Creating a Civil 3D Surface from Text Data

October 02, 2014 By Leo Lavayen Leave a comment

I would like share an old Civil 3D tool that I recently used in a custom class, the command is called MOVETEXTTOELEVATION.

In the scenario presented, files are being provided from external sources and data in the drawing is only in 2D. That is the Contours, TIN lines and Points are ALL flat showing an elevation of zero (0.00).


  • Editing the TIN Lines: Too time consuming to edit each end point to the listed elevation.
  • Adjusting the contours lines: Possible, but too time consuming to edit individually.
  • Adjusting the point blocks “X” markers: Possible as well, too time consuming.
  • Elevating the Text to the elevation value: Quickest method, described here.


With this example, a few assumptions were made:

  • Only spot elevations are on the layer.
  • Text insertions point and justification is the same for all.
  • Distance from text insertion point to marker is the same.


Knowing all the above, the ALL the text objects will be selected and moved from text insertion point to the marker. Here is how to create a surface from text data. Typically files that come in DO NOT have Civil 3D set up and styles. A suggested workflow:

  1. Start by creating a new drawing and a Drawing Template that has a Civil 3D set up (preferably yours).
  2. Insert the drawing that has the survey data and explode it.
  3. Isolate the point elevation text objects.
  4. Use the MOVE command > select all text objects
  5. Origin is the text insertion point > destination is the marker insertion point
  6. Start the MOVETEXTTOELEVATION command
  7. Select all text objects
  8. All text objects should know be set to the elevation in its’ content.
  9. Create a new Civil 3D TIN surface (from Prospector or Ribbon).
  10. Set values in Create Surface dialog box > click OK
  11. In Prospector, expand + the surface > expand + Definition
  12. Right click on Drawing Objects > select Add
  13. From the Add Points From Drawing Objects > for Object Type > select Text
  14. Select Text objects (preferably all other layers have been turn off)

All a very quick way to create a surface from survey type provided data.

Tagged with Text Data, Tech Support, Infrastructure, Surface, Civil 3D, AutoCAD, AutoCAD Civil 3D

About Leo Lavayen

Cary, NC Infrastructure Technical Consultant

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