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Creating Curves in ZWCAD Quickly with Excel

August 23, 2011

In surveying and mapping, we get coordinates by taking measurements in the field, and then we make curves from these coordinates. To draw the curves in ZWCAD, we have to input the coordinates one by one at the command line, unfortunately. When there are many coordinates, then it becomes inefficient to draw curves in this way; in any case, this form of manual input is prone to making mistakes.

Now there is an easier way to draw these kinds of curves by using ZWCAD and Excel together. This makes the task efficient and more precise. Here are the steps to carrying this out.


1. First, enter the coordinates into a spreadsheet, such as Excel or LibreOffice. In the figure below, column B contains the x coordinates and column C contains the y coordinates.


curves spline edit splinedit


2. Next, define column D as “Point (X , Y).”


3. Input the following formula in cell D2:



4. Copy the formula to all rows by dragging the cell down the column, as shown by the following picture. When you are done, the x,y coordinates are generated automatically in column D. (Sample)


curve spline
5. Now switch over to ZWCAD, and then start Spline command to begin drawing the curve.
6. When the Spline command prompts you, “First point for spline,” copy the x,y coordinate from cell D2 to the last one in the Excel document, and then paste them in the command line in ZWCAD.
Command: spline
First point for spline: 2345,234
Second point: 2789,289
Close/Undo/Fit tolerance/<Next point>: 2900,320
Close/Undo/Fit tolerance/<Next point>: 3320,409
Close/Undo/Fit tolerance/<Next point>: 4637,500
Close/Undo/Fit tolerance/<Next point>: 4873,579
Close/Undo/Fit tolerance/<Next point>: 5032,620
Close/Undo/Fit tolerance/<Next point>: 5107,707
Close/Undo/Fit tolerance/<Next point>: 5453,813
Close/Undo/Fit tolerance/<Next point>: 5500,974
Close/Undo/Fit tolerance/<Next point>:
Select starting tangent point:
Enter tangent for ending point:
7. As you do, the spline will be created automatically, as shown by the figure below.
 spline curves 

This method using ZWCAD with Excel makes it easy to quickly create the measured curves with x,y coordinates, but without making mistakes -- no matter how many points you have to input.


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