FAQs on Softdesk 8 Civil/Survey

When Softdesk is initialized for a new drawing, the desired project is not found in the list of projects available. Softdesk is looking in the wrong directory for projects. To change the location where Softdesk looks for and stores project files, open the file called <Softdesk folder>\programs\sdsk.dfm. Search for the PROJ= key. Change the directory of this key to the location of your current Softdesk projects.
How can a Softdesk project be detached from a drawing? Go to Paper Space. Then, go to AEC -> Build Selection Set Check the Block box, and to the right of that check box, type in ADCADD_ZZ as the current selection criteria. Click on Build Selection, then Apply. Next, type the ERASE command, then P at the select objects prompt (previous selection set), and hit enter. Go back to model space, quit, save changes, reenter Softdesk, reopen the drawing, and reinitialize. You should be prompted to attach a new project.
Softdesk menus and toolbars aren’t found. Typing SD to initialize softdesk returns "Unknown command SDSK. Softdesk not initialized." Quit Softdesk. Go to the Start Menu -> Programs -> Softdesk 8 Setup -> Softdesk 8 Setup. Follow the instructions on the screen. Once finished, reopen Softdesk, and Softdesk menus and toolbars should appear.
How to get rid of tag labels for curves and relabel the curves starting at a different tag number. Erase the labels by highlighting the entities, right click and choose label properties. Click on no label. Set the tag number in preferences and relabel.
How can Softdesk 8 labels be made non-reactive after insertion? Type STRIPXDATA at the command line. Select the lines and curves that you do not want reactive labels on.
Wants to use a label style with both imperial and metric units. In Labels -> Edit Line Label Styles, create a custom line label style. In either the Text Above or Text Below box, type "{Length}' [{Length * .3048}m]". Click on Save as, then click OK. Go to Labels -> Preferences, click on the Line Labels tab, and select your custom line label style. The label should have both imperial and metric units next to each other.
Would like Softdesk labels to include the Delta symbol . . . There is a new Simplex font file that uses %%128 as the delta symbol. Go to Autodesk's web site, and download cgdelta.zip. Follow the instructions enclosed in the zip file.

Use Cogo => Labels=>Edit Curve Labeling Styles to change the "text above" and "text below" to call out the %%128 symbol before the delta. Remember, you must specify the font for that labeling style that supports the character.

Any COGO labels problem involving Softdesk COGO 8.0 Download the Softdesk 8.01 patch (s801csse.exe) from Autodesk's web site. Follow the instructions enclosed in the exe file.
Problem with the alignment database . . . Either: A. trying to make a new alignment and it's giving a message about unable to open FDB file. Or, B. Error reading eg_pvi from .vrt file. The Alignment database is corrupted. This corruption to the alignment database file happens when multiple users have access to the horizontal database (maybe they had the same AutoCAD login name).

Fix it by starting a new drawing (junk) with a new project (junk). Go to AD and use Align=>Merge command to bring in the alignment information from the corrupted file.

Then, exit AutoCAD and use Windows Explorer to copy the \JUNK\ALIGN\PROJECT.ADB over the top of the \REALPROJ\ALIGN\PROJECT.ADB.

If that does not work, go into the \REALPROJ\ALIGN folder, and delete the PROJECT.ADB and PROJECT.ABU files. Redefine the horizontal alignments in Softdesk. Vertical alignments and cross-sections should be ok, assuming that the same horizontal alignment names are used.

Can't sample a profile - getting a messages about "can't find surfaces.txt file". Multiple surfaces accidentally got turned on. To turn them off, use Profile=>Select DTM Surface=>Multiple Surfaces On/Off.
When attempting to create profiles or sections, an error message appears: "Problems in Sampling Terrain Data" The DTM does not cover the entire alignment. In order for Softdesk to sample profiles and sections properly, the DTM must cover the entire centerline alignment. Rebuild your DTM, or truncate your alignment at the edge of your DTM surface.
When trying to define horizontal alignments, a message appears: "Alignments are locked by <user>. Access denied." Only one person can edit the horizontal alignment database; others have read-only access. Have the user who owns full access to the database go to Align -> Alignment Commands -> Close Alignment DB.
When trying to define horizontal alignments, vertical alignments, or templates, a message appears: "Alignment/Template is locked by <user>. Access denied." The person who last edited that object crashed out of Softdesk, therefore the lock files associated with those objects still remain. Go to AEC -> Softdesk Settings -> Project Manager, and choose your project. Click on the File Locks button, highlight the file lock you want to delete, and click on the delete button. Do this only if you are certain no one is working on those alignments/templates, otherwise you will get corrupted files!!!
How can pipe inverts be entered in the Pipes spreadsheet? In the Pipes Spreadsheet, click on the settings button. Under Hydraulic Calculation, choose None to turn off flow calculations in the spreadsheet. Enter the first start invert, all finish inverts, and node drops. Finish invert minus node drop equals the next start invert. Don’t forget to check rims, sump elevations, and pipe sizes.
Can you enter data for curved pipes in Softdesk? Softdesk does not support curved pipes. Draw all pipes as straight lines in between structures. Do not try to approximate a curve. Enter invert elevations manually. Plot the Finish Draft Profile as usual. The pipe length and pipe slope will be incorrect, so DDEDIT those text entities with the proper design values.