Smart text - Sum of areas in a layer

Hi Alan

Is there a way (using smart text) to show the dynamic sum of areas of items on a layer. I have a project at the moment that requires clearing area permit drawings but here is a limit to how much area can be opened up at any point. It would be handy at a quick glance to summarize the areas of open permits on a master drawing.



Good question Bruce

Do you want Plan or Surface Areas would be my first question - I assume for permitting you would likely only need plan areas unless it is related to surface water runoff or something where you may need 3D Areas?

There is no specific tool that does this exactly, however it would be relatively easy I think to write one and we could discuss that with you if needed, I think we could write that pretty fast and it would be added to the Modeling toolbox if we did write one as it is a Modeling / Report / Output / Drafting tool in my view based on my understanding. The tools that already exist are the following

  1. Draw Text - that allows you to embed smart text for one polygon at a time and label each of the polygons - you would need a calculator to add them up - I dont know of a way to create smart text that adds up multiples today

  2. Polygon Table - this allows you to add polygons areas to a table - as you open / close areas you could add / remove them from the table - but there is no sum function on this either so you would had to add them up individually

  3. If you make a Surface out of the Open Area Polygons and then add the polygons as surface boundaries, the surface will have a surface area, however we dont show the surface area as a property so you would have to run a report to get that or (see below) use Find Surface Area command. The Surface Area property cannot be drawn as Text either as there is no Smart Text object for Surface Area (I am going to ask for that to be added to the smart text items list)

  4. Surface Information Report will report areas of the same texture - so if you make a surface out of the boundaries, set the boundaries to be sharp and texture and then add a Texture (Defined as Open Area or Closed Area (and you can change the texture when they change) then the Surface Information Report will report the two types of area - if you want the sub areas then you have to use a different texture for each area (Open1, Open2 etc. but it sounds like you want the sum of the areas.

  5. The Find Surface Area command (TML) will allow you to click (SHIFT and Click) multiple areas and it will give you the sum of the Surface and Plan Areas and you can place it as text on the drawing, the text however is not dynamic so I would place the different types of areas on 2 layers so I could select By Layer quickly and then just move the boundaries from Open to Closed layers or vice versa as needed to make it fast to select them.

  6. The Track Region Outline command works on polylines (2D) or Linestrings (3D) , and if you have an outer boundary (whole site area) and then the boundaries inside (open or closed areas) then you can select the outer boundary and the Open or Closed Areas inside and it will display the Total Area and the Internal Exclusion Areas (which is the open or closed areas you selected.

If you want a specific command to do this then I would suggest the following

  1. Select all of the Open Areas (provide a Select button to show all those currently selected so you can pick ones to reassign to the other setting (closed) or unassigned)
  2. Select all of the Closed Areas (provide a Select button to show all those areas currently selected so you can pick ones to reassign to the other setting (Open)
  3. Set an Open Color and a closed color to shade the areas as Open or Closed
  4. Create a Dynamic Table that shows the following
  5. Define Table Properties to get Layers, Colors, Text Fonts and placement location
  6. Text could all be Black and White or colored based on Open or Closed Status
  7. Boundaries as they are changed from Open to Closed or Closed to Open would change fill color based on the Open and Closed Fills

If you change a boundary from Open to Closed or vice versa, the Table and Sum would be refreshed

Are there likely to be different groups of these - i.e. would you ever need multiple Tables showing different types of work etc?

Do we need to consider Plan and Surface Areas or just Plan Areas?

Would you need this data output to Excel for Reporting Purposes as well?

Area Name Open Area Closed Area

We could also label the areas at their centroids

If you want us to write this type of command as a priority it would likely take ~1 day to write is my guess, and we would ask you to subscribe to the All Tools Package (you can upgrade your existing license as needed) as I am trying to prioritize this type of request to All Tools subscribers as we cannot respond to absolutely everyone’s requests

Let me know


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Hi Alan

Thanks for the detailed response. To answer your queries:

At this stage is would be plan areas only but I figure that it may have multiple uses for other users so surface area may be a good option to have.

Also at this stage no but it may also be something useful as the job progresses for progress reporting.

That would a useful function

That would be great for cross referencing. The project I am looking at covers a length of 13 kilometres so will have a fair few sheets in a plan set. I aim to include the table as part of the title block legend so it is easy for clients to track.

That suggestion looks great. Areas can be shown as opened or closed easily and the colors will reflect that on the drawings. On this project the permit will be seen as “closed” once earthworks commences within that boundary. The aim is to keep a dynamic track of the open / unworked areas to ensure we don’t breach the clients limitation of total cleared (open) areas at any point.



Let me chat to the dev team in the morning - provided they think they can do this we can plan it this week - I will let you know and once you have ordered All Tools upgrade (I will send you a promo code to allow for your existing license) we can either pro rate the purchase for the remainder of your current license or credit you for what is left of your current license and reset your license with the new configuration for a year - let me know which you would prefer and I will send you a code to use

This seems like a good solution


HI Alan

Sounds good. I have purchased the RPS all tools toolbox this morning so we can sort out the difference down the line. If it is an option then maybe even just credit the balance for next years subscription renewal?