I wish to use a custom symbol to plot my collision records


Sometimes you have a need to plot the location of accidents using a different symbol than one of the ones supplied in KeyACCIDENT, perhaps to indicate different information, or to be of a different size or shape.


KeyACCIDENT can be set to use any custom symbol, or set of symbols where you wish to clearly indicate the severity of accident using a set of three (or more). To do this all you need to do is create a drawing or set of drawings, available on the AutoCAD Support File Search Path, as follows.


It is important that you have a good understanding of how drawings that are to be used as blocks are defined, especially the use of layer ‘0’, and the logical properties BYLAYER and BYBLOCK. The AutoCAD help online gives full information about this, and there are some good independent online guides too. A good place to start may well be one of the existing severity or other symbols provided with KeyACCIDENT.


  1. If you wish the symbols plotted to reflect the severity of the accidents, for example with the use of a different shape or colour, you will want to create a set of drawings. The file name selected will need the severity number appending – 1 for fatal; 2 for serious; 3 for slight. Please note that some accident data includes additional numbers for serious accidents – 5
  2. Start a new drawing in AutoCAD, it is best of this is based on no template. You could also copy (or SAVEAS) on the provided symbols and use these as a basis for your custom symbol.
  3. Draw all of the elements you need for the symbol. including any attributes you wish to see. For this last part is important to make sure the attribute tags are what KeyACCIDENT will be looking for to populate the symbol from each collision. For this you should see the definition of the provided symbols such as L1.dwg, Circsymb.dwg and balloon.dwg.
  4. Make sure the new drawings are in a folder that AutoCAD ‘knows’ about, i.e. on the Support File Search Path (SFSP). To find this, go into the Options dialog and on the Files tab, expand the SFSP and check the folders available. You can also add your own folders to this list.
  5. In the plotting dialog, you can then select the custom symbol, and then which of the drawings you wish to use. Tick the box to indicate the symbol you select is part of the set so that KeyACCIDENT looks for the name with the correct severity number appended, e.g. MySymbol1.dwg to plot a fatal accidents with your symbol. Note: the symbols will have to be defined in the current drawing so you may need to INSERT these so that their block definitions are available in the drawing.