Dynamic Quick Sections Of A Surface

The Quick Section command is one of those Land Desktop commands that have been forgotten by many people.  This may have been for a good reason, because prior to Land Desktop 3 although the command would allow you to easily view a section through a surface there was no way to import the section into the drawing so that it could be plotted.  Once people found out about this shortcoming many of them just forgot about the command altogether.  This all changed in Land Desktop 3 when an option to Import the Quick Section was added to the Section Viewer.  This release also brought us the ability to use arcs in our section line.  With these improvements the Quick Section command has become a valuable tool, so lets take a little time to look at how to use it.
  1. You have to start, of course, by having a surface defined and set current.
  2. Now draw a polyline across the surface where you would like to view the section.  This polyline can contain multiple segments and even arcs.
  3. Select Terrain>> Sections>> View Quick Section.
  4. Now select the polyline that you drew earlier.
  5. This will display the Section Viewer.


  1. Now the fun begins because as you move or stretch the section line the Quick Section Viewer will automatically update.
  2. You can even change the vertical exaggeration, labeling, and colors by selecting Section>> View Properties in the Quick Section Viewer.


  1. You also have the option of displaying multiple surfaces in the Section Viewer so that you can see how they relate to one another.  To display multiple surfaces you will need to close the Section Viewer, if it is open.  Then select Terrain>> Sections>> Multiple Surfaces On/Off.  Finally choose the surfaces that you would like to display by selecting Terrain>> Sections>> Define Multiple Surfaces.
  2. Once the surfaces are displayed the way you would like to see them in the Section Viewer you can draft the section into the drawing by selecting Utilities>> Import Quick Section.  The display of the drafted Quick Section can be controlled with layers and don’t forget that it is only dynamic in the Section Viewer.  So if you want to reposition your section line you will need to import the section to the drawing again.
  3. A grid can be added to your drafted section by selecting Terrain>> Sections>> Grid For Sections.
I hope that this has helped to reintroduce you to a command that you may have forgotten about.  With the additions to the Quick Section command in Land Desktop 3 it has become a useful tool that you can use for anything from checking a surface to creating drawings.

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