Editing Multiple Descriptions Within Part Lists in Civil 3D

In the above video walkthrough, we look at a method of modifying the default descriptions within part lists.

Specifically, we see a quick way to swap out the default descriptions that come along with pipes.




This all happens in the parts list within the “Settings” tab of the Toolspace. Under “Pipe Network,” we find “Parts Lists.” Right click on “Storm Parts List” to edit the default list.




When we expand the “HDPE Pipe” list, we’ll notice that the part name matches the description of the part by default. In order to change this, double click on the name within the HDPE Pipe list and type in a new name. Any time you create a new element using that selection and add the label, the new label will appear.

In the tutorial video above, we have a number of element examples covering various sizes, and to create personalized labels for them all would be a very tedious process. To avoid this hassle, users can automate the renaming of these part names.

Assuming we are using our Pipes Catalog locally, we must go to our computer’s C: drive. There, we will find a “ProgramData” folder, which is normally a hidden folder that can be found by changing the Windows settings for hidden folders to display hidden files and folders.




Within the ProgramData folder, we’ll follow this path, entering each folder to find the next:

Autodesk > C3D 2016 > enu > Pipes Catalog

If you have a networked Pipes Catalog, all you need to do is go to the network location.

Within our Pipes Catalog, we want to enter the US Imperial Pipes folder, to gain access to our Circular Pipes folder, where we can access all of our documented pipes files and backups.




Along with the pipes bmp file and dwg backup comes an xml file.

Rather than go into the part builder that’s built into Civil 3D and modify the default part name, it’s much quicker to edit the xml file.

We’re going to open the xml file in Notepad and scroll to the bottom of the file. On the second column up from the bottom, we’ll find a section of code reading, “Part Size Name.” Further to the right in that line of code, we can find text reading the name of the pipe. In the case of the tutorial video above, the name read, “inch HDPE Pipe”.




For future reference, this can be found in the same place for all other pipes’ xml files.

We can erase the original label of the pipe from this location and rewrite a new default label. Now, for every size we add, the program will update the part name as well as the part description within Civil 3D. Be sure to only rewrite the name within the quotation marks, and to save the file afterward.

Coming back to Civil 3D, we’ll close our parts list, go back in to the parts list, and have the program reread our altered xml file. Next, we’ll delete our parts list for that parts’ family only, then add it back.

When we attempt to add part size, we’ll notice the Part Size Creator is reading our new description. We will check “Add all sizes,” hit “OK” and now all of our part names are automatically updated.




Finally, if we reload our parts list within Civil 3D’s Network Layout Tools window, our options will update there as well.

Descriptions for previously created pipes will not update automatically. To update this, you can swap the part for another part in the new list, before swapping it back to the same size – reloading it with the new description.

To learn more about Civil 3D 2016 and for more tutorial videos on this and other programs, visit imaginit.com/training.


About the Author

James Musselman uses his industry experience to help clients adopt new technology and processes. Whether helping with implementation, training, template creation or mentoring, James applies his understanding of both the software and the way civil engineering firms work to help you make the most of your technology investment.

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