Area/Volume Reference Notes

An Area/Volume Reference Note allows you to refer to an area of your site design and have the area or volume calculation automatically placed into the Reference Note Schedule. Area/Volume notes provide a quick and accurate method of placing items such as gravel and bark and assigning data such as cost per square foot or meter, or cubic foot or meter.


Using a closed polyline, you can draw areas to be defined by Area/Volume Reference Notes. You can do so on any layer you wish. When you associate a polyline with your noted area, the bounding linetype will change automatically. You can also draw the area while placing the Reference Note.


Area/ Volume Reference Notes are denoted by a hatch pattern.

We previously offered separate Area and Volume Reference Notes. Due to the similarity of how these Reference Notes work, we've combined the two types into a single category.

Area/Volume Reference Notes Overview

You can use Area/Volume Reference Notes when you want to display and keep track of an area for the contractor's convenience and clarity, or for your own cost estimation. You can assign a cost to the area or volume, and run the Reference Note Schedule to a spreadsheet for a total cost of this item – a useful feature for cost estimations and budget control. You can also run a Reference Note Schedule with these areas indicated by their hatch pattern rather than simply by a note number.



Area/Volume reference notes can be quite helpful in making a plan easy to bid. For example, you can use an Area/Volume Reference Note to mark and calculate the area for a 2-inch-thick bark mulch on a Landscape Site Plan.



An Area/Volume Reference Note can also be helpful in creating paving layouts, as you clearly define the different types of paving and keep track of the square footage (or square meters) of each pavement type.

Adding an Area/Volume Reference Note

Open our Reference Notes tool:



F/X Site ribbon, RefNotes flyout




F/X Details ribbon, RefNotes flyout





F/X Site menu



Graphics RefNotes toolbar




Graphics toolbar



or type RefNotes in the Command line





The Reference Notes Manager will open.



To add a new Reference Note, click New.






The New Reference Note dialog box will open. Under Reference Note Type, select Area / Volume.







The Select Manufacturer dialog box will open. You can now:




Adding a Generic or Custom RefNote


Click Generic/Custom to add a generic or custom RefNote.




The Hatch dialog box will open.




Here, you can select a hatch pattern to represent the material represented in your Area/Volume RefNote.




The available Reference Note hatches are the same hatches as those available when you use our Hatch tool. However, your Reference Note hatches differ from site hatches in that they become selectable Land F/X objects. For more information on our default hatch patterns, see our Hatch Patterns page.


Click a hatch pattern to select it, then click OK. You will be brought back to the New Reference Note dialog box, where you can configure the data assigned to your RefNote.


Adding a Hardscaping Material from a Manufacturer


To select a hardscape manufacturer, select that manufacturer's logo.


You can also click Send me their Catalog to receive a manufacturer's catalog, or Web site to jump to that manufacturer's website.




The Select Series dialog box will open.


1. Click this link to select a different manufacturer.


2. Pick a series from the manufacturer you selected.


3. Thumbnail images for each model within the selected series. Click a thumbnail to select the corresponding product.


4. Click this link to go to the manufacturer's website to learn more about the manufacturer and its products.






When you select a series, the Select Model dialog box will open.


1. Click this link to select a different manufacturer.


2. You can select a different series from this menu if you want.


3. Thumbnail images of each model within the selected series. Select the one you want to add.


4. Click this link to go to the manufacturer's website to learn more about the manufacturer and its products.




This dialog box will open when you select a series.


1. Model name and description of the selected product.


2. Click this link to see more information about the selected product series from the manufacturer's catalog.


3. Click this button to add the product series to your project.




The New Reference Note dialog box will open, with the Note field populated with notes from the manufacturer on the selected model, and the assigned hatch for that material model in the Symbol thumbnail area.


You can now configure the data assigned to your RefNote. Click OK to add the product to your project.




The product you added will be listed in the RefNote Manager.

Configuring the Data Assigned to an Area / Volume RefNote

Once you've added your RefNote, the New Reference Note dialog box will open. Here, you can add and edit the data that's assigned to the RefNote.


1. Reference Note Type: Verify that Area/Volume is selected.


2. Note: /strong> Enter up to 256 characters of text to associate with the Reference Note. If you selected a hardscaping material from a manufacturer, this field will autopopulate with that manufacturer's notes on the material.


3. Number: Type a number for the new Reference Note. For more information, see our Reference Note Numbers documentation.


4. Division: If you want, select a Construction Specifications Institute Division for the Reference Note. For more information, see our Reference Note Divisions documentation section.


5. Cost: If you want, type a cost for this item in either square or cubic units. This information will apply if you decide to send the Reference Note Schedule to a spreadsheet format. More information


6. Detail: If desired, click Set Detail to go to the project’s Detail Manager and select a detail.


7 Depth: Type the depth of this item in inches. Adding a depth for the material will automatically cause this Reference Note to calculate volume rather than area.


8. If you want, you can add custom User Fields to your RefNotes. You can then create and assign values for these fields (for example, you can create a Color field and then add color values such as Terra Cotta, Gray, etc. to assign to RefNotes). These fields are tied to the Divisions, so you'll need to assign a division to a RefNote before you can assign these fields and values to that RefNote. You won’t see this option until you’ve assigned a division to the RefNote.


9. Leader Type: Select a type of leader to use in referencing the new note. The new note will "remember" the leader type associated with it.


The leader type on the far right that shows a box containing an “X” means "No leader." If you select this option, the note will be placed into the drawing with no leader connection.


10. Symbol: The hatch pattern Symbol will have been set when you first added the hatch. If you selected a manufacturer's material, you'll see the assigned hatch for that material. Click this thumbnail image to edit the symbol.


11. Linetype: Select an option from this menu to define the linetype of the hatch polyline boundary. The options in this menu are simply linetypes that have been added from AutoCAD to the current drawing. More information


12. Callout: Select from three different callout shapes: Square, Hex, or Circle. You can also check the boxes for Screen Fill or Drop Shadow to apply these stylistic options to your callout.


13. Photo: If you want, browse to a photo of the item represented by the RefNote, and place it as a Photo Callout.


The Note Field

The Note field, available in all five Reference Notes categories, is the most commonly used portion of the New Reference Note dialog box. For detailed information on this field and how to use it, see the Note Field section on our Reference Notes: Getting Started page.




You can assign a cost factor to the material denoted by the hatch and run the Reference Note Schedule to a spreadsheet for a total cost of this item – useful for cost estimations and budget control. The Cost field will show square units (feet or meters) until you enter a Depth for the material. If you do enter a Depth, the Cost field will automatically convert to calculate cubic, rather than square, units.




If you don't want the polyline border to be of any linetype, or to show up on the drawing, select Non-Plot from the Linetype menu. When you select the polyline border, the border line layer will change automatically to L-NPLT, and the layer will have plotting turned off.

Placing an Area/Volume Reference Note

In the Reference Notes Manager, select Area or Volume from the Reference Note Type pull-down menu.




In this example, we'll place an Area RefNote.




Although we have combined the Area and Volume Reference Notes into a single selection category, we have kept the two types separate in the pull-down menu shown above. Your Area and Volume Reference Notes will also appear separately in your Reference Notes Schedules.


Highlight a RefNote in the Reference Notes Manager, and click Place.




The cursor will turn into a pickbox, and the Command line will prompt you to Select polyline to hatch [Draw Multiple].

When placing RefNotes, you can press the F8 and F9 keys to toggle between Ortho and Snap modes, respectively. This will allow you to lock your leaders at certain angles.



Selecting an Existing Polyline Boundary

To select an existing polyline, use the pickbox to select a closed polyline area to hatch.



After selecting the option for an Area/Volume reference note, use the pickbox to select a closed polyline defining the area where your RefNote will be placed.





When you click the polyline, the hatch pattern assigned to the note is applied to the area.



In this case, the linetype selected to represent this area was a non-plot line, so the polyline border automatically changed to this type of line.




Drawing a Polyline Boundary "On the Fly"

If you haven't yet drawn a polyline boundary for your RefNote hatch, you can also draw a boundary "on the fly" at this point.



When you go to place an Area/Volume Reference Note hatch, the Command line will prompt you to Select polyline to hatch [Draw Multiple].



Start drawing your closed polyline. Once you close it, the hatched area will appear within the polyline boundary.

In previous versions, drawing your hatch boundary on the fly would require you to first type D for Draw. We've now built in the ability to simply start drawing your closed polyline. As long as the first point you select isn't an existing polyline, the Draw command will be fired automatically.


This feature works with all of our hatch types, including:

Area/Volume Reference Note Hatches and the Reference Note Schedule

You can represent Area/Volume RefNote hatch patterns in the Reference Note Schedule in one of two ways:

  • With a symbol (a sample of the hatch pattern). If you want to represent the hatch patterns with a symbol, simply leave the schedule the way it is.




  • With a code (a Reference Note callout). If you want the schedule to show a code (or callout number), you will need to associate some of the hatch patterns with a callout by using the Reference Note Callout tool.

Excluding Objects from an Area/Volume Reference Note Hatch

Want to hatch an area but avoid hatching objects within that area? Area/Volume Reference Notes allow you to do just that – when you use the Multiple command while hatching. (Type M when placing your hatch and follow the prompts.)

For more information, see our Exclude Objects from Site Hatch documentation.

Importing RefNotes from a Template or Project

If you find yourself adding the same RefNotes to multiple projects, we recommend setting up a project template and then adding your commonly used RefNotes to that template. You can then import them into a new project from that template. This practice can save you immeasurable amounts of time, considering all the data you need to fill out for each RefNote you create. With templates, you only need to add and configure your RefNotes once, then import them – along with all attached data – into the present project.

For more information and instructions, see our Importing Reference Notes page.

Other Reference Note Types

For information on the other types of Reference Notes, see our documentation on:

Related Webinars

  • Hardscape Design: Hardscape design with Land F/X is all about Reference Notes (RefNotes). Learn about the myriad options available within our RefNotes tool that will streamline your project's workflow. We'll go over all the basics of RefNotes, including setting up and placing a RefNote, calling out your features, and placing a schedule. (1 hr 2 min)
  • Understanding the Manufacturer Connection: The Manufacturer Connection is a dynamic and invaluable relationship that we at Land F/X have pioneered into an exclusive, easy to use tool that benefits both designers and manufacturers. Learn about the work we put into manufacturer content and how to enhance your CAD design and specification processes for site amenities, lighting, and hardscape. (1 hr 1 min)
  • Intro to Site Tools: This webinar covers the basics of what our Site tools have to offer, including a segment on the Reference Notes Manager. (1 hr 2 min)
  • Common Land F/X Questions: This webinar covers some of our lesser-known tools, including Reference Note User Fields. (1 hr)
  • How The Manufacturer Connection Works: The Manufacturer Connection works in conjunction with our Reference Notes tool to help you spec site amenities and hardscape materials from specific manufacturers. Learn all about it here. (53 min)
  • Using RefNotes & Cost Estimates: Setting up a project with RefNotes right from concept can help speed up the process to produce accurate detailed drawings, and construction drawings, with cost estimates at every step along the way. We'll go through some advanced-user tips with RefNotes using an actual project. (46 min)
  • Importance of Lines in Design: Lines, partitions, and edges are some of the most powerful design tools in a landscape architect's arsenal. Daniel Martin from Permaloc explains the significant economic and environmental benefits of edging with expertise. (54 min)


Issue: You are unable to edit or call out a RefNote hatch


Issue: When placing a RefNote hatch, you received the following error message: Unable to locate target hatch


Issue: AutoCAD crashes when you place a RefNote hatch – but only when the Land F/X menus are loaded


Issue: While working offline, you are unable to hatch patterns you've already used. The thumbnail previews in the Hatch dialog box are blank.


Having other issues with Reference Notes? See our RefNotes Troubleshooting section.

Last modified on Wednesday, 30 October 2019 16:36

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