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Why are my color maps not being plotted out consistently the same? Recently, the colors are different from the last set plotted.

There are numerous reasons why color maps are not plotted consistently in Roadway Design.

  • Some color maps require a customized Project specific design script (pen table) because of the ever changing preferences and non-standardized practices. The existence and location of this design script is not known if the request form was not filled out correctly.
  • The testing and migration to a different color plotters (old HP 5500 to new HP 1100 to T1100c).
  • There are three types of color maps; Public Hearing Map, Corridor Map, and Merger Meeting Map.
  • Color maps can either be in DGN or PDF format.
  • A dedicated design script (pen table) is needed for each map type and map format (six total)
  • A dedicated color table is used for certain type of color map.
  • Plotter used, Roadway or Photogrammetry.
  • The Hearing Map D&C Manager was not used.

  • Request for color plots not being filled out correctly on the request form.
  • The limitations of iPlot raster resolution and Adobe Acrobat PDF paper size.

    To resolve some of these issues, place a Plot Control Data Cell on the lower right corner of your color map.
    The design script and color table information will be stamped to the hard-copy. This information is important to us, in our ability to provide a more consistent color plot for you.

FeaturedHearing Maps

Running into a snag trying to prepare this hearing map. It turns out we have Partial, Limited, and Full control of access on this project. The hearing map D&C Manager only has placement items for partial and full. Can you make an item for limited?

After corresponding with Jim Speer, PE, he has concurred that there are no anticipated design conflicts with the creation of a limited control of access cell for public hearing map creation. His recommendation is to use the same full control of access cell, but change the fill color from red to pink.

An item has been added for the placement of Limited Control of Access symbols in the hearing map D&C Manager.


In addition, an option to add Limited Control of Access key to the legend has been provided on the hearing map legend cell. Below is a typical placement and symbology for Limited Control of Access.


Hearing Maps


Hearing Maps


Hearing Maps

When using the new procedure for creating a public hearing map with the various predetermined Microstation file models, sometime elements in the whole file or a particular model will change to the Default level and their colors turn into white. What can be some possible explanations for this instance and what can we do to prevent this from occurring?


Hearing Maps

I am preparing a hearing map for this project and I have both city and county limit lines. I noticed there was only one level for townships and cities, and was wondering if there should be a seperate level for counties and states. If so should there be a folder under the boundry folder in d&c for limit lines?





For now, Roadway level Prop PHM City or Township Limit Line will remain in the Roadway Levels DGNLIB for a limited period of time. Then it will be removed from our level library. Also these custom linestyle limits will be included in the future public hearing map legend cell as an option per project specific.

Hearing Maps

The following is effective with the next Roadway Workspace Update.


Note the usage of data fields in the following two cells.


Please note that the word "PARTIAL" is defaulted in the data field with the flexibility to interchange the word "PARTIAL" with the word "LIMITED" as an option ,(PROPOSED LIMITED CONTROL OF ACCESS).

All three design scripts (plot, preview, and PDF), the hearing map database (DDB), and the current Roadway standards have been modified to these changes. Roadway CADD Support will begin the process to update the Roadway Design Manual for the section that covers the standard Public Hearing Map Legend.

1. The Roadway Design Manual, Revised Preparation of Public Hearing Maps, Part II, Chpt. 21-2, 3(D) and 3(O)

2. The Roadway Design Manual, Public Hearings, Part II, Chpt. 21-1, F-1 (Public Hearing Map Legend)

Hearing Maps

How does one create the black border frame that looks like the black masking tape around a hearing map sheet?

In the Roadway Design Manual, Revised Preparation of Public Hearing Maps - Part II, Chapter 21-2, Line item 4(C) states:
"Make sure the hearing map, which is presented to the public, has a well defined black border around the edges. This can either be plotted with a wide, black border around the perimeter and reinforced with transparent tape or reinforce the edges with black masking tape. Half-size copies of the hearing map are not required to be taped."

In order to accomplish either method, some hearing map sheet dimensions have to be established.

Sheet Limit - Vertically it is the top to bottom plotting limits of the sheet width. The default sheet width is set as a nominal width of 34". For those who want the exact figure, it is 35.413333". In a Microstation file, the top and bottom sheet limit lines are spaced (copy parallel) at a distance depending on the hearing map scale. For example, if the hearing map scale is 200 (1"=200') then distance of separation is roughly 7082' (200 x 35.413333). Horizontally, it is recommended that hearing maps not exceed 12' in length.

Sheet Border - Copy parallel sheet limit line 3/4" (actual width of the black masking tape) x hearing map scale toward the inside of the sheet. For example, for a 200 scale hearing map, 200 X 0.75 = 150'.

Fold line - Used when the hearing map "flap" is placed on both ends of the hearing map sheet. The hearing map "flap" purpose is to easily identify the hearing map sheet information once it is rolled up.

All hearing map sheet lines can be used as a guide if the hearing map is to be protected from tearing with black masking or clear tape.

For hearing maps with plotted black sheet frame shapes, used the Roadway Hearing Map D&C Manager to create shapes for the frame.



Note, in compliance with the Roadway Design Manual and some value engineering judgment, the black sheet frame shape should not be plotted on half size prints and on preliminary (test) plots. This shape should only be plotted out on the Hearing Map Review(s) Map and the final Public Hearing Map. Turn level "Prop PHM Black Sheet Frame Shape" off for preliminary plots.

Hearing Maps

We need for you to create a line style for Partial Control of Access to be use with D&C Manager. So that we can complete a Hearing Map.

Right of Way, Control of Access, and Easement linestyles are not used in hearing map production. These linestyle are only used in regular plan production. Below is a sketch depicting the differences in line and custom linestyle usage.

For hearing map production, the proposed right of way, control of access, and all easement lines are just shown as solid lines. In addition hearing maps represent control of access, full and partial, with a solid red line. To identify the type of control of access, place either the full or partial control of access cell. Note that the proposed right of way cell does not exist for hearing maps because it is just shown as a solid black line. To identify existing control of access, simply place the existing control of access cell.

In regular plan production, the proposed right of way, control of access (and fence), and easements are delineated with their respective custom linestyle.

The hearing map Design and Computation Manager has accommodated for these situations and will plot correctly, by using our Hearing Map Design Script, if these cell and line elements are placed using it.

Below are the reference material used to reinforce our hearing map practice.
1. Roadway Design Manual, Part II, Chapter 21, 3(O), REVISED "Preparation of Public Hearing Maps".

2. Roadway Design Manual, Part II, Chapter 21, 21-2, F-1, Hearing Map Legend.

Hearing Maps

How should I represent wetland limits boundaries in the public hearing map?

The Roadway Design Manual, Part 2, Chapter 21, Section 2, 2 (L): wetland.jpg

A Wetlands and Buffer Zones category has been added to the hearing map D&C Manager.

To insure the original wetland file is not tampered with, create a TIP_rdy_phm_wet.dgn file using the Design File Generator and reference the wetland file to it.
First trace the referenced wetland limits boundary line with the first item.


Then the 'WLB' label with the second item.

Noticed that the original wetland file is left untampered with. All editing was done in the TIP_rdy_phm_wet.dgn file. The same procedure can be used for stream buffer zones.

Also note that these four new items are the first of many to come that will automate any parameters for you. For instance by double clicking on these item, it automatically turn off or on Place Influence, select the correct level, color, line code, font, text size, text content (WLB or BZ), and text justification. We are looking to revamp all of our D&C DDB's in this manner. In return, we anticipate improvements in production efficiency and reduce the chances of error with Design and Computation Manager. Somewhat like a Roadway "Easy" button.

The hearing design script has been already been modified accordingly.

Hearing Maps

I have a need for large scales in D&C Manager. Currently the scales only go up to 100 for the proposed alignment. I have a need for 200 scale for my project. Can you provide me with the other scale options?
Use our hearing map ddb for this situation. For english projects, the standard annotation scales are 1"=200' and 1"=500'. For metric projects it is going to be 2000 and 4000. ​

Hearing Maps

How do I place text with a white background on hearing maps? After I place the text as "Prop PHM Text" and place "Dimension Box - Background for Text" around the text, I print preview and the dimension box is shown in solid black.
Use "Prop PHM White Label Box" to perform this task for Hearing Maps

Hearing Maps

How can you turn off the horizontal text w/o turning off the alignment text. Both are on the same level, which makes it hard to display curve data on Hearing Maps.
When laying out the horizontal alignment for public Hearing Map production, use the Roadway Hearing Map ddb. The ddb file breaks up the proposed horizontal alignment to the "Prop Horizontal Alignment" level and the "Prop Alignment Control Point Label" level. You can turn these levels on or off independently.

If you have already placed the horizontal alignment by the ncdot alignment ddb (used for regular plan production), then use the edit and select by attribute tool and programmatically select all the text on level "Prop Horizontal Alignment" level and change it to "Prop Alignment Control Point Label" level. For the leader lines, manually change these to the "Prop Alignment Control Point Label" level. The important thing is to acknowledge the existence of the horizontal alignment label for Public Hearing Maps and corridor mapping.

Hearing Maps

I have noticed that the driveways are line styles now. In hearing map production, when I try placing a line between the driveway corners to complete a fill shape, the tool does not work. Why can I not fill in the shapes for the driveway line styles? I have several driveways already placed as line styles in my hearing map, what can I do to fix them? Lastly, what is the standard practice for driveways placement for hearing maps production?

Below is a diagram depicting the difference what is displayed and what is interpreted by the Microstation tool of the concrete driveway line styles.

Since Microstation tools interpret the line styles as just a line, filling it as a close shape is not possible.
If the Designer has already placed the driveways as line style in the public hearing map file, then use the 'Fix Existing Line Style' item in the Roadway Hearing D&C Manager as a fix.


Note that you must be in the active file as the driveway lines and Place Influence is checked. As a rule of thumb, driveways located right of the alignment, data point (not tentative) close to the right end of the drive way line. Driveways located left of the alignment, data point (not tentative) close to the left end of the drive way line. This is stressed with the purple circles in the before and after pictures below.



The 'Fix Existing Line Style' hearing map categories are just a temporary fix. It should remain there until everyone has caught up with the standard method used to place concrete driveways for hearing maps. The standard method used to place concrete driveways for hearing maps is to use the 'New Placement' categories.

Again, this procedure is valid ONLY for hearing map production. Driveway line styles for regular design are still valid practice.

Hearing Maps

The PHM Information Label Box cell has been updated with the following conditions;

The NCDOT and State seal text level has been moved to Scratch_Level_1 to not plot.
The NCDOT and State seal block level has been moved to Scratch_Level_2 to not plot.
Below is what's plotted from the above cell.
Place the State seal to the left and the NCDOT seal to the right as jpeg's and they should plot out like normal. ​

Hearing Maps

Tried to find the Win 7 upf batch files but only found the regular upf's and these don't retain the personal settings after backing up. Others have tried and failed, is this a common problem at this time??


  • Start Microstation.
  • Setup your Toolboxes and Workspace Preferences.
  • Exit Microstation, immediately.
  • Run S:\Share\rd_InternalApplication\Upf\Make_Backup_UPF.bat​



Why am I getting the non-standard Global Origin and Working Units warning messages with MS_Start and do I need to do anything about them?

These warnings are mostly due to the V7 to V8 DGN file conversion and/or not using the NCDOT Design File Generator (seed file) to create the DGN files.

Global Origin Warning

There were four design planes for the State of North Carolina in MicroStation V7 DGN files with four different global origins. Since V8 DGN files are 2 million times larger, we only need one design plane (design cube for 3D) for the entire State and it has a new global origin location (Global Origin is offset -1803984.5480, -659551.9387 from the design plane center). When converting from V7 to V8, the GO does not match.

Risk: LOW
Referencing files with different global origins can lead to some potential problems if not done correctly. By using reference file attachment method “Coincident-World”, all global origins are re-aligned in the reference files and the active file so their coordinates appeared correct.

The only problem we have found so far has been with corridor modeling. When importing graphics such as the existing EOP lines in reference files, even though Coincident World is used, they sometime will not import correctly because of the global origin differences. The workaround is to go into the actual 2D file (instead of referencing) and store the graphics there. In SS3, importing of graphics is no longer required, but the referencing with different global origins will still persist. It has not yet been determined this will be a problem or not for us in SS3.

Recommendation: Do Nothing!
As mentioned earlier, use reference file attachment method “Coincident –World” will minimized, if not eliminate, potential global origin differences problems. It would actually do more harm than good to manually fix the global origin because of these two reasons:

1. Moving the global origin will affect all DGN files referenced to it. Re-attach and re-clip of these DGN files are required.
2. Moving the global origin will not move the MicroStation elements (stay in the same place)! All elements must be moved with the same northing and easting distances as the GO shift to be coordinately correct!

Working Units Warning

MicroStation native unit is a Meter. For English DGN files, (International) Foot or Survey Foot is available. The conversion difference between is small, but rather significant.

1 international foot = 0.3048000 m
1 survey foot = 1200/3937 m = 0.3048006 m

Again, during the V7 to V8 DGN file conversion, MicroStation defaults to (International) Foot for English project files because it is first in the “units.def” file as defined in the NCDOT workspace.


Of course, surveys are commonly done in “Survey Foot” instead. Since May of 2010 the (International) Foot unit definition has been removed from our units.def file. All newly converted files will take on the Survey Foot definition.

Risk: HIGH
Although not as apparent in the active file, the difference is significant when referencing International Foot files, even with “Coincident-World” set. A shift of 2’ to 6’ in the referenced TOPO files has been documented in some cases.

Imagined if the wrong working unit files are passed along to other Units and being used as references. The proposal will most likely have to be re-designed! Fixing this issue is applicable from base mapping all the way to the final plans.

Recommendation: Immediate Action Required!
There isn’t a step-by-step set of instructions on fixing the wrong working units file(s) and the ramifications have yet to be determined. Consult your CADD Support to go over the issue in detail.

EXCEPTIONS (important)!
Below is a list of DGN file types that do not require fixing for GO and/or WU differences (ignore the warning messages). These file types do not have to be coordinately correct for referencing.

1. TSH
2. TYP
3. SUM
4. XSC
5. XPL
6. Possible others…

Also the non-standard working unit can be ignored if the master unit is in “Survey Foot”, but the resolution is set to “1000 per Distance Survey Foot” instead of the standard “4000 per Distance Survey Foot”. This is quite common for older V7 TOPO file from L&S and Photogrammetry. Roadway was always 4000/MU.


With the new method of Corridor Modeling in SS3 and the new Civil Geometry tools, it is especially very important to make note of the global origin and working units warning messages.


Why are some of the text in my dgn file plotting as solid boxes? The Text Styles were adjusted, but I can't seem to return them to their default.

Choose the place text dialog box and then select the magnify glass to set text style.

In the text style dialog box select the background tab and uncheck the Background option.


After turning levels off in a reference file, when I use the ‘Activate’ command in Microstation (right-click-hold on an element) to modify a reference file, the levels displayed in that reference are turned back on to some default when I ‘Deactivate Default’, exit, and re-enter the file. Can you provide some insight on this and/or a way to avoid the reference levels being turned back on or off? I noticed this mainly with scratch levels but I know there are other levels and files affected too.

Issue has been fixed in SS2 Refresh.



How can I display all of the reference files in black/ white while leaving the master file in color?

Select the reference files in the References dialog box and then choose Settings >>> Adjust Colors.


Display the reference files in white by “Fixed” the Saturation value from 100 to 0.
To undo the changes, set value to 100 (default). Note the “Print Adjusted Colors” option.

Also you can use the Roadway SuppAtta tool to change the line weight to zero for further clarity.



The problem I'm having is coping a Vicinity Map into a Title Sheet. Levels reverts to default levels. I know why this happens, however, is there a way to hold the color and weight of the map for the Title Sheet?

Go into the vicinity reference file and fence in all of the elements. Use the change attribute tool to change just the level of the elements to "Old_Level_1". Don't change the weight, line style, or color on it (just the level name). Now when you copy the vicinity map into the title sheet, all levels comes in on "Old_Level_1" and on whatever color and weight they were originally created in. As an alternative, you can keep the vicinity area referenced. Just rotate and move the referenced clipped area in your title sheet. Either way will work. Let us know. ​


Vertical alignments are calculating grades using 4 decimal places for elevations, but only showing 2 decimal places on the profile sheets. This is creating situations where the grades on the profile sheet cannot be calculated by the elevations shown on the profile sheet. Is there a setting somewhere to adjust the elevations to show 4 decimals?

We only show elevations, distances, and stations to 2 decimal places for english projects. Metric projects are 3 decimal places. Grades are shown to 4 decimal places, no matter if it's a metric or english project. You probably wouldn't want to show the elevations to 4 decimal places. To make sure your grade will always come out right when using the profile generator, have the increment settings to these values. This will force the 3rd and 4th decimal places to 0 for elevation and length.



Large shapes and long random lines are appearing on my title sheet. Is my DGN file corrupted or is there an explanation for this condition?
The "garbage" graphic elements are a direct result of copying and scaling down the GIS county maps (DGN) for your title sheet vicinity map. While scaling down the element size, the actual linestyle scale is not affected. These elements are indeed still at their original custom linestyle scale of 30000.

To change the linestyle scale of a Microstation element, select the element and key-in "change linestyle scale 1". This will change the linestyle scale from 30000 to 1. We now can see that some of these lines are part of the original GIS map.




How are fractions being created and placed in Microstation?

Fraction formatting is being control under one of the text style checkboxes (Element, Text Styles, General tab, Fractions).


When Off, fractions are not formatted.
When On, fractions are formatted.

Note you can use the "/" or "#" character to denote a fraction in the word processor. By default, the word processor will change the "/" character to the "#" symbol automatically. Fractions should be followed by a space to be formatted.

New for V8i, and probably in XM, is the Edit Stack Fraction dialog box which pops up when you double click on the fraction text in the word processor.


Note Text Style settings are mostly saved with the DGN file, and not in the UPF. ​


Is there a key-in command to adjust the Microstation view for text editor? When editing text, the font is too large in the editor for me to see what text I am editing.

In the key-in field, type wordproc displayfontsize (xx).

(xx) = 20 usually is a good size. .



Before we submitted the plans to Hydro, I have referenced and clipped the DRN file in my plan sheets (PSH files). When Hydro has finished their design, I am unable to see the referenced DRN file. What can cause this problem?

It is a common practice in Roadway Design to reference the DRN file and clip them in our plan sheets before sending them to Hydro. This is done in order to save time when saving the plot files (or i files) to iPlot Organizer. Once the drainage design has been drawn in their DRN file, Hydro will overwrite the previous DRN file in the Drainage folder with their copy. In theory, since the DRN files have the same name, the reference clip parameters should not change.

One possible reason, as in this case, why the DRN file may not display post Hydraulic design is because the DRN file was not originally referenced correctly. "Coincident World" was not used as an attachment method. Possibly "Coincident" or "Interactive" attachment method was used, especially for older Projects and V7 files. To test this out, I've deleted the clip boundary components. The referenced DRN files shifted ~210,000 meters to the left of the plan sheet. 


Unfortunately there are no easy fixes once the attachment method has been selected and still retains the original clip area parameters. In this case, all plan sheets will have to detach and attach the DRN files, with "Coincident World" as the attachment method, and reclipp manually. To avoid situations like this one, please use the "Coincident World" attachment method every time referencing files. We will look at making this as the default option, instead of "Coincident". Also, Roadway's Plan Prep Manual and our Hearing Map Manual have the explanation of the difference between"Coincident" and "Coincident World" attachment methods. ​


After turning a level OFF with the Level Display dialog box, why does the same level turn back ON after I've exited out of the file and open it again?

The Level Display Type of On/Off Switch should be set to View Display. Global Freeze and Global Display will not keep a particular level off the next time the file is opened.



When I copy existing road eop line from Photogrammetry file it changes to default level. I noticed that in the levels list I can't find anything with "Exist Road*". Why can't I get the existing EOP lines on the correct level?

For an explanation as to why Roadway can not create or copy other NCDOT Unit's levels, click on the below link.

Exist Roads EOP Level Question

In addition, if you want to create a Roadway existing EOP file on a correct level (for NCWedge or Criteria), then from a 3D DTM file, Export to 2D from the File menu. mic0026.jpg

If a DTM file does not exist, then simply copy the original Photogrammetry file and rename it to Roadway's. Delete all levels except the Exist Roads EOP level in the Roadway EOP file. ​


We are receiving Microstation files with elements being locked. Can you please explain the various ways elements can be locked and unlocked for editing in a Microstation file?




Sometimes when I go into a file, the raster image (Mr. SID) file is displayed as referenced. However, there are no rasters attached under Raster Manager. Other times, when the raster are displayed as attached, the rasters are displayed as locked or "ghosted" out and can not be detached under Raster Manager. Is my design file corrupted? Can you offer some explanation of this occurrence?

Most of the time, the file is not corrupted. Raster images that are attached as part of the referenced DGN file, are controlled by the that particular referenced DGN file via the References dialog box and not by Raster Manager.

To better explain why this is so, consider the following sketches.
1. A raster file is referenced by a DSN file.

2. The DSN file is referenced by the PSH (Plan Sheet) file with Display Raster References checked on (defined later on).

3. Because the raster file is attached with the referenced DSN file, Raster Manager will display it as locked. The raster file can not be detached directly from Raster Manager.


4. To remove the "locked" raster file from the Raster Manager list, simply uncheck Display Raster References under the References dialog box, Attachment Settings property. This can be performed before or after the referenced DGN file is attached to the active DGN file.

It is possible to turn off just the raster file only and not the referenced DGN (DSN) file with this option.


Display Raster References (Roadway's definition)

Option to also display the raster file attached (if attached) to the DGN file being referenced. The option to turn on or off this feature is made available before and after attaching a referenced DGN file to the active DGN file under the References dialog box (not Raster Manager). However, if this option is checked on under the References dialog box, Attachment Settings, then Raster Manager will display the raster file as locked. If this option is not checked, then Raster Manager will not display the raster file as part of the list. Note that this not the same as attaching a raster file directly by using Raster Manager. This option pertains to ONLY referencing DGN files with a raster file attached to them.

Note that if the raster file is directly attached to the active DGN file by Raster Manager, then the raster file will appear as unlocked. Since all raster images are attached as "Read-Only" with Raster Manager, modification to the images is limited to a certain degree. Controls such as the image Contrast and Brightness can modified when the raster file appears unlocked under Raster Manager.


 --- IMPORTANT ---
It is imperative that one understands the effect of Display Raster References has in referencing, displaying, and modifying raster images. It could lead to a potential major problem when this option is used in conjunction with reference live nesting with a depth of more than one (we have already encountered this situation). At this stage it may be difficult trying to locate which nested referenced DGN file(s) has the attached rasters being displayed. It is our recommendation that this option is left unchecked for general purpose and usage. Our intent is to attach the rasters directly with Raster Manager and not indirectly from a locked raster files from a referenced DGN file. On a few occasions and for some Geopak processes, such as the Plan and Profile Sheets Layout Tool, this option is checked on (manually or automatically). We will look into configuring this option to automatically, by default, to be unchecked. Option to have it checked is and will always be made available.

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