Knowledge Base

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Selecting Features

Updated July 08, 2021

This article applies to:
  • Terrain 3D
  • Terrain Forestry
  • RoadEng Civil
  • RoadEng Forestry
This Knowledge Base article is an excerpt from one of our tutorial files. The files referenced in the article, as well as the full tutorial document, are available in our Tutorial Installer.  

A feature is a collection of points such as a contour line, a lake boundary or a single spot elevation point. Bitmap images are also considered to be features (in this case the corners of the bitmap are the feature points).

A Terrain document is a collection of features. Each feature has a unique name consisting of an 8-character Alphanumeric Id portion and a Numeric Id example ROAD-21. It is possible to have more than 1 feature with the same Alphanumeric ID such as STREAM-1, STREAM-2 etc.

Note: Feature names are not case sensitive "F1" = "f1".

The next several examples demonstrate how to select features by layer, name, range, property, boundary, or by using the mouse.

Selecting Individual Features with the Mouse

  1. File | Open <Terrain>\CAD\park map.terx

  1. Add the Feature Properties panel to your screen. Press the Freature Properties button from the bottom status bar.

  2. Press Move the Selection cursor, over one of the stream features in the Plan Window and left-click with the mouse. The stream feature should change color from blue to magenta (indicating that it is selected). Notice in the lower right corner the Name of the feature is displayed (STREAMCx-xx). Additional details on the feature are displayed in the Feature Properties panel including name, properties (displayed, connected, modelled etc), symbols, line-types etc.

  3. Select another feature. Notice when a new feature is selected, the previous feature is de-selected. The information in the window also changes to reflect that of the new feature.

Selecting Groups of Features with the Mouse

  1. Hold down the <Shift key> and left-click on a new feature. Notice that the previous feature remains selected. Use this technique to select several more features.

  2. With several features selected, press the delete key on the keyboard or select Feature Tools | Delete. The features are deleted and disappear.

  3. Press <ctrl + Z> or the undo arrow in the top left bar . Left-click in any blank area on screen to de-select all features.

  4. Depress the left mouse button and move the mouse any direction. Notice a rectangle is formed from the position where the mouse was first clicked. Release the left button. All features inside (or crossing) the rectangle are now selected.

  5. Hold down the <Shift key> and left-click on one of the selected features. This feature is de-selected and the other features remain selected.

  6. Left-click in any blank area on screen to de-select all features.

Selecting All Features

  1. Plan | Select button | All Features or Right-click… | Select Features > All.

Inverting Selection

  1. Hold the <shift> key down and left-click to de-select one of the features

  2. Plan | Select | Invert Selection. Feature(s) previously selected are now un-selected and all feature(s) previously un-selected are now selected. In this case one feature will be selected and the rest will be de-selected.

  3. Proceed to Step #2 in the next section, Selecting Features by Layer, or exit the program by selecting File | New. Do not save any changes.

Note: One of the selected features contains a red cross-hair. This indicates the current point. The feature containing the current point is the current feature. Information about the current feature and current point are displayed in the Status Window.

Most operations in the Terrain Module apply to a selected set of features or points such as formatting, moving, deleting etc.

Selecting Features by Name

  1. File | Open <Terrain>\CAD\park map.terx.

Note: Terrain Recreational users may get the message “Non-Permitted Functions Found in File”. If this message appears choose “Keep all functions and revert to DEMO Mode”.

If you are continuing from the previous example, select undo arrow in the top left bar .. Left-click in any blank area to de-select all features.

  1. Plan | Select Button |By Name from dropdown or Right-Click | Selected Feature(s) > By Name...

  2. Within the Select feature(s) by name dialogue box press the Advanced… button |Type “Survey” in the Select Matching Names | Select button. 52 items should come up as Selected. Press OK. The Selected features(s) by name dialogue box should appear as in the figure below.

Figure 1: Select Feature(s) by Name Dialogue

  1. If you scroll down on the sidebar you will see that many triangle features are selected and highlighted in magenta. These features have the name SURVEY.

Figure 2: Triangle Features Highlighted in Magenta

  1. File | New. Do not save any changes.

Selecting Features by Layer

Each feature has a unique ID. This name can be used to organize a map into different layers. For instance, in Park Map all Class 1 streams have been named STREAMC1 and Class 2 streams as STREAMC2. These names can be quickly used to select all Class 1 streams, Class 2 streams, or all streams.

  1. File | Open <Terrain>\CAD\park map.terx.

  1. Home | Select | By Layer from dropdown. The Select Features by Layer dialogue box is shown below.

Figure 3: Select Feature by Layer Dialogue Box

  1. Press the Un-Select All button to de-select all features.

  2. Select Streams (STREAM??) in the list-box and then press the Select button. The information in the Feature Counts changes indicating that 13 of the 94 features are streams. Press OK button to return to the main screen. The 13 selected streams are highlighted in magenta.

Note: Features can also be selected or de-selected by double-clicking with the left mouse when the cursor is over the feature name in the dialogue box.

  1. To create a new layer for the Class 1 streams: Home | Select | By Layer. Opens the ‘Select Features by Layer’ dialogue box.

  2. Within the ‘Select Features by Layer’ dialogue box. Press the Layers… button to bring up the Layers dialog shown below:

Figure 4: Add/Remove Layers Dialogue

  1. Press New. Fill in the fields, Layer Description: "Stream Class 1". Layer Matching String: “STREAMC1”. Press OK to return to the Select Features by Layer dialogue. Note that the new Layer Stream Class 1 has been added.

  2. Home | Select button |By Layer in dropdown list. Press the Un-Select All button to de-select all features. Select Streams Class 1 in the list-box and press the Select button to select all Class 1 stream features.

Look at the Streams item. Note the grey check mark beside Streams. This indicates that only part of the STREAM layer has been selected. Press OK to return to the main screen.

Turn off the display of all features except STREAMS.

  1. Home | Select | By Layer from dropdown list. Press Unselect All. Double-click on Streams (STREAM??) | Press OK.

  2. Home | Select | Invert Selection. This will this will switch the selected and unselected features so that all features are now selected except the streams features.

  3. Feature Tools | Feature Properties | uncheck Displayed box. Press OK to return to the main screen. You can also use the Feature Properties panel to uncheck Displayed.

  4. All the features are still displayed. Click on a blank area of the screen (where there are no features) to de-select all features. If any highlighted features still remain: View | Repaint All button.

Figure 5: Streams Layer

  1. File | New. Do not save any changes.