Trimble Point Creator CAD point creation how-to

After TPC is installed we will launch the program.

Trimble Point Creator Dashboard

We will go under the Settings drop down and select Settings.

trimble point creator settings

In this dialog we need to deal with a few things.   First stop is the Units tab.

We want to set our Distance to either US Feet or Intl Feet, I use Intl Feet if you are using Imperial measurements, stay with Meters if you use metric.  

Always use the X-Y-Z coordinate order.

The others are personal preference.  

trimble point creator measurement units

The other tab that we need to do something under is the CAD/BIM Program tab.

We need to fill out the Use Program line here with the CAD program you use.   


Hit Ok to that window when those are set.

We are ready to make points now so we can hit the Prepare Points in CAD option.

tpc settings

This will launch AutoCAD and you should get an extra tool bar, this is the TPC tool bar. 

trimble point creator toolbar

Before placing points lets cover the TPC settings that can be set in AutoCAD.  The first tool on the tool bar will bring up the Settings dialog.

In here we want to make sure our Drawing Units are on a correct unit for our drawing, if using Feet and Inches always use Inches.  Decimal Feet would use Feet etc. 

You can add Groups here.  The current selected Group will be what group points are placed under when done manually. 

If you want to change the type of symbol type or have it come in at a certain size etc, that is set under Symbol.

tpc symbol types

The Advanced tab is where you can if you want add some AutoCAD commands that will be run during the export.  We NEVER touch or use this.  

DDUNITS needs to have the Insert Scale units set to match the drawing units.   Feet and Inches = Inches  or Feet, if you get the drawing into the Tablet and use Unitless if going to the Nomad device.  

So we are all setup and are ready to place points.

We will start with custom points first. If you click and hold the button you get a drop down where you can pick from set quadrants for the number or one where you place the number after the point is placed.

custom points in TPC

These are as simple as just clicking where you want the points.  Check your command line after selecting one of the options as you have some options that you can change on the fly while placing these points.

Trimble Point Creator

No one is using the Paste from Clipboard option so I am going to skip that. 

Next is the option to place points on blocks or in blocks.

Again click and hold and you will see 2 options here.   One allows you to place the points over the blocks, the other lets you go into Block Editor and place the points INSIDE the block.   

custom points in TPC

We will start with the regular Block placement.  Selecting that we are first instructed via a screen message to select a block.

Once that is selected it then prompts you to Select Objects.   You can select the entire drawing or just the blocks you want.  

Upon hitting enter after selecting the objects, we get a Wizard dialog.

TPC wizard dialog

Hit Next.  We can then designate a start number here.   We normally always use the default option here of By Start Number. 

auto insert wizard in tpc

Hit Next. Now we can select what blocks we want to have points here, if you have multiple types of blocks selected they will be listed here.

auto insert wizard selection

Hit Next.  We can give a new Group Name here as needed. 

auto insert tool destination

Here we can override the settings that we set in TPC here if we want a different symbol, text height etc.   

You can have the points rotated with the block or custom.

You can give a Prefix and Suffix and tell the position of the number here.

auto insert settings tpc

When satisfied hit Next.

In this window we can tell it how to skip invalid numbers, and the route to take when assigning numbers.   Most users just leave it as is.   

trimble point creator auto insert wizard

Hit Next.  We see a summary of the points that will be made.

TPC auto insert summary

Hit Next.  We will be notified that we need to hit the Update button to get our points. 

auto insert completion

Hit Finish and see that there are no points.

Trimble Point Creator

Now hit the update and see the points:

TPC update function

Now what happens if we want to place points in a block?  We will hit the drop down for the Block Point Placement and select the Auto Insert into Block option.

When we do this it will ask for a block to be picked.  When we pick that block it will take us to the Block Editor and tell us to place our points then hit Save.  

We will use the circled tool bar to place our points and then use the save button there.

TPC point placement

When you select the Point button, check command line for your options.

command line for TPC

Place your points simply by clicking.  I placed points on the right corners of the box.

place points

Hit the Save button now. We go back to the familiar Wizard dialog box.

trimble point creator wizard

It is very much the same as above going through the screens in the wizard.

You will get the Summary Screen:


So again we need to hit the Update button to get the points to show up.

Trimble Point Creator

After I hit Update:


That takes care of the Blocks placement options.  

Next is Placement over Lines and its optional drop down selection for Polymeshes (which is not a function users use).

So like all the others, we will select the Points on Lines button.

points on lines button

This is Wizard driven as well.   The normal first screen comes up.

When you hit next you will get a new screen from the others so far.

You can pick if you want points at the End of the line or where lines intersect.   I am going to pick the Intersection for this example.

auto insert wizard

All other wizard screens are the same as others shown above.   

Again hit the Update button to get points.


The polymesh option will do this same thing on a polymesh, this can create way more points than are needed so most users do not use this function.  

Last point function is to place over circles or points.   

This function has the same dialog screens as placing over blocks.

Always remember to hit the Update Button to get your points after running through the wizard.   


Once all of our points are placed, we can now export to TPC from AutoCAD.  This is the last button on the tool bar.  It also has a drop down, a Red icon and a Blue icon.  The Red icon only exports the points.  The Blue button exports points and a background file.   

We can make backgrounds separate and that will be a different write up for that.  I am going to just export my points here, so I am going to use the Red icon.

When that is hit it will bring the points and groups into the TPC window.

Groups window trimble point creator

Now we need to determine what device we are going to send these points to.  There is a setting that will allow you to create the standard file for what type of unit you are going to.

The main 2 units are the Trimble Tablet and the Trimble Nomad device.   

Under Settings there is a Total Station Settings, select this.

group settings

In this dialog we will not touch anything else, except the drop down for the Communication Device. The Trimble MEP Series is for the Nomad devices. Trimble Field Link Series is for the Tablet devices.

trimble field link series

Select what is appropriate for your application.


Now we need to hit the Export to Total Station button to complete the process.

export total station

A new dialog box appears and will show your groups, check off the ones that you want in this export.

trimble point creator export

Hit Next.  This is where it gets odd so pay attention to these next steps.

You can give the File the name that you want, go ahead and give that name.  


I’m not getting a background so no need to check that.

tpc export to trimble field link

 At this point we hit the Explore button.   It seems as if nothing happens here, the dialog we were in closes and we are left just looking at the TPC window.  


What you need to do here is go to the location that you want the file saved to.  GO there via Windows Explorer, when you are in the location you want the file, use the Windows Paste function.   Your file will be placed in that location. 


You can now move that over to the unit and shoot points.