Composing Parcel Label Styles in Civil 3D 2008

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New to Civil 3D 2008 is the ability to create composed parcel labels. Before the introduction of composed parcel label styles, one would have to configure a separate parcel label style for each labeling scenario. Or in other words, a style to show the parcels area in square feet, another to show it in acres, and another to show no area at all. It should also be mentioned that the lot number and lot area were a single object, meaning you could not move one independent to the other.

These shortcomings are what the new composed parcel labels set out to solve. In lieu of having a separate style for every labeling scenario you can think of, now you can simplify your style library by having a series of parcel label components. You will notice in this drawing I only have 5 parcel area label styles. My fundamental style, Lot Number, simply displays the lot number, nothing else. To display the lot’s area I will add my “Lot Area” area label style to the parcel(s) whose area I need to label. There are a couple ways this can be done.

The most basic method involves adding the needed label styles on a per parcel basis.

  1. Select the label of the parcel you wish to add an additional label style to.


  2. Right-Click, select “Parcel Properties


  3. Select the [+} button from the “Composition” tab.


  4. The “Area Label Style” dialog will appear, where you can select the Parcel Area Style you wish to add to your parcel.


  5. Press [Ok] from the “Parcel Properties” dialog, and the Parcel Area Style you added to your parcel should appear.

Upon learning about composed parcel label styles I was both excited and annoyed. I was excited about the flexibility the new labeling method allowed, but flustered that you had to add the labels on a lot-by-lot basis. The practicality of using composed label styles was shot for any subdivision of more than 20 or so parcels. A colleague of mine (ok my boss), Eric Chappell did some digging around and discovered a pretty nifty method for composing Parcel Labels for more than one parcel. Thus unless you’re light on work and trying to make things take as long as possible, you’ll likely opt for the following procedure:

  1. Go to Parcels > Edit Parcel > Edit Parcel Properties


  2. At the command line, type “A” for all.


  3. The “Edit Parcel Properties” dialog will appear, where you can select the [+] to add additional Parcel Label Styles.


  4. Select the Parcel Label Style you would like to add from the resulting “Area Label Style” dialog.


  5. At this point, if you simply hit [Ok] the additional area label will only be added to a single parcel (likely Lot 1). To make this composition populate to every parcel in your site, press the button.


  6. Civil 3D warns you of what you are about to do, and gives you a chance to redeem yourself if you have messed up. Otherwise press the [Yes] button if you are happy with your composition.


  7. Press [Ok] to exit the “Edit Parcel Properties” dialog. At this point all of your parcels should have the area styles you specified added to them.


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