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Feature Definitions

A Feature Definition controls how each feature is displayed and how it interacts with various tasks. The first time you use a Feature Definition it is copied into your active DGN and can then be modified.

Using Feature Definitions

A feature definition can be selected from the Feature Definition Toggle Bar or on tools from the horizontal geometry tasks to define the feature.

feature definitions toggle bar

An element can also be converted to a feature using the Set Feature Definition Tool. Documentation on the Feature Definition Toggle Bar can be found under the OpenRoads Help task menu. Default toggles can be controlled in CADD menu > Workspace > Preferences > View Options - Civil > Toggle Commands section. Note: the Toggle Commands section may not be visible. If it isn't, exit the Preferences dialog, select any design tool from the Civil Tools task menu and and open the Preferences dialog again. After changing, use the Save Settings command to save any changes.

element information dialog boxThe Name Prefix is the default name of the feature. If used more than once, the new feature will be incremented. For example the first alignment would be MC, the second MC1, MC2...

All MXROAD Features have been set to Automatically Create 3D Elements. When creating a corridor and applying a template, the features are created as 3D elements and display in the Default-3D model. A feature's 3D definition should be set to an Element Template defining the level, line style, line color and weight. This 3D definition also controls how the feature looks in the Default (2D) model as the Default-3D model is referenced into it.

A horizontal geometry is only 2D by definition until it has elevations... at which time it becomes 3D. If there is an active Terrain model when you create the 2D horizontal geometry and the Feature Definition Toggle Bar is set to Automatically Create 3D then a best fit profile will be automatically generated for you and the feature will be become 3D. The best fit profile is usually useless and can/should be deleted when first opening a profile view of the feature.

Alignment Features

Alignments are the only MXROAD features with the Automatically Create 3D Elements attribute set to false. When working on multiple alignments or with "Complex by Element" geometries it is desirable to not create these best fit profiles.

To avoid creating the best fit profiles you can:

  1. Turn off the Create 3D Automatically toggle on the Feature Definition Toggle Bar prior to creating the Horizontal Geometry. OrĀ 
  2. Edit the Feature Definition in your active dgn to have the Linear Default Setting be False for Automatically Create 3D Elements.

A third option is to not have an active terrain model set when working on horizontal geometry (Vertical geometry requires an active terrain model).

Plan Features

The Plan definition for each feature points to the native style set so that when a feature is exported to MX it gets the proper string name. Auto Annotate can only annotate what is defined in the native style set and is only used when Auto Export is also on. All other definitions should point to element templates.

Cross Section Features

The Cross Section definition should also point to an element template, typically the MX Default \ Intersection Point which defines the CONSTRUCT cell to display allowing for cross section annotation to work. A style set and features for Cross Section Detail point strings were created for point features... see the Cross Section documentation for more information.

Point Features

Point feature creation from MX point strings needs to be investigated. At this time only the first point on the string is generated as a point feature when importing "P" strings.


New Hampshire Department of Transportation
PO Box 483  |  7 Hazen Drive  |  
Concord, NH  |  03302-0483
Tel: 603.271.3734  |  Fax: 603.271.3914