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Tip #144: The Add Legend Command

By Erin Johnson posted 03-19-2021 07:57


Good morning TBC’ers! Have you ever created a surface or cut/ fill map and wished you could quickly interpret what values the colors represent on your surface or map in a graphic view? Well, today I will be showing you a simple yet extremely handy command: the Add Legend command. The Add Legend command adds a color key to any surface or cut/ fill map. The legend helps you understand what elevation each color on a shaded surface denotes, or what depths the colors on a cut/ fill map stand for. 


Note: It is important to understand that legends only appear when a surface’s Shading property is set to Elevation in the Properties Pane


To utilize the Add Legend command, follow these steps:

1. Navigate to the Surfaces ribbon and select Legend under Edit:

2. Enter in a title for your legend in the Title field:


You can also click browse to open the Text Editor where you can add multiple rows of text. Press [Shift] + [Enter] to move to the next line of text. 


Note: The width of the legend is determined by the length of the title and the size of text specified in the selected text style at the current plot scale. To make it narrower, break the title into multiple lines of text or change the height of the text style. 

Note: The size of the legend is controlled by the program’s plot scale. To change the plot scale, select Project Settings in the Quick Access Toolbar. After the legend has been created, changing the plot scale does not affect the size of the legend or text, in ground units. 

3. Select a layer to assign your legend to in the Layer field:

4. Select the surface or cut/ fill map that you would like to create a legend for in the Surface or cut/ fill map drop-down:

5. Place your cursor in the Location point field, and then in the Plan View, click on where you would like your legend to be placed:

Note: Once the legend is created, it can be moved with the Move command. 

6. Assign a Title and Depth to your legend under the Text styles heading:

7. Click Apply at the bottom of the command pane, and your legend will display in the Plan View:


Tip: In the Properties Pane, you can also convert a legend to a table showing the area for each surface elevation band represented in the legend. Set Display areas to Yes


I hope this tip comes in handy next time you are working with surfaces or cut/ fill maps in TBC!