12d Model Configuration files “$User” directory;


12d environment file controls how 12d is to work, access standards or customized files.  This file is the master of all other 12d files and should be handled with care. EXDS advises you not to modify this file or change the provided “env.4d” file installed from 12d.

The “env_config.4d” file below is the preferred method of adding or overwriting specific options to configure 12d Model Software for your organization.


The configuration file can be used to access different client standards (user & user_lib), dongles and workspace set-ups.  Program=>Management=>Env configuration.

Project Settings / defaults.12dsettings

Project Settings are used to set display options (default colours, highlight colour, cross size, etc), decimal display, inquire styles, and a lot more.  The defaults.12dsettings file can be used to save the current settings, or to import settings from another 12d Project.  The Project Settings panel is under Project=>Settings


From 12d Model V14 onwards, the defaults file has been superseded by the Project Settings (see above).

For older Versions of 12d Model, this text file sets a number of project standards, such as highlight colour, save interval, and decimal display.  The Defaults panel is under Program=>Management=>Defaults


When starting a new project this file can automatically create a number of standard views, named correctly or start with various panels already pinned onto the project.

macros.4d & project_macros.4d

Both are simple text files with lines of code to run each macro or chain as you require.  The “macros.4d” file will run the specified macros/chains when a new project is created (only run once). The project_macros.4d file is run on existing 12d projects every time the project is entered /opened (likely to be run many times over the project life).


12d provides a number of user keys or “hot keys” for accessing panels or operation.  Users are able to modify the provided file and add additional commands to quickly access commonly utilized panels.

N Values (nvalues.4d)

For our 12d Model Survey customers, the N values.4d file sets up the definitions to be used for the separation distances between the geoid and the ellipsoid. These values are used in the Survey Data Reduction (SDR)process.  Further notes and information on this file is provided in the heading link, along with files to be downloaded for various GDA options.


Is a user defined list of specific String names, and also sets the model, colours, linestyles, symbols, text etc to help maintain standards across the organisation.

The file can be modified via, Project=>Management=>Tree;  Name mappings

Linestyl.4d / User_linestyl.4d

This text file defines the linestyles used by 12d and is provided as a standard file.  Users can created there own linestyles by saving the definitions to a user_linestyl.4d file in the User folder.  12d will automatically load the users linestyles along with the standard 12d linestyles.  Alternately, saving a linestyl.4d file into the user folder will replace all the standard 12d linestyles and leave only your customised list to choose from.

Project=>Management=>Tree;  Linestyles>Create

Symbols.4d / User_Symbols.4d

This text file works similar to the linestyle file described above.  Users are able to create a user_symbols.4d file to add to the standard 12d symbols.  Both symbols and linestyles are easy to create and users should be aware of the world and paper scale options for exporting or plotting of data from 12d and it’s effect on linestyles and symbols.  Eg. World will plot at 1 to 1.  Paper scale will reduce or enlarge the entity (linestyle or symbol) based on the scale provided by the user.

Project=>Management=>Tree;  Symbols>Create.


This text file loads all the colours to be used by the project.  12d Solutions have provided more than enough colours for plotting, text, visualisation, wipeouts, including the 256 Autocad and 256 Microstation colours.  So you have plenty.

This is one file we don’t believe you will need to edit!

Text Styles (textstyl.4d and fonts.4d)

12d Model is shipped with a number of font styles within the software.  If your company uses a font type not found in the standard 12d Model list, you will need to add the font type into 12d.

Textstyle Data Favourites (textstyle_names.4d)

This file can be customized to enable the correct text font, size, colour etc to be selected automatically from a drop downlist where text is required as part of other 12d panels.  This saves the user needing to select these standards for different operations and ensures consistency.

Project=>Management=>Tree;  Textstyle Data Favorites

Project Details (project_details.dtl)

The project details are defined by 12d Users and can contain information to be placed on all company title blocks or individual 12d Model objects as required. The project_details.dtl file can be edited using the Project=>Management=>Details Editor panel to match your requirements.  The linked video provides details on how to edit this file to your company needs.

Plotters.4d / User_plotters.4d

The plotters.4d text file is shipped with 12d and contains many useful PDF and plotting options for users as default.  Many older plotter types, such as V12.dwg and V14.dxf, have also been retained for users.  Users are able copy selected parts of the plotters.4d file into your own user_plotters.4d file that is saved into the User folder.

Autocad Mapping Files (*.amf)

This text file is referenced internally by the plotters.4d file and contains the coding necessary for the mapping of individual PPF colours to the correct layers, colour, linetype, in an Autocad DWT.

The Mapping File can be edited under Plot=>Plotting Setups=>ACAD plot map file.  To work correctly, the AMF file needs a corresponding DWT (Autocad drawing template) that already contains all of the definitions for layers, colours, linestyles, etc.

By setting up a user_plotters.4d file, you can add your own AMF and matching DWT to match your organisations standards when using PPF files.

Plotter Mapping Files (pmf.4d)

Users are able to create a number of PMF files for plotting directly to a printer.  The PMF file ensures the correct colours are mapped to the pen weights assigned by the user and so is able to obtain Blank and White plots, colour plots and plots for both A1 and A3 sheet sizes with different pen weights.

The PMF files are created/edited via the Plot=>Plotting Setups=>Plotter mapping editor.

Users are also able to change from using one PMF file to another (change from B&W to colour plots) via the Plot=>Plotter Setups=>Plotter mapping (pre 12d Model V14).

It is recommended that once a number of standard PMF files are created and saved into the user_lib folder, a copy of the most commonly used PMF file be renamed to pmf.4d and saved into the user folder.  12d will automatically use this file as default.


This file can be amended to provide different sheet size if required.  Available for editing via the Project=>Management=>Tree;  Sheet sizes.  Any new sheet sizes will then be available in the PPF panels for plotting.

Apply Template & Apply MTF Defaults

apply_default.4d & apply_many_defaults.4d

These default files can be modified to help users automatically create the correct naming convention and ensures consistency across the company when making Design functions for the all their projects.  The Design=>Apply=>Defaults options work with the Apply Templates, Apply MTF and Apply MTF Manager to quickly set up the required naming convention.

Super Alignment Styles (astyles,4d)

This file is used for the automatic labeling of Chainages and associated information as part of the Super Alignment.  Editing and customisation of this XML text file can be done via the Strings=>Super Alignments=>Super Alignment Styles.  Selection of font type, colour, offset, horizontal and vertical critical points and crest/sag points etc, can all be set and labelled automatically once amended.

Dialog Default Files (*.ddf)

The majority of 12d Model Software panels are able to edited or customised and saved in an amended format for all future uses of these panels.  This ensures consistency and the need for constant completion of repetitive panels for all projects.

To save a panel, you will need to LMB (left mouse button) click in the white square at the top left hand corner of the panel.  There are number of options provided under this button, including Defaults.  This saving of a default file into the User directory will ensure all future projects will use this amended file, instead of the standard panel from 12d (note: the ddf file has the name of the panel being saved).

To remove a DDF file or restore a panel to it’s original 12d settings, select the Defaults Reset option found under the same white button at the top left corner.

There is now an option to “Duplicate” a panel, once it has been filled out to make further changes. The option to “Dump” a panel (Create a Screen Layout File SLX) is explained further in the User_Lib notes.

Toolbars.4d / User_toolbars.4d

12d Model is installed with a toolbars.4d text file that contains all coding 12d requires for its current toolbar options View=>Toolbars

Users are able to create their own toolbars and by placing the correct coding required into a text file called user_toolbars.4d.  12d will automatically load your customised toolbars along with the standard toolbars when a 12d Model project is started.


In a very similar text file format to the user_toolbars.4d file, users are able to created their own 12d Model menus (without an image/icons) and have this available for docking within 12d.  The text file runs commands as listed above and is accessed under the User Menu once created.

Workspace Layout (workspace.4dw)

12d Model Users often like to use specific menus or toolbars from project to project and are able to save these toolbars around the monitor to better suit their working needs.

To setup and save these toolbar positions, please have a look at the above link and take the time to setup your workspace to make the most of the 12d tools.


This option allows Users to set 12d Menu’s (panels or sub-menu’s) to be automatically loaded when a 12d project is first created and then opened again at any other future time. The XML file type is an easy way to standardize a company setup and with User defined customised Menus completes the picture to make life just that little easier.


Via the File=>Data Input=>12da=>12da Library option Users able to input previously saved 12da files to quick add elements to their projects.  A library with some examples is shipped with 12d Model.

Extra Help for Users

Users are able to add additional help files for many of the standard 12d Model panels displaying a help button on the bottom right hand corner.  By creating a “Help” folder under the user folder, and then adding additional folders that are named to match the 12d panel on which the help is to be provided, 12d will automatically provide a link to the additional documents in the help folders.