Windows 7 – How to Add a Quick Launch Folder to the Taskbar

The site has an excellent “How To” on Adding the Quick Launch folder to the Taskbar in Windows 7. You can pin applications to the Taskbar in Windows 7 but soon find the Taskbar cluttered and disorganized.  Read on to see you can enable the Quick Launch folder in 2 easy steps.

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New evidence proves processor speed is most important choice for Civil 3D performance

I ran some tests on Civil 3d 2011.  Here are the system configuration comparisons.

AST-2 Alienware M15x 6Gb RAM and Intel Core i7 Q 840 1.87Ghz

AST-3 Alienware M15x 8Gb RAM and Intel Core i7 Q 740 1.73Ghz

Passmark: AST-2 1467.5
Passmark: AST-3 1443.5
AST 2 had a 6-10% better performance in all categories except Large RAM was -31% was used to benchmark the performance of both computers.

Now for the Civil 3D test results.

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Add vertices to a Feature Line in Civil 3D

For the long time users of Land Desktop and Civil 3d you have relied on a command to Add Vertices to 3d plines.  Things have changed and you need to recalibrate your skills.  After getting over my initial anger and frustration thinking I’ve lost functionality. I found a blog post by Scott McEachron that brought the “duh” back into my internal conversation.

Insert Elevation Point then use the Increment option.

Thanks Scott

Spar Point Group – Head in the Point Clouds – The impact of Revit 2012 accepting point clouds

I am at the SPAR Conference in Houston this week.  I thought you might like to hear some news about Revit 2012 and it’s support of Point Cloud data.  Navisworks seems to be the preferred solution for the Construction market because it supports so many file formats as well as point cloud data.  The link below is from a blog post on

Spar Point Group – Head in the Point Clouds – The impact of Revit 2012 accepting point clouds.

License Compliance and Software Asset Management


See the blog post regarding License Compliance and Software Asset Management on our Advanced Civil Technology blog. It is a must read for everyone using Autodesk software.  There is a link to the Software Asset Management Toolkit which supercedes the Autodesk Asset Locator tool (a network sniffer that reports all installed Autodesk Software).

Point Cloud overlaid in a Profile in Civil 3d 2011.

The image shows a Profile View in Civil 3D 2011 with AutoCAD solids projected.  I chose not to do a vertical exaggeration but you can correctly display vertically exaggerated AutoCAD solids in a profile view.  The real sizzle here is slicing through a point cloud and having it displayed in the profile view.  Unfortunately, plotting does not include this point cloud data

Point cloud as background for a profile



Labels for Assemblies

Create a Label for an Assembly and Subassemblies using a Field within an MLEADER.  The advantage is there is a constant link between the label and the subassembly.  I frequently rename subassemblies when I am trying to organize my project for greater clarity.  Often I have to look at an assembly and remember what subassemblies I used or even just the assembly name for that matter.  The How To details are described next.

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Creating a Dashed Linetype for a Pipe in Civil 3D

Dashed Linetype for a Pipe in Civil 3D

In Civil 3D you want to create a dashed linetype as shown in this picture.  The solution has several parts.  The easy part, make a copy of the Double Line (Storm).  I called my new style Double Line Dashed (Storm).  On the Display Tab > Plan View toggle ON Centerline.  Change the Linetype to DASHED.  Set the Lineweight to 2.0mm.  To see the spectacular result switch to a layout and set the viewport to 1:20 scale.  Assign a plot style in Page Setup Manager.  Toggle on Display Plot Style in the Page Setup Manager.  Go back to the layout and look at your pipe.  You may notice this produces rounded ends on your thick centerline but you want square ends.  Set the Line End Style to Butt in the Plot Style to make square ends on the dashed linetype.