Start a conversation

Creating Symbols for use with AutoMap

AutoMap can use your descriptions to place predefined symbols automatically. (ie. "TREED" may be a deciduous tree and AutoMap will insert a predefined tree symbol for you when you use this code and place it on a predefined layer, color, etc. for you.) Use the "browse" button in the AutoMap Editor to select a symbol for that code, set layer, etc. as you wish.)

To create a new symbol for use in AutoMap, start a brand-new drawing file, with an appropriate name. (You could also open an existing drawing - the drawing file should only contain the desired symbol, or it would need to be cleaned up and have everything erased except the desired symbol.)

1.) Draw your symbol to scale. For example if your manhole cover is 2.5 feet in diameter, draw it as such or scale it to be the correct size in real world units.

- If you want your symbol to be a certain color, you can assign it a color when you create it. Or you can determine the color by putting it on a specific layer and going into the layer manager and applying a color to that layer. When the symbol is inserted by AutoMAP, it will come in as you created it.

- If you drew the symbol on Layer zero, then the symbol will change to the color of the layer it is inserted on.

- If you have any parts or symbols inside of this symbol, please ensure they are exploded first.

2.)‚ ‚  Once you have finished your drawing of the symbol, it is IMPORTANT that the insertion point for the symbol is set to 0,0. If you do not do this symbols may not be placed at the desired location and may be offset from the actual point. For example the center of the circle for the manhole symbol needs to be at 0,0 so that when you take one measurement at the center of the manhole, AutoMap will insert it correctly.

- To ensure the insertion point is 0,0 you can use the move command to select all the objects that make up your symbol, pick the base point as the desired insertion point with your mouse (you can use snaps for more accuracy to get exact center, etc.) then for Second Point of Displacement, type "0,0" in the command line and enter. This moves it to 0,0 so you may need to zoom extents to see it.

3.) You should then run the Purge command to get rid of any unused layer names, line types, etc. that you don't need. This keeps the drawing clean and compact so that any unnecessary layers, etc. do not end up transferring into the drawing you are inserting this symbol into.

- Steps for purging: Type or pick the items in BOLD text below (press enter after each):


Purge unreferenced symbols (Blocks, Dimstyles, LAyer, LTypes, Textstyles or All): all

Names to delete <* = All>: *

Confirm each name? <Y>: n

4.) Next go to the File pull down to -> Save As (NOT the Save command) and go to the directory or folder of your choice to save your drawing in there. 

- Be sure to save it as the default .flx format so that you get to see a

preview thumbnail.

- Exit the drawing without saving, to ensure things are kept clean.

5.) Now you can use the AutoMap editor to select your newly created block from the list when you hit the Browse button (and go to the correct folder on your hard drive).

6.) AutoMAP will insert the symbol based upon the drawing scale, also based upon the symbol Scale you enter in AutoMAP, to maintain the symbol at a consistent size on paper for printing purposes. In the case of symbols that must be full scale (such as a manhole), you must check the box next to the symbol scale factor that says: "No Scale." This way they will be the true size as measured and drawn.

- Entering in a Symbol Scale means that the symbol inserted will be a visual representation of what is at that location and not a true size.

- Picking on No Scale means that the symbol inserted will be a true representation of what is at that location and will be at the true size of the item measured in the field.

Created on: May 15, 2006

Choose files or drag and drop files
Was this article helpful?
  1. Jason Poitras

  2. Posted
  3. Updated