PC Miler: Customize Place Names and Routes

Customize Place Names

PC*MILER allows you to customize place names to match the names of your facilities and\or customer locations. Let’s add a custom place to the stop list for Route 1:

1.   Select Manage Custom Places… from the Tools menu to access the Custom Place Manager.

2.   To enter a custom place, place your cursor in the Custom Name field and type “HQ”.

3.   Tab to the Location field, type “fort dodge, ia” and click Add.    (A ZIP code or latitude/longitude point would also be acceptable input.)

4.   If a pick list opens, highlight one of the ZIP codes on the list and click OK. (The Tools menu > Multiple Name Instances setting determines if a pick list will appear.)  “HQ” will be added to the list of custom places.

5.   Click OK to close the Custom Place Manager and save your custom place to the PC*MILER database.

6.   Now,  in  the  Route  1  window,  click  under  the  last  stop  (scroll  the  list  if necessary), type “hq”, and click Add Stop to add HQ as a stop.  It will appear on the list with an asterisk (*) to show that it’s a custom place.

7.   To calculate the new hub route, click Run.

customize place names

Customize Routes With Road Preferences

You can instruct PC*MILER to either favor or avoid certain roads when generating a route.  To try this out, let’s create a new route from Augusta, ME to Charleston, SC and then designate road preferences around Augusta.   Whole roads can be avoided or favored using the Custom Roads Manager (Tools menu), but in the steps below we’ll be picking road segments from the map.

1.  Minimize any open windows, and click the New Route button on the toolbar to open a new route entry window.

2.  Enter “Augusta, ME” as the origin, “Oakland, NJ” as a stop, and “Charleston, SC” as the destination of your route, using any ZIP codes for those cities, then run the route.

3.  In the Map menu, select Frame > and uncheck Auto Frame Route.

4.  Highlight Augusta on the stop list and double‐click to zoom into this city in Maine on the map.   Notice that PC*MILER’s route travels on I 95 (the Maine Turnpike) going south from US 202 out of Augusta.

Customize Road Preferences

5.  Click  on  the  Favor  Roads  button  on  the  toolbar,  then  return  to  the  map window.

6.  Click below Hallowell on the segment of US 201, ME 27 that runs south out of Augusta to designate it as a road to be favored.  Green highlighting will appear, indicating a favored road segment.  (If only a small spot of green appears, click on a different spot once or twice to get good coverage of the road segment below Hallowell.)

7.  Now click on the Avoid Roads button on the toolbar.

8. On the map, click on I 95 going south from US 202 to designate it as a road segment to be avoided. Red highlighting will indicate an avoided road.

9.  A comment can (optionally) be entered for any road preference you create using the Add Comment dialog box that pops up each time you select a road on the map.  This comment gets stored in the Custom Roads Manager along with the date and time the preference was created, and the length of the selected road segment.  We’ll enter “Construction” as a reason for avoiding I‐95: type it in the dialog box and then click OK.

10. To take a quick look at this record in the Custom Roads Manager, select the Tools menu > Manage Custom Roads… option (the Avoids tab will be open). Then click OK to close.

11. In the Route 3 window, click on the Options button and check Use Custom Roads, then click OK.  This step is crucial to running a new route that includes the road preferences you designated.  If this option isn’t turned on, road preferences won’t be included in PC*MILER’s route calculations.

12. You’ll see that PC*MILER automatically reruns the route using the new road preferences  –  your  route  now  travels  on  US  201  and  avoids  the  Maine Turnpike!

rerun custom route map

HINT:  To clear road preferences, you have two options: you can click again on the selected road  segments –  with  the  appropriate  toolbar  button  selected (Avoid Roads or Favor Roads); or open the Tools menu > Manage Custom Roads and use the Avoids and Favors tabs to delete current designations.

Customize Routes to Avoid or Favor States

You  can  instruct  PC*MILER  to  either  favor  or  avoid  certain  states  when generating a route. Let’s recalculate our Maine to South Carolina route with its current settings, but this time we’ll avoid routing through Massachusetts, and favor routing through Vermont.

1.  In the Route 3 window, click on the Options button and make sure the Use Custom Roads box is checked.  With custom routing enabled, click OK and return to the route entry window.

2.  Next, click on the State button (or press the <F6> key) on the toolbar to view a summary of mileage, times, and costs listed alphabetically by state. Examine  the  list  of  states  to  confirm  that  Route  3  travels  through Massachusetts.

customize state route

3.  Now select Manage Custom Roads from the Tools menu, and click on the Stattab in the Custom Roads Manager.

4.  Click on the check box next to Enable State Avoids/Favors (this must be checked for state preferences to work).

5.  In the drop-down pick list of states, highlight Massachusetts.  Click on the Avoid button below to add that state to the Avoids list on the left-hand side.

6.  Now highlight Vermont on the pick list of states, and click on the Favor button below to add that state to the Favors list on the right-hand side.

7.  Click OK to save these changes.

8.  A new customized route will automatically generate in the route window, and the State Report will be updated accordingly.

9. Now click Options in the Route 3 window and choose Route under State/Country Report Order.  Click OK.  The states in the State Report are now listed in the order of travel on the route.

10.   You’ll see that PC*MILER has plotted the new route completely outside of  Massachusetts,  using  Vermont  (and  also  New  York  State)  as  a byway.  Check this new route on the map, too.

Next: Calculate ETA