Computer Aided Design & Drafting (CADD) Users Manual

The CADD Users Manual establishes the CADD standards using US Customary Units (English) and covers many of the resource files needed to complete a project within the Caltrans' right of way. Local agencies and consultants must also use these established standards for Caltrans projects. This manual is subject to changes that reflect Caltrans' current development/delivery process using MicroStation and Civil3D for all projects on the State Highway System (SHS).

The CADD Users Manual is only available from the Caltrans internet website and will be incrementally updated by section as needed. All previous changes to the CADD Users Manual are summarized in the CADD Users Manual Errata

MicroStation Is the Standard Drafting Software at Caltrans

The following 2014 Caltrans Memorandum mandates the use of MicroStation as the Caltrans standard drafting software:

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All CADD Users Manual Chapters - Complete Download Version (Updated 8/30/2019) (PDF)

Table of Contents

CADD Users Manual (Chapters/Sections) Last Updated
Foreword (PDF) 8/30/19
Chapter 1: Purpose (PDF)

1.1 Purpose of Manual
1.2 Users of the Manual
1.3 Scope of the Manual
1.4 Intent of Manual

7/3/2010
Chapter 2: Caltrans Data Format
2.1 Drawing Types and Codes (PDF)
  1. Drawing Types                 
    1. Geographical
    2. Non-geographical
  2. Project Plans Drawing Codes
  3. Drawing Codes for Mapping & Preliminary Drawings
  4. Old File Name Convention Examples using Expenditure Authorization
10/23/2017
2.2 Drawing File Names (PDF)
  1. Description
  2. Need for Naming Uniformity
  3. Naming Convention
    1. District Codes
    2. Highway Construction Project
    3. Highway Planting Project
    4. Structures Drawings
    5. Topographic Maps
7/1/2010
2.3 Working Units (PDF)
  1. Roadway Design Files
  2. Structure Design Files
5/1/2018
2.4 Drawing Data Levels (PDF)
  1. Standardization of Level Convention
  2. Highway/Landscape Leveling Convention
  3. Exceptions or Flexibility from the Caltrans Standard Leveling Convention
  4. Structures Design Leveling Convention
  5. Right of Way (R/W) Mapping Products Leveling Convention
2/25/2019
2.5 Plan Sheet Preparation - Levels Involved (PDF)
  1. Plan Sheet Preparation
  2. Highway Design and Topographic Information  
  3. Levels Involved for Various Plan Sheets (Highway Construction)
10/30/2008
2.6 Text (PDF)
  1. Fonts
  2. Text Size - Roadway Project Plans
  3. Text Size - Structures
  4. Text Size - Right of Way Map Products
10/23/2017
2.7 Lines (PDF)
  1. Introduction
  2. Line Weight
  3. Line Codes
  4. Dashed Lines
  5. Line Styles
    1. Overview
    2. Line Style Scale Factor
  6. Line Symbology for Utilities
10/23/2017
2.8 Color Table/Caltrans Standard Colors (PDF)
  1. Introduction
  2. Caltrans Color Table Files
  3. Standard Colors for Roadway Projects
  4. Standard Colors for Right of Way
  5. Standard Colors for Structures
  6. Standard Colors for Office of Transportation Architecture, and Office of Electrical, Mechanical, Water and Wastewater
10/23/2009
2.9 Caltrans Cells and Cell Libraries (PDF)
  1. Cells
  2. Types of Cells
  3. Cell Libraries
  4. Cells and Conventional Levels
  5. Cells and Plot Scale
  6. Cell Features and Options Not Used by Caltrans
4/30/2018
Chapter 3: Electronic Data
3.1 Under construction
3.2 Map Projection (PDF)
  1. What is Map Projection?
  2. The Lambert Conformal Conic Projection
10/25/2019
3.3 North American Datum (NAD) 83 (PDF)
  1. Description of NAD83
  2. NAD 83 Epochs
  3. CA Coordinate System (CSS) - NAD83
  4. Summary
8/12/2009
3.4 Under construction
3.5 Under construction
3.6 Roadway Design (PDF)
  1. Introduction
  2. Project and Data Management
  3. Caltrans MicroStation Standard Resource Files
  4. Existing Topography
  5. Horizontal Alignments
  6. Vertical Alignments
  7. Superelevation and Cross Slope
  8. Alternate Design Techniques
  9. Digital Design Model (DDM) and Design Contours
  10. Design Cross Sections
8/30/19
3.7 Roadway Design Deliverables (PDF)
  1. Introduction
  2. Roadway Alignments
  3. Vertical Alignments
  4. Alternate Design Techniques and Digital Design Models
  5. Design Cross Sections
  6. Design Presentation of Project Plans
5/9/2017
3.8 Master Files (PDF)
  1. Overview
  2. Master Topographic Files
  3. Master Design Files
    1. Overview
    2. Utilizing the Master Design Files in DGN Format
    3. Functional Unit Master File
  4. Master Clip Frame Files
  5. Master Plan Sheet Files
  6. Contract Plan Sheet Files
  7. Final PS&E Submittal
9/30/2010
Chapter 4: Plans, Specifications & Estimates (PS&E) Through As-Built Plans
4.1 For PS&E Submittal (PDF)
  1. File Formats for PS&E
    1. Acceptable Formats
    2. Non-Acceptable Formats
  2. Reference Files
  3. Requirements for PS&E
    1. General Requirements
    2. Caltrans Current Standards
    3. General Plotting Requirements
    4. Limitations/Restrictions When Using V8 File Format
  4. Consultant Prepared Projects
10/30/2008
4.2 After PS&E (PDF)
  1. Draft Contract Ready
  2. Certification for Ready to List (RTL)                 
    1. Overview
    2. Cross Sections
    3. Survey File Checklist
  3. As-Awarded
  4. Contract Change Order
1/8/2008
4.3 As-Built Plans (PDF)
  1. Overview
  2. Roadway As-Built Plans
  3. Structure As-Built Plans Using CADD
  4. Archive Ready As-Built Plans
  5. Microfilming of As-Built Plans
3/30/2011
Chapter 5: Plotting at Caltrans
5.1 Purpose of Plotting (PDF) 10/25/2012
5.2 Plotting Solution (PDF)
  1. Overview
  2. Why a Single Plotting Solution?
  3. Using Interplot at Caltrans
10/25/2012
5.3 Terms and Definitions (PDF) 10/25/2012
5.4 Accessing Interplot (PDF)
  1. Within MicroStation via "Iplot-Main" Dialog
  2. From Windows via "ProjectWise Interplot Organizer"
  3. From the DOS Command Line
10/25/2012
5.5 Creating Interplot Parameter Files (iparms) for PS&E (PDF)
  1. Creating Iparms
  2. Modifying Iparms
10/25/2012
5.6 Plotting to TIFF Image Files (PDF)
  1. How to Plot to a TIFF Image File
  2. Standard Properties of TIFF Images Generated by "Tiff Output"
  3. Use of TIFF Images
10/25/2012
5.7 Creating and Plotting PDF Files (PDF)
  1. Creating PDF Files
  2. Plotting PDF Files
  3. PDF Standards
  4. Use of PDF Files
10/25/2012
5.8 Things to Watch Out for When Using Interplot (PDF) 10/25/2012
5.9 MicroStation Print (PDF) 10/25/2012
5.10 Caltrans Design Scripts (PDF)
  1. What is a Design Script?
  2. The History of the Caltrans Design Scripts
  3. Standard Caltrans Roadway Design Scripts
  4. Functions and Features of the Caltrans Design Scripts
  5. Dropout Logic and Weight and Patterning Values
10/25/2012
Appendices
Appendix 1: Caltrans English Cell Library (PDF)
  1. Landscape
  2. Photo
  3. Project Plans
  4. Roadway
  5. Surveys
  6. Traffic / Electrical
  7. Water Pollution Control
  8. Catrans Right of Way Cell Named Levels
  9. Caltrans Topo Cell Named Levels
  10. CTCELLIB Cell Library Named Levels
8/30/19
Appendix 2: Structures English Cell Library (PDF) 10/25/2012
Appendix 3: Right of Way Engineering English Cell Library (PDF) 10/25/2012
Appendix 4: Caltrans Line Styles (PDF) 5/9/2017
Appendix 5: NAD Coordinates and Zones - English (PDF)
  1. Design Planes - U.S. Survey Foot (1983)
  2. Design Planes - Metric (1983)
  3. Design Planes - U.S. Survey Foot (1927)
10/25/2007
Appendix 6: Caltrans Fonts (PDF) 10/30/2008
Appendix 7: Design, Survey, Topo, and R/W Data Features (PDF) 8/30/19
Appendix 8: Pre-Named Levels, Section 2.4 (PDF) 7/30/2010
Appendix 9: DGNLIB Levels (PDF) 10/25/2012
Appendix 10: Named Level Libraries (PDF) 2/25/2019