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2005.10.26

Land Desktop - The importance of Project Settings and Prototypes

When using Land Desktop, it is imperative to make sure that two things are set up when you first create a drawing that will be part of your Project.

1. Make sure that the Project is defined so the data can be shared between all users that will be working on the project. This includes all of your Alignments, Profiles, Surfaces, Parcels, Pipe Runs, and Hydrological Models. If you do not associate the drawing to the correct project, it will create some major headaches when the next user tries to access your data. Not to mention the dialog that will pop up asking you if you want to change the project association every time you open the drawing after wards.

2. A second part of the Project Setup is selecting the correct Prototype. Using this feature will allow you to make sure that several things are consistent throughout your design. Symbols can be defined in the prototypes so that whenever you insert a Storm Drain Manhole for example, the symbol is ALWAYS the same. This can be defined in your symbol manager and saved to a specific prototype. Prototypes can be copied and modified so that you do not have to build each one from scratch. Other items that can be included in your prototypes are...

2a. Layer Settings, Linetypes, Text Styles, Grid spacing for your sections and profiles, Surface settings. Essentially, every setting that LDT uses that comes from the DFM and CGX files can be saved to a prototype. This can be a major time saver and it will also help in maintaining your company standards.

You can create a Prototype for individual Agencies that have specific requirements for their symbols and layer names, Client specific symbol libraries, Drawing Specific settings. The list goes on and on.

To control your prototypes, use the Prototype Manager under the Projects pulldown. You can create Symbol Libraries using the Symbol Manager, but there have been rumors that feature may be phased out in future releases, so be forewarned. I still use SM quite a bit, and when\if they remove it, I will probably use the toolpalettes to create my Symbol Libraries.

The reason I use Symbol Manager now is, I use points during my design quite a bit and I have a collection of custom Point Label Styles defined that use the symbols in the Categories I have created to make it quick and easy to change from one symbol to another for different agency submittals.

I will go into the SM in a later post, but this should be a start to get you interested in using Prototypes at least. Feel Free to post your comments below.

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