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.




This option has now been superseded by the “Project Setting” menu outlined above. For older Versions of 12d Model, this text file set a number of project standards, including the string highlight colour, number of colours to be displayed, save interval and many more and was avaialble via the  “Program > Management > Defaults” panel.


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 used to select specific String names and set the model, colours, linestyles, symbols, text etc and help maintain standards across the organization.  The file can be midified via, Program => Management -> Tree -> Names mapping.

Linestyles.4d / User_linestyles.4d

This text file defines the drawing of the linestyle and is provided as a standard file from 12d.  Users can created there own linestyles by saving the definitions to a “User_linestyles.4d” file in the User directory.  12d will then automatically add the users linestyles to the existing 12d linetypes automatically.  Alternately, saving a linestyles.4d file into the user will replace all the standard 12d linestyles and leave only your customised list to choose from.

Program -> 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.

Program -> 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, defpoints, visualisation, wipeout, 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.

Program -> 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 and the linksed video provides details on how to edit this file to your company needs.

Plotters.4d / User_plotters.4d

The installed plotters.4d text file is installed by 12d and contains many useful PDF and plotting options for users as default. Many older plotter types including V12.dwg and V14.dxf formats av also been retained for users.

Users are able copy selected parts of the provided file into your own “User_plotters.4d” file. Saved into the “$User” directory and adding your own amf file (cad mapping file) and matching DWT (cad drawing template file) specifically to match your organizations output when using ppf files.

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’s) colours to be mapped correctly to an Autocad layer (bylayer in colour and linetype etc).

The mapping panel is located under the “Plot > Plotter Setups > ACAD plot map file”.  To work correctly, the amf file needs a corresponding *.dwt (Autocad drawing template), into which the layers, colours, linestyles etc have been created.

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 => Plotter Setups => Plotter mapping editor panel.  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 panel.

It is recommended that once a number of standard pmf files are created and saved into the User_Lib directory.  A copy of the most commonly used pmf file be renamed to pmf.4d and saved into the User directory.  12d will automatically use this file as default, if a user does not set any other pmf file within the project.


This file can be amended to provide different sheet size if required.  Available for editing via the” Project -> Management -> Tree -> Sheet sizes panel“.  Any new sheet sizes will then be available in the ppf panels for the product of plots.

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” panel.  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.

Toolbar.4d / User_toolbar.4d

12d Model is installed with a toolbar.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_toolbar.4d”, 12d will automatically add your customised toolbars into the standard file 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 main menu “User” panel 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.

Extra Help for Users

Users are able to add additional help files for many of the panel displaying the help button on the bottom right hand corner of standard 12d Model panels.  By creating a “Help” directory under the “$User” directory and then adding additional directories each with the name of the 12d panel on which the help is to be provided.  12d will automatically provide a link to the documents or links provided.