Skip to main content

Errors: “Error opening surface” When Trying To Edit a Surface in Civil 3D

By July 10, 2019No Comments


When trying to edit a surface via the contextual ribbon functions in Civil 3D an error message appears:
“Error opening surface”


The layer of the surface is locked. The default layer for a surface is named “C-TOPO”.
A surface can consist of several objects that reside on different layers. C-TOPO is the main layer for a surface and even if that layer is locked, the surface can be selected and contextual functions executed. But the result is an error message or that no edits are possible without notice.


  • Unlock the surface layer (i.e. C-TOPO) in the layer manager to make changes to the surface
  • To prevent the surface from being edited completely, right click the surface in the prospector and select lock (or unlock). It is also possible to lock a surface in the properties dialog.