Have you ever needed to find the shortest distance between two objects in your drawing? Civil 3D has a command for just that. Personally, I think this command should be in AutoCAD as almost anyone in any industry could benefit from it, but that’s another topic. You will find this command on the Analyze tab of the ribbon. There you will need to expand the Inquiry panel to find the command Minimum Distance Between Entities.
When you run the command you will be asked to select the first entity and then the second, the order here really doesn’t matter. Next you will be asked if you want to draw a line showing the location of the shortest distance. Civil 3D then draws the line and reports the distance at the command line along with the x,y coordinates of the start and end of that shortest distance line.
The command reports a 2D distance regardless of the elevation of the object you select and it works with any object, including Civil 3D objects like Alignments. This is one of those great tools when you need it, you just need to know it’s there and where to find it as it is hidden on a ribbon panel that needs to be expanded to see it.