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Hello folks and welcome to the reading of another TBC Tip of the Week. Thank you to the very knowledgeable Alan Sharp for this tip, he sure knows TBC!


When modelling and creating a corridor in TBC, it is common for many templates to be used. Would you believe me if I told you most corridors can be modelled with just one? There is a trick to this! (Hint, it’s using the ‘undefined’ (?) character in template instructions)


Here I have created a corridor using an imported alignment.



I will now create a template using Corridor > Corridor > Insert Template with Begin station: 0+00.00.

Insert Corridor Template


In the Edit Corridor Template command pane, Under Offset/slope from: select 1 > HAL (HAL is my alignment name). This selects the start point for the instruction to be referenced from. Under Offset: select Table.

Edit Corridor Template - Create Instruction


Select the three ellipses to open the table.


I filled the table out as below. For the pavement of my corridor, I want a gradual change from 0’ from the alignment to 12ft from station 1+80 to 2+20. I want a 12ft width until station 3+00 where I have an intersection and want to have a gap in this template. I want the template to resume at station 3+80.

Instruction Table


I set the Slope % to -2.00% and named the instruction EOPR (Edge of Pavement Right). Click Add.


The instruction is shown on the plan (and 3D View). Notice the use of the ‘undefined’ (?) character has created a gap in the instruction in the template. This allows the input of repeating sections of a corridor quickly and easily.

End Result of Corridor Template

TBC - From Field to Finish With Confidence.

In many situations it is useful to create a point between two 3D points, with an interpolated elevation and a desired horizontal offset from one of the lines; here's how that can be done easily and efficiently!


I have two points separated by 141m horizontal, 10m vertical. In the plan view I have the point elevation displayed.


Short version:

Create Linestring between the two points. (direction matters)

On the Edit ribbon, use the break line command.

Create a point at End of line. (In Create Point drop-down)


Detailed version: 

First is to Create Linestring between the two points, starting from the point you want to set the offset distance.

I have drawn the line from point 1 to 2. After opening the Create Linestring command, you can press "Enter" to skip the first menu, and go directly to selecting the start and end points of your line. After clicking the two points, pressing "Esc" twice will exit the command.


Next, go to Edit > Lines > Break


Select the line (if it's not already), and enter the distance along the line you would like to create the new point. (This is why the direction the line was created matters) I would like my new point to be 50m from the start point.


Hit Break or press "Enter" on the keyboard.


Next, CAD > Points > Create Point (select the drop down) > End


Select the end of the broken line, and click Add or press "Enter". A point will be created here.


 If the linestrings are not desired, they can be deleted.


And there you have it! 


TBC - From Field to Finish With Confidence

Hello fellow TBC’ers! Happy friday!


Short and sweet one this week for you folks, I learned this myself recently and hopefully it soon becomes common knowledge!

When navigating the plan or 3D views in TBC, often it is useful to use the Zoom Extents command on the View ribbon, but moving the mouse to the top left corner of TBC takes just as long as zooming out using the scroll wheel. Fear not! There is a shortcut to Zoom Extents which will always be in reach.


Simply double click on the scroll wheel of your mouse, and TBC will Zoom Extents. The 3D view will maintain the angle with which you are viewing your data when you double click the scroll wheel.


TBC - From Field to Finish with Confidence

Joe Blecha

TBC Power Hour Vault

Posted by Joe Blecha Aug 7, 2018

Here you'll find links to recordings and tentative schedules for the TBC Power Hour sessions:



August - Volumetric Computation Workflows

September - Survey Feature Coding and Attribution

October - How to integrate total station, level, and GNSS data

November - How to seamlessly integrate Survey data with GIS data

December - Trimble V10 Point Clouds From Pictures: Data Capture and Processing Demonstration



January - Working with Level Data

February - Efficiently Create Survey Drafting Deliverables

March - Integrating RTK, Total Station, Level and User Entered Data

April - Working with Total Station Data

May - Network Adjustment Workflows and Best Practices

June - Advanced Drafting Workflows

July - Efficient As Staked Workflows using TBC and Trimble Access

August - Utilizing Trimble Access Pipelines Module and TBC to Streamline Pipeline Workflows

September - Baseline Processing Workflows

October - Topographic Map Creation Using Trimble SX10

November - Trimble SX10 Roading and Corridor Workflows using Trimble Access and TBC

December - UAS Processing using new TBC/UASMaster Workflows



January - New TBC Tools For Cadastral Survey Workflows

February - Data Traceability Using Customized Reporting

March - Streamlining Workflows Using Templates, Styles, and Libraries

April - TBC for Machine Control

May - Enhance Your Deliverables Using Trimble VISION and TBC

June - Field to Finish with Confidence

July - Defining + Working with Grid + Ground Coordinates

August - Traverse Adjustment vs. Network Adjustment

September - Introducing Trimble Clarity

October - Legal Description Writer and Map Closures in TBC

November - Site Calibrations and Local Site Settings

December - The TBC Team... Live! - December 20th - Session 1 and Session 2



January - Working with Point Clouds in TBC

February - BIM for Land Surveyors

March - COGO Routines in TBC

April - WYDOT Presents Roading Workflows in TBC

May - Going Underground in TBC... with Tunnels

June - Going Vertical in TBC... with Projected Surfaces

July - The Latest TBC Cadastral Workflows: Re-establishing Corners, Ground Labeling, Survey Plats, + More

August - Processing Delair UX11 Aerial Data in TBC

September - Office to Field Workflows using Trimble Sync Manager

October - Autodesk Interoperability and TBC Feature Coding

November - Three Survey Construction Workflows in TBC v5.00

December - The TBC Team... Live! Part 2



January - Using SX10 and Sonarmite Data Together in TBC

February - MX9 Mobile Mapping Workflows in TBC 

March - TBC Cutting Plane Workflows


Up Next:

April 24th - Scanning Workflows in TBC for Street Topo and Structural Facades - register here 


Got a suggestion for a TBC Power Hour topic?  Want your favorite TBC personalities to break down a specific topic or workflow in TBC?  Comment below!

Happy to partner with Delair and announce the TBC August Power Hour on August 29th...


Processing Delair UX11 Aerial Data in TBC


Unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) have rapidly worked their way into the geospatial industry as useful and economical technology for data collection. With the increase of solutions on the market today, selecting the right hardware, processing software, and workflow for your needs is not always easy, but critical to your success. This month’s TBC Power Hour session will show how pairing Delair’s UX11 UAS hardware with the processing and deliverable capability from TBC is a viable, streamlined, and familiar solution for your UAS surveying needs.


Sign up here for free!

Geospatial Webinars 

Good day Ladies and Gentlemen! It’s Tip of the Week day, I hope this excites you as much as it does me! An aside before we dive in: A study was published in the Journal of Science last week by a team of Italian researchers, they have compelling evidence that liquid water exists under the poles of Mars. I think scientific developments like these are so cool. Find the study here:


When selecting points, linework, and objects within TBC, did you know the direction the selection is made affects the way objects are selected? This can be done in both the Rectangle and Polygon selection modes.


Rectangle Select can be selected in two locations by default, in the quick access toolbar at the top of TBC, and on the “Data” ribbon under Select.


To select only objects completely contained by the rectangle, drag from left to right. Below, only the lamp post CAD object and the two points, 1050 and 1051 are selected.


When the rectangle select rubber band is drawn from right to left, any object partially contained within the rectangle will be selected as shown below. The selection area is shown with a dotted line to indicate it will select objects partially contained. In the same selection area, this time from right to left, the linework of the parking lot island is also selected.


The Polygon Select command can be found right next to the Rectangle Select command in both the quick access toolbar and “Data” ribbon under Select.


The Polygon Select command has similar functionality to the Rectangle Select command. When the selection area is drawn clockwise, only objects completely contained are selected. When the selection area is drawn counterclockwise, any object partially contained is selected.


Click and drag to start the polygon select command. Insert additional vertices by clicking, and double click to finish drawing the polygon.


As seen below, when drawing the polygon in a clockwise direction, only objects completely contained are selected.


When the polygon is drawn counterclockwise, any object partially contained is selected.

Here two very different polygons can be used to select this group of CAD tree objects.


I hope you enjoyed this week’s tip of the week, and hopefully this helps to streamline your day just a little bit more!


TBC - From Field to Finish with Confidence

Hello TBC'ers! This week we have a short but effective one for you.


It is very beneficial in cadastral workflows, and watch out for it used in the July 25, 2018 Power Hour! How’s that for a hook? You’re stuck reading now for sure!


Picture this, you’re tasked with carrying out a cadastral survey. (crazy!) You’re emailed a PDF copy of the subdivision plan, and you get to work.


First up, entering the boundaries of your parcel into TBC. Fortunately, we have a great tool to both streamline your workflow and maintain confidence your COGO values were entered correctly.


First off, drag the image into your project in TBC. TBC Supports .bmp, .gif, .jpg, .png, and .tif image files.



TBC recognizes the file you have dropped in is an image, and prompts you with the Place Image command pane. This pane serves the purpose of scaling and rotating the image to match the project.

I opted to use the Line with distance and bearing method. As part of this process I entered the distance I read off the plan, selected the beginning and end of that line in the “From pixel” and “To pixel” boxes. I entered the bearing from that line into the “Bearing” box. NOTE: It is important to match the bearing (or azimuth) to the “From” and “To” pixels selected.


Right click on the image under “Imported Files” on the Project Explorer, select properties.


Under Render Settings, the Transparency of the image can be adjusted. I find 40-60% is a good range for most workflows.


On the Home ribbon, under Images you will find Georeference. Using the Georeference command, an image can be matched to survey points collected in the field. This is a great way to visually inspect points to ensure they closely match the paper plan.


The georeferencing is performed by selecting “Add”, picking an image coordinate in the Plan View, then selecting a point or entering a coordinate. A minimum of 3 points is required to georeference.


After georeferencing, visual inspection can be performed to ensure close agreement between a drafted deliverable and the original plan.


Check out the power hour mentioned above for a run through of Single & Double Proportioning routines, Labelling, CreateCOGO and more!


TBC - Field to Finish with Confidence



A production issue was identified by the Trimble Clarity team on July 12, 2018 where the ‘Publish to Clarity’ upload functionality became unavailable for those users on Trimble Clarity Publisher version 1.1.119.   We now have a downloadable patch to resolve the issue. 


We highly encourage everyone to apply this patch to the current TBC Version 4.10 as soon as you can to resume publishing Clarity Presentations.


  • Go to Control Panel > Programs and Features and Uninstall your existing Trimble Clarity Publisher version (1.1.119) installed on your system

  • Download TrimbleClaritySetup.msi (Installer) file from

  • Once TrimbleClaritySetup.msi (Installer) is downloaded to your system, double click the file to install a new version (1.1.126) of the Trimble Clarity Publisher.


The patch will advance your Trimble Clarity Publisher from version 1.1.119 to 1.1.126 as seen in your Control Panel Add and Remove Programs list.


The patch will also be available via the TBC 'Check for Updates' mechanism soon.


Thank you,

The Trimble Clarity Team

Hope everyone is having an excellent July! I sure am, it hasn’t rained once this week so I’ve managed to enjoy my dinner outside. It’s the little things in life isn’t it?


A few weeks ago (Tip of the Week #46 to be exact!) we discussed Ortho Snaps. This week will be complementary to that, Object Snaps! After today's tip, you’ll be an expert on what each and every one of these snap modes do. To access Object Snap options, left click the Snap button on the bottom right side of the TBC window in the Status Bar.


The Running Snap Mode Options window appears.


The first thing of note, in the bottom right side of the window are the Snap Mode Priority commands. This allows you to change the priority with which each of these snaps occur. Have you ever had to zoom in to ensure your cursor is snapping to the point or line you intend and not something else? Adjusting priority allows you to ensure the snapping order closely matches your workflow to maximise efficiency.


Clicking on each of the Snap Modes gives a short description on the right side of the window, and additional information about each Snap Mode can be found in TBC Help by pressing F1 on your keyboard.



Point snap will snap the cursor to the nearby point. It is indicated by an circle around the point which will be snapped to. As you can see below, when the cursor hovers over the snap for ~2 seconds, the snap mode being used is shown. This removes all the guesswork, instilling confidence.



End Point

End Point will snap to the end point of a line which is not defined by a point. End Point Snaps are designated by a square.



Midpoint is shown by a triangle. They snap the cursor to the midpoint of an arc or line segment.


Intersection Point

Intersection Point snaps to the intersection of two lines. It is indicated by a circle.



Perpendicular Point

Perpendicular Point snaps to the point on an adjacent line where the line being drawn and the line being snapped on are perpendicular. It is indicated by a 90° angle symbol.



Center Point

Center Point snaps to the center of a curve. The point can first be displayed by moving the cursor to the curve.

The center point is displayed by a green circle. This circle turns orange when it is being snapped to with the cursor nearby.



Tangent Point

Tangent Point snaps a line to the point along the curve at which the line being drawn is tangent to that curve. It is shown by an open circle with a tangent line on it. Notice both points on the circle at which the line can be tangent are shown.



Circle Quadrant Point

Circle Quadrant Point snap will enable to user to quickly snap to the north, south, east, or westernmost point on a circle. These are indicated by diamonds.


Surface Vertex

Surface Vertex snaps the cursor to a, you guessed it, vertex on a surface! It is displayed by a circle.



Near Point

Near Point selects any point in particular along a given line or arc segment. It is indicated by a circle. Useful for ensuring lines connect to other lines!


Insertion Point

Insertion Point snaps to the point set as the insertion point for text or block objects. It is indicated by a +.



And finally, Free! This is by default selected, but with it unselected, lines will be unable to be snapped to anything they shouldn’t be, in other words, lines can only be snapped to points, lines, and other objects. I don’t think a screenshot is necessary on this one.


That was a long one folks, thanks for sticking with it right to the end! Hopefully this will make a good resource for you down the road, and maybe even save a few clicks and time!


TBC - From Field to Finish with Confidence.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls, geometry nerds of all varieties! A short and sweet one for you this week folks.


If you would like to follow along at home, the data I will be using (which is an excellent dataset for practicing network adjustment routines) and detailed information/instructions can be found on the page TBC Tutorials. Use the “download link…” for Adjusting the Network under the section Performing common workflows to download this data as well as an instructional PDF for the network adjustments tutorial. Might I also take this opportunity to promote the fabulous help documentation in TBC, it can be accessed any time by pressing the F1 key, I find myself referring to it often.


In the Adjust Network command, when working with data of varying qualities or precisions, it is often useful to be able to adjust the standard errors associated with your measurements. In TBC the default setting is to have the components broken down into horizontal and height standard errors.


A nifty trick to add to the toolbelt for any geometry aficionado is about to be exposed. If you know about this already, congratulations! You’ve spent some time digging through the project settings and have discovered one of the many gems of TBC.


Go to project settings, this can be accessed through the quick access toolbar at the top of the TBC window, or from the top of the Adjust Network command pane.


Under Units > Coordinate, for Expand horizontal standard errors: Select “Yes”.

(Please excuse my display order set to Northing, Easting, Elevation if you’re a type that follows the Easting, Northing, Elevation convention, I like to stand out.)


Click Ok to close the project settings menu.


Notice now that the individual North and East standard error components can be adjusted to really dial in your network adjustment and achieve the best results to match your local conditions.


It is important to note, the check boxes associated with each point must be checked for the entered values to be used in the adjustment.


“The larger the value you enter, the more freedom the adjustment will have to move the adjusted position away from the control coordinate and the larger the error ellipses will be for fixed and propagated points.” -TBC help documentation


And there you have it folks! Hopefully you’ve been inspired today to open up an old project and see if you can squeeze a bit more improvement from those residuals. I know I have!


TBC - From Field to Finish with Confidence.

Happy Monday fellow TBC’ers! If you’re reading this on a different day of the week, happy (insert that day here)! This week’s Tip of the Week will be investigating “Ortho Snap Modes”. Ortho Snap Modes enable you to draw polylines horizontal and vertical with respect to grid coordinates, and easily draw polylines orthogonal to other polylines. To select these options, left click the Snap button on the bottom right side of the TBC window in the Status Bar.



Select the second tab, Ortho Snaps.

The default mode is Off, this enables the curser to move freely in any direction and is not locked to any axis. The “Snap Mode Description” section gives information about each of the options, these are what I will go through.

The second mode, Ortho, restricts the curser to horizontal and vertical positions. It is a huge time saver when doing edits to plan templates or drawing geometric features; given those features are aligned horizontally/vertically (read on for working with features not aligned horizontally/vertically). There are two other ways to toggle Ortho mode. The first, by left clicking “Toggle ortho snap mode” in the Status Bar.


This button, represented by a right angle, is displayed highlighted blue when Ortho mode is active, and grey as above when Ortho Snap Modes is Off.

And the second, by holding down Shift on the keyboard. In fact, while holding the shift key the “Toggle ortho snap mode” button turns blue to indicate that Ortho mode is active. Give it a try now! Neat hey?

With Ortho mode turned on, either by selecting it in the Ortho Snap Modes menu or by holding the Shift Key while drawing polylines, the curser can be snapped to other lines to set the endpoint of the line being drawn to align with the snapped vertices. This can be done with any feature you can snap to.

The two horizontal lines are now the same length and the left sides line up vertically.

The third option in “Ortho Snap Modes” is Ortho Tracking. This option locks the cursor to the horizontal/vertical axis when the cursor approaches the axis without the need to use the Shift Key. If working with non-horizontal/non-vertical features, this mode will also lock orthogonally from a previously drawn line segment.

The X drawn through the cursor indicates that the position is currently locked to an alignment, removing any guesswork as to if it is currently locked. With Ortho Tracking enabled, geometric features can be drawn giving the ability to quickly and easily draft unmeasured corners on geometric objects.

When Ortho Tracking mode is selected, holding the shift key returns TBC to Ortho mode, to ensure you can easily snap line lengths when drawing polylines.


I hope you’ve enjoyed this weeks’ Tip of the Week!

TBC - From Field to Finish with Confidence.

This weeks’ tip of the week is for the drafting users in the audience. It’s a little known shortcut for making arcs from polylines. (Note that this will not work with linestrings)


Start by drawing a polyline. It can be as simple as one line or a complex feature.




Next, in File > Options, or from the Quick Access Toolbar.




Ensure the “Turn on CAD grips” checkbox is selected.


This toggles end and midpoint grips for straight lines and curves.



With the rightmost polyline selected, double click on the midpoint grip, represented by a triangle. (End points of polylines are represented by squares)



The polyline changes to an arc, wow!


By clicking and dragging the midpoint grip, the radius of the arc can be adjusted.



Adjacent polylines can be adjusted individually, to create and replicate complex real world arc features.



The polyline arcs cannot be made to have a diameter larger than the distance between the two end points.

A useful application of this is the ability to draft circles with two points at opposite sides of the circle. For example, take points 100 and 101 below.



Draw a polyline between the points, double click the midpoint grip to convert the polyline to an arc, and drag it the maximum distance either up or down.



This creates a semi-circle with a diameter the distance between points 100 and 101.

Repeat the process, except this time drag the midpoint of the arc the other direction, and a circle is formed.



And voila! A circle from two points. Break time? Break time.


TBC - Field to Finish with Confidence.

As a professional surveyor, one always working with the same mental and manual precision as your world-class Trimble hardware, you never make any mistakes when feature coding topo in the field right?  Perfection for each shot, for every job, every day of your five (or six or seven!) day work week, right?

Well, if you are like the author and subject to the occasional fat-finger, short occupation, or mis-code, you’ll love the new Lock geometry feature in TBC v4.10 that helps you retain office edits to feature coded geometry.

Take a topo, any topo, like the Processing Feature Code TBC tutorial data set:

Turn off the RTK Vectors, Total Station observations, and Media Folders in the View Filter Manager by unchecking the corresponding boxes under the Raw Data header and process the feature code library by using the Process Feature Codes command in the Survey tab.  Any questions on these steps? Check out the Processing Feature Codes tutorial, available at:


Linework, symbols, line styles, labels, and more are created with a click of a button (with the help of your pre-configured FXL of course!).  Now, just suppose that the field surveyor missed a breakline point in their topo work, along the line boxed in red, points 893-894-895. Focusing, zooming in, and selecting the Properties of the line:

Note that the linestring is feature ‘EdgePvmt’ (Edge of Pavement).  Note how there is a new property under the Feature header called Locked and it is set to no.  More on this later. Adding that missed point manually in TBC, between 894 and 895, using the Edit Linestring command:

And the edge of pavement geometry is now complete.  Here’s the enhancement. View the Properties of the EdgePvmt linestring again:

Notice how now the Locked value is set to Yes.  When the locked is set to Yes, your manuel edits to the feature coded geometry will remain even if you re-process the data source.

To illustrate this, check out the Process Feature Codes again, select the same data source and select the Process Source(s) button:

The manually edited EdgePvmt linestring keeps the added vertex.

If you wish to remove that vertex, you can manually delete it in Edit Linestring or you can set the Locked to no and re-process the data set.

And the manually added vertex is removed.

This new locking property is quite handy when dealing with complex data sets or multiple days of work in the same TBC project.  Keep your edits as you complete your QC checks and manual edits now in TBC v4.10.

TBC - From Field to Finish with Confidence.

Believe it or not, Trimble is not just a provider of world-class field-to-finish survey CAD office software, we make industry-leading GNSS units too, among others!  And, we’ve help the broad geospatial community by publishing a new HTML JavaScript-based GNSS Planning Online tool.  Check it out at:

Set your position graphically or with Lat/Longs, enter height, elevation cutoff mask, day and time parameters, along with a constellation toggle to set the satellites you wish to use.

Hit ‘Apply’ and view elevation and satellite charts:

and a skyplot over your time and location:

In addition, check out the World View, plotting the location of satellites around the globe at the given time and mask, run time-lapse to put the satellites in motion, and overlay the TEC or Scintillation Ionosphere maps:

GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, BeiDou, and QZSS constellations are supported and the new online planning tool is compatible with all web browsers.  English, German, Chinese (Simplified), Spanish, and French languages are supported.

In addition, get status updates for each satellite in the ‘Satellite Library’ tab, with information included like status, eccentricity, inclination, clock offset, and more!

Watch for the new tool to be linked in TBC in a future release!

TBC - From Field to Finish with Confidence.

Did you know you can use the *.SHX file to assure that your point symbols used in TBC translate exactly into AutoCAD?  Thanks to Evelina from TBC’s QA team, here’s how...


Symbols can be assigned to points in TBC using the Point Symbol command.



However, when you export a DXF or a DWG from the Export command in TBC, the point symbols are not transferring to AutoCAD with the same appearance. These symbol differences are shown in the screenshot below.



To correct this, copy the file symbol.shx from the TBC installation folder to the Autodesk installation Support folder.


These are the default folder locations where each software program is installed: Trimble Business Center -  C:\Program Files\Trimble\Trimble Business Center and Autodesk Support folder - C:\Program Files\Autodesk\AutoCAD [Version Number]\Support.



If you’ve installed either software package in locations other than the default, the installation directory is likely different so first check where each program is installed. Search for the symbol.shx file from the TBC installation folder and copy it to Autodesk Support folder.


Once you copy the symbol.shx file, export the TBC project as a DXF or DWG again, then all of the default TBC point symbols will be visualized correctly in AutoCAD, as shown by the symbols below:



You'll only have to do this once to assure that your TBC symbols match in your version of AutoCAD.


Thanks Evelina!


TBC - From Field to Finish with Confidence.