Generic Features

Below are some descriptions of some of the generic utility tools in the Sincpac C3D.

The Sincpac-C3D tab on the OPTIONS page, which controls a few of the generic Sincpac C3D features.


 MTEXT and MLEADER background masks are very handy, but they aren't the easiest things to use.  Autodesk has made some improvements since their introduction, but they are still clunky, especially when something other than the default 1.5 scale factor is desired.  Well now, with the Sincpac C3D, it is possible to specify a default background offset scale factor, and have that scale factor used automatically every time.  Not only that, you may turn on an option to automatically apply background masks to all MTEXT entities as they are created.

Or you may use one of the new background mask commands - BGMASKON, BGMASKOFF, and BGMASKTOGGLE - to turn background masks on and off.  These commands are available in the right-click context menu for MTEXT entities.  And if you use the new CUI file for the Sincpac C3D, the BGMASKTOGGLE command is assigned to CTRL+T, so it is also possible to toggle background masks by selecting one or more MTEXT entities and hitting CTRL+T.  And in addition to MLeaders and MText, hese commands also work on Dimensions!  Once you get used to them, you'll wonder how you ever did without them.  (Note: this functionality is also available in the SPMiniPac, which works in ANY Autocad product 2008 and later.)

Rotate MTEXT, MLEADERS, and Dimension commands to the DView TWist

Civil-3D General Notes and General Line/Curve labels are very handy, but they have some issues and problems.  MLeaders are very similar to General Notes, especially when they are using Annotative styles.  In some ways, MLeaders are not as nice as General Note Labels, but in other ways, MLeaders work better.  The ability for each MLeader to have multiple leaders is a key additional feature of MLeaders.  So for certain tasks, MLeaders are the best choice.

The Auto-Background-Mask and DView-Twist-Rotation features are now available for ALL AutoCAD products (2008 or later)!
 Click for details on the new SPMiniPac

However, if we wish to create a drawing where North is not toward the top of the page, we might run into an annoying issue with MLeaders - namely, MLeaders do not honor the DView TWist.  Instead, MLeaders stubbornly insists on going into the drawing according to the current UCS.  But Civil-3D is designed so that it is works well with a DView TWist, but using a UCS is very dangerous, and can wreck havok with a Civil-3D drawing.  Often, we might use a "temporary" UCS, just to place MLeaders in a drawing, but this always introduces the possibility of forgetting to reset the drawing back to WCS.  And bad things can happen with a C3D drawing that is not in the WCS.

Well, with the Sincpac C3D, it's possible to create MLeaders that are automatically rotated to match the DView TWist.  Simply select the checkbox seen in the dialog box for the LABLAY or SPSETTINGS commands, and all MLeaders will be automatically rotated to match the current DView TWist.

And after implementing this feature for MLeaders, it immediately became obvious that it would be handy for MTEXT and Dimensions, as well.  So now this feature has been expanded to include MTEXT and all the Dimension commands (DIMALIGNED, DIMRADIUS, etc.). When combined with the automatic background mask, it is now much easier to work in twisted viewports!  (Note: this functionality is also available in the SPMiniPac, which works in ANY Autocad product 2008 and later.)

Viewport Layers

Like the PTINV command, this is another one of those little features that ends up being very handy.  All newly-created viewports are created on the specified layer, regardless of the current layer.  No more hunting for that viewport that someone put on a frozen layer!

"Old Version" Lock

Due to the incompatibility between Civil-3D versions (until 2013/2014), many people find the need to continue using multiple versions, at least for a time.  Civil-3D will warn you when you open a drawing from a previous release, but it doesn't warn you before you save the drawing.  As such, it is easy to open an older drawing in a more current version just to "look around", then accidentally save that file in the newer Civil-3D .  This upgrades the file and makes it unusable in that older version of Civil-3D, which can cause problems.

This new feature lets you flag directories as containing drawings that should remain in a prior Civil-3D format.  Then, if you attempt to save those files in a newer Civil-3D version, you will see a warning message.  This can prevent those accidental format upgrades.

Change Log

For a complete list of the additions and changes made to the Sincpac C3D, check out the change log.