styles, right-click Standard. Click Copy.
3 In the Label Style Composer, on the Information tab, for Name, enter Manhole UDP.
4 On the Layout tab, in the Preview list on the upper right side of the tab, select Point Label Style.
Now, any edits you make to the point label style will be displayed in the preview pane.
5 Click to create a new text component for the label.
6 Under General, for Name, enter Invert In.
7 For Anchor Component, select Point Description.
8 For Anchor Point, select Bottom Left.
9 Under Text, for Attachment, select Top Left.
28 | Chapter 3 Points Tutorials
10 Under Text, for Contents, click the default value. Click .
11 In the Text Component Editor – Label Text dialog box, on the Properties tab, in the Properties list,
select MH_Pipe In Invert.
12 For Precision, select 0.01.
13 Click .
14 In the text editing window, delete the text “Label Text” from the label. Enter Invert In: before the
property field, which is enclosed in angle brackets(<>). The text in the editor should look like this:
15 Click OK.
16 In the preview pane, your label should look like this:
17 Click OK.
To continue this tutorial, go to Exercise 3: Assigning User-Defined Properties to Points (page 29).
Exercise 3:Assigning User-Defined Properties to Points
In this exercise, you will use point groups to associate user-defined properties with points in your drawing.
For more information, see the AutoCAD Civil 3D Help topic Assigning User-Defined Properties to Point Groups.
This exercise continues from Exercise 2: Creating a Label Style That Displays a User-Defined Property (page
28).
To assign user-defined properties to points
1 In Toolspace, on the Prospector tab, click Point Groups.
2 In the item view, click the Storm Manholes entry. In the Classification column, select Manhole UDP.
3 In the Prospector tree view, expand Point Groups. Click Storm Manholes.
4 In the item view, right-click in a column heading. Click all the column values that have a check mark
next to them, except Point Number, Point Label Style, MH_Pipe In Invert, and MH_Pipe In Material,
to turn off the display of columns you do not need to see for this exercise.
5 Click the row for point 307.
6 Click the Point Label Style cell to display the Select Label Style dialog box.
Exercise 3:Assigning User-Defined Properties to Points | 29
7 In the Select Label Style dialog box, select Manhole UDP as the label style. Click OK.
8 For point 307, click the MH_Pipe In Invert cell. Enter 93.05.
9 Right-click the row for point 307. Click Zoom To.
The value is displayed with the other point information in the drawing window.
10 Click the row for point 667.
11 Click the Point Label Style cell to display the Select Label Style dialog box.
12 In the Select Label Style dialog box, select Manhole UDP as the label style. Click OK.
13 For point 667, click the MH_Pipe In Invert cell. Enter 93.00.
14 Right-click the entry for point 667. Click Zoom To.
To continue this tutorial, go to Exercise 4: Importing Points with User-Defined Properties (page 30).
Exercise 4: Importing Points with User-Defined Properties
In this exercise, you will create a custom point file format, and then import point information that includes
user-defined properties from an external file.
For more information, see the AutoCAD Civil 3D Help topic Importing and Exporting User-Defined Property
Classifications.
This exercise continues from Exercise 3: Assigning User-Defined Properties to Points (page 29).
To create a point file format for importing user-defined properties
1 In Toolspace, on the Settings tab, expand the Point collection. Right-click Point File Formats. Click
New.
2 In the Point File Formats – Select Format Type dialog box, select User Point File. Click OK.
3 In the Point File Format dialog box, for Format Name, enter Manhole Data.
4 For Comment Tag, enter #.
5 In the Format Options section, select Delimited By, and enter , (a comma) as the delimiter.
6 In the table of column names, click the first column heading (labeled <unused>).
7 In the Point File Formats – Select Column Name dialog box, in the Column Name list, select Point
Number. Click OK.
8 Repeat steps 6 and 7 to name additional columns using the following values:
■ Column 2: MH_Material
■ Column 3: MH_Diameter
■ Column 4: MH_Pipe In Invert
■ Column 5: MH_Pipe In Diameter
■ Column 6: MH_Pipe In Material
■ Column 7: MH_Pipe Out Invert
■ Column 8: MH_Pipe Out Diameter
■ Column 9: MH_Pipe Out Material
30 | Chapter 3 Points Tutorials
9 Click OK.
To import user-defined property data using a text file
1 In Toolspace, on the Prospector tab, ensure that the Point Groups collection is expanded, and select
the Storm Manholes group. In the item view, note that this group contains only nine points, and some
of the data columns are blank.
2 In Toolspace, on the Prospector tab, right-click Points. Click Create.
3 In the Create Points dialog box, click Import Points.
4 In the Import Points dialog box, in the Format list, select Manhole Data.
5 Click . Browse to the tutorial folder (page 201). Select manhole_data.txt. Click Open.
6 Click OK.
7 In the Duplicate Point Number dialog box, in the Resolution list, select Merge. Click OK. The point
data is imported.
8 On the Prospector tab, click the Storm Manholes point group.
The point data from the file import is displayed in the item view, including specific values for manhole
data.
9 Close the Create Points dialog box.
To continue this tutorial, go to Exercise 5: Querying User-Defined Property Information (page 31).
Exercise 5: Querying User-Defined Property Information
In this exercise, you will create a new point group. The list of points included in the group is determined
by a query that contains user-defined properties.
For more information, see the AutoCAD Civil 3D Help topic Creating a Point Group Using the Query Builder.
This exercise continues from Exercise 4: Importing Points with User-Defined Properties (page 30).
To create a query that contains user-defined properties
1 In Toolspace, on the Prospector tab, right-click Point Groups. Click New.
2 In the Point Group Properties dialog box, on the Information tab, for Name, enter Storm Manholes -
Invert In.
3 On the Query Builder tab, select Modify Query.
4 Right-click the Query Builder table. Click Insert Row.
5 Click the row you created. Click Name in the Property column. In the Property list, select MH_Pipe In
Invert.
6 Click the Operator value. In the Operator list, select < (less than).
7 Click the Value value. Enter 93.
8 Click OK.
9 On the Prospector tab, click Storm Manholes - Invert In.

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