Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Mask Just One Object

Here's the situation you may find yourself in. You have an alignment that runs from one road to another. You want to display the alignment from the center line of the first road to the centerline of the second road but, you want to show the profile from the Right-of-Way to Right-of-Way. How do I get a piece of the alignment to not show. I know what you are thinking, "Wipeouts!" Wipouts are good but they have their drawbacks. You have to be carefull of draw order because they are indiscriminate little buggers. They wipeout anything and everything below them in the draw order.

Have I got great news for you! Peter Funk brought up an undocumented command in the Discussion Group (if you don't frequent the discussion groups, you really should) a while back. The command is Convertlineworktomaskblock. Yes, that's really the command and, yes, you have to type the entire thing out. Remember, this is an undocumented command. You can create an alias for it but the alias editor doesn't even recognize it as a command.

Ok, back to the problem. In the image below, you can see the situation. We have an alignment that we need for profiling purposes but we don't want to see the entire alignment in plan view.

So, let's create a closed polyline around the area we don't want to see.

And now we'll run our fancy dancy new command, convertlineworktomaskblock. Now this brings up the Convert to Mask Block dialog box. You want select the radio button for "Select AEC Objects to Mask" and check on "Erase layout geometry".

Hit OK, select your alignment, and away you go! Now, pay attention to this, this did not and will not mask out the surface because it is designed to mask out the alignment, and only the alignment, that I selected. It is independent of draw order.

In other words, it's a really cool tool! Once again, thanks has to go out to Peter Funk for this one.


Anonymous said...

This is a great tool but I notice that after running this command, my alignment label text style changes and I see no way to change it back.

Brian J. Hailey said...

That is probably one of the reasons it is an underdocumented command.