Shape File support is a portion of the MAP functionality, which is still included as part of Civil 3D. Thank God.  However, finding the MAP Ribbon may prove to be difficult for many users.  No Problem.

In this example I needed some County land boundary layers to overlay this digitized channel.


If you have not committed to any customizations of the Ribbon, then you may not know how to access your Map functionality.  The easiest way to get there is through the stock OEM workspaces.

Let’s go to the Map Workspace.

Workspaces are the organization that Autodesk provided the communities to allow easy recall of UI organization.  Some examples are 3D modeling, Civil 3D, and Tool–Based Geospatial.


Attaching the Workspace to the Quick Access Tool Bar will permit easy recall for this type of operation. At the right side of the Quick Access toolbar you will find the Customize button. In the list is the Workspace option. Make sure that is checked.


Select the Tool-Based Geospatial Workspace from this list. The UI will change out Ribbon panels to suit the selected workflow.

File Import

Once the Geospatial workspace is loaded, follow this procedure.

Ribbon –> Insert Tab –> Import Panel –> Map Import



Select ESRI Shape File from the File Type Pulldown. Then select your Shape file and the subsequent options.

image  image


That’s it.  When you want to revert back to your previous workspace, just select it from the quick access toolbar.

Drag and Drop

Edward Winter reminded me of the Drag and Drop functionality for numerous file types, including Shape Files.  This is really convenient, but remember you won’t get the dialog so your front end data settings won’t be configured.  If the detailed import features are important, you’ll have to use he Map UI as shown above.