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All Places > Trimble Business Center Group > Blog > 2017 > June

This week’s tip of the week is inspired from a comment on a previous tip (Thanks Barney Brotherhood !).  Selection Sets are used to create groups of object(s) allowing for efficient segmentation and selection for future calculations, drafting, and modeling.  The Selection Explorer in TBC enables users to create, modify, and remove Selection Sets.

In this data set, there are several types of data such as post-processed baselines, total station observations, leveling lines, control coordinates, and network-adjusted points.  We will create a group (Selection Set) of all observations going to and from point 1011.

Follow these steps to create a Selection Set:

  1. Select all data going to and from point 1011 by clicking and holding the left mouse button and dragging to the left across all data surrounding point 1011

  2. Once the data is selected, navigate to the Data tab in the TBC ribbon, select the Selection Set dropdown list, and select Selection Explorer.  The Selection Explorer is used to manage and view Selection Sets in the TBC project.

  3. In the Selection Explorer, use the top toolbar buttons or right click on the selected data list to save the selection as a new set

  4. Name the selection and press OK

  5. Once created, the newly created set is displayed in the Selection Explorer.  TBC automatically creates Selection Sets for any data imported into TBC as well.

  6. To turn Selection Sets on/off, tab to the View Filter Manager and select the second drop down list to choose the desired selection set(s)


Another tip - You can access the Selection Explorer from the right-click menu



Enjoy utilizing the Selection Explorer and Sets to efficiently segment and manage your survey data!

Please comment on this post or send the TBC team a message on Trimble Community if you would like to a see a certain topic in a future tip of the week.

Happy Surveying,




TBC Team

Tip #15 - Using Best-Fit Line to Draft Catenary Lines


Did you know you can use the Best-Fit Line to draft catenary power lines in TBC?  This accurate and time-saving tool creates a 3D linestring that can then be used to compute and document minimum clearances, in a Plan Set, or exported in a third-party data format.


Here’s a typical situation:



Station View in TBC - Panorama and Point Cloud data


Powerline and tower data has been collected by a Trimble VISION instrument.  Included in the data are points along the powerline, either through scans and/or Direct Reflex (DR) topo in the field, or Virtual DR in TBC.  


In this example, the powerline data is a part of some SX10 station setup scans.  After refinement with the Classify Regions and Keep In/Keep Out commands to extract the power lines you wish to draft, view the powerlines in 3D View:


Point Cloud only view in 3D


Point Cloud Data after Region Classification, Turning Regions off in View Filter, and using Keep Out to Remove Points


Using the Polygon Select tool, create a selection polygon around one powerline at a time to select each point on the powerline.  Open the Best-Fit Line command in the CAD tab (licensed by the Advanced Drafting module) and match these settings:


Best-fit Line Command and settings


Click OK and repeat for the other two power lines.


Finished 3D Linestrings


Once completed, you’ll have three 3D linestrings for use in your TBC deliverable!


Station View with Power Lines Drafted


Special thanks to Chad Lewis for the data set and workflow suggestion this week!

Customized Keyboard Shortcuts, Ribbons, and the Quick Access Toolbar - Tip of the Week #14


Did you know that you can launch commands using customized keyboard shortcuts and customize ribbons in TBC?


In the Support tab, click the Define Command Shortcuts command.


In the Define Command Shortcuts window, select the TBC command in the left drop-down box and match to a pre-defined keyboard shortcut in the right drop-down box.  The command can also generate an Excel spreadsheet to report on all defined keyboard shortcuts with the Excel Report button.



Link as many TBC commands as you want, your changes are automatically saved to TBC’s active layout.  The active layout, which includes the keyboard shortcuts and the Ribbon and Quick Access Toolbar layouts, can be saved to a *.bin or *.xml file and exported to other TBC workstations or for retention when updating to the latest TBC release.


Right click to the right of the commands in any TBC tab and select either of the Customize... options.



In this window, you can drag-and-drop commands to the existing or user-created Ribbons or to the Quick Access Toolbar.  To export your changes, use the Export button at the bottom of the menu and save a *.bin or *.xml file.




To import a *.bin file on another workstation or to reload after a new TBC install, use the same approach, except click the Import button.  Navigate to where the *.bin or *.xml file is saved, select it in the Import window, and your custom Keyboard Shortcuts, Ribbons, and Quick Access Toolbars will load in TBC.


Make TBC fit your drafting and workflow needs with Define Command Shortcuts and Customize Ribbons and Quick Access Toolbar and work more efficiently today!

Using the Explore Objects Command - Tip of the Week #13


There are many data review tools in TBC, from Properties, Spreadsheets, and the Project Explorer.  But, did you know about the Explore Objects command?


When you explore objects, such as linestrings, alignments, or stored cross-sections, you can see geometric values from specific locations or stations, selectable in a graphic view.


For this tip, let’s look into the Explore Objects command for horizontal alignments.


With a roadway half defined with templates, as shown below, launch the Explore Objects command (available in the Corridor tab) and click a horizontal alignment.  Move the cursor along the alignment and notice the magnet snap which displays the station and elevation along the horizontal alignment.



Click when you’ve gotten the desired station or enter the station value into the Station text box.


Horizontal Alignment Coordinate, Horizontal Segment, and Vertical components are listed at the station and offset along the alignment selected.  In this example, the station is 3+83.25 and offset is -41.384 (negative offset is to the left of the alignment).



An additional application is to use the Reference Line to view information about an element, like a polyline in this example, relative to another, like a horizontal alignment, as shown.



Click when you’ve gotten the desired station or enter the station value into the Station text box, as before.



The Coordinate On Line, Horizontal Segment, and Reference Geometry information can be used for planning a cross-slope tie line, as in this example.


Give the Explore Objects command a try for linework (polylines, linestrings, polygons, breaklines, CAD lines, and sloping lines), horizontal and vertical alignments, and stored cross-sections.