• How to place and update fields in MicroStation?

                    Fields are basically self-updating text. A field points to a property of an object and display its value. When the value changes, the text update and show the new value.

    How to place a field:

                    You can place fields using Place Text tool. Select Insert Field icon in Word Processor and select the desired property.

    Several types of fields can be placed in MicroStation:

    1. Element Property Fields - Display properties of…
  • Named clip volumes and their association with saved views

                    Clip volumes are used to limit the displayed volume for a view in order to work within a limited context of model without being hindered by geometry that is not of interest.

                    Named fences can be used to save and invoke a specific volume of model in future. A useful feature of named fence is that we can associate it with saved view.

    How to create a named fence

    Create a clip volume. In tool settings dialog, use the Save…

  • Why do I need a Drawing model?

    In the MicroStation V8i (SelectSeries 1) release, you have a new model type called the Drawing model. Many of us are curious to know why this model type is added, what are its features, how is it different from other model types and so on? In this blog I will try to answer these questions.

    Technically speaking, Drawing models are same as 2D Design models. Internally, there is an additional flag to designate them…

  • How to control Level Display in MicroStation?

                    "Level Display" dialog in MicroStation is used to turn on and turn off levels in a model. This dialog contains the display control options (on/off switches): View Display, Global Display and Global Freeze as shown in below image. There is one more option: Viewport Freeze, accessible through keyin.

                    Turning on or off View Display, Global Display, Global Freeze (for DGN files), or Viewport Freeze (for DWG files…

  • Distributed Resources

                    In this discussion you will understand how you can make use of different functionalities available in Microstation to handle and organize resources.

                    Consider yourself working on a large project and the models, saved views and other resources pertaining to that project are distributed in different files and folders in your project. You also have created links to all the pertinent files and resources into the…

  • How to use DGNLib Saved Views ?

                    A saved view is a view definition, which includes the level display for the active model and references, the clip volume, and other view attributes. It is saved with a unique name.

                    A DGNLib saved view is a saved view that is shared across multiple files of a project and among multiple users. These DGNLib saved views are used as standards by members of a workgroup.

                    Each DGNLib saved view has a unique name…

  • How to Update Sequence of Active Model and Reference Attachments?

                    We have been asked several times why some elements/annotations in active model are not visible or hide behind some reference elements. I think this blog will help you understand this.

                    In case of overlapping elements, what you see depends on what draws last. You come across these overlapping elements situation mostly while working with Drawing/Sheet models. You place several annotations on these models to get your final…

  • How MicroStation defines Background Color for a New Model?

    Background color for existing models can be set from different settings.

    1. Workspace > Preferences > View Options - These is a user preference and will be stored with MicroStation
    2. Settings > Design File > Views > Background - This can be used to display an image in the background. This is file specific and will be applicable for all types of models in that file.
    3. Settings > Color Table - Background color…
  • Assigning Level to References

                    This blog is about assigning levels to references, a less popular option in reference Attachment settings dialog. Like assigning a level to graphical elements like lines and arcs, you can assign a level to references too. Before starting on benefits and usages of this option, let me give you some background about this setting.
    Historically, this feature was implemented to support AutoCAD compatibility. So, this option…

  • View Groups in MicroStation...

                   This blog explains the concept of "View Group" in MicroStation. View Group is actually a set of eight view window layouts. In other words, it's a set of eight views. You have been using view windows for looking at the 3D model with different orientations, angles and sizes. Actually it's a view group that lets us do that.

                   To explain it usability, let's take an example of the case when you are working…


                     Have you come across issue when you have made some changes in your design and when you reopen the DGN file, changes you made is lost? Then you need to do one or all of following options:

    • Select File - Save, the design is saved. This will save all the addition or modifications you have made to elements in your design.
    • Select Workspace - Preferences - Operations - Automatically Save Design Changes check box…
  • Advanced Project Explorer - Configuration Variable Links

                        When you are working on a project, you work with many files, designs and models. Have you ever been irked when you have to flip through many of these files to get to the right model, and correct view? I bet you have experienced this!

    Agreed, Project Explorer can become a central resource to organize your data, but wouldn't be useful to have something simple that helps you do some organization?

    If your answer…

  • How Can I create custom detailing symbols?

                    In this blog, I'm going to explain how to create a detailing symbol style. Out of the box, ustation.dgnlib comes with Default style. It refers to cells like SectionBubble, SectionArrowWing, etc., which are also in ustation.dgnlib. These cells contain Place Holder Link Property fields (Fields provide the necessary information related to Drawing ID, Sheet Name, Sheet Number, Drawing Name, etc.). When you create a new detailing…
  • Create New Sheet by Placing Callout

                     In my last blog http://communities.bentley.com/Other/Old_Site_Member_Blogs/Peer_Blogs/b/mark_penns_blog/archive/2009/09/23/saved-views-center-of-universe-for-sheet-composition.aspx  I wrote about "Create Dynamic View" dialog. In this blog, I will show you how to invoke and use this dialog while placing a callout.

    Why should you use"Create Dynamic View" dialog?

                     If you want to create an…

  • Scales in MicroStation

                    In MicroStation, there are various scales that are relevant to the process of drawing creation. I will try to brief about each scale so as to know how these scales are useful for drawing creation process & also how they are correlated to each other. Below is the list of scales, you would be interested to know about.

    1. Active Scale
    2. Linestyle Scale
    3. Annotation Scale
    4. Detail Scale
    5. Reference Scale
    6. True…
  • Usability of Annotation Scale

    Annotation Scale is a tool to scale your annotations like text and dimensions in order to display them at correct size on sheets. It is a special scale that affects only annotations, a powerful tool that provides you the capability of changing annotation sizes as necessary. Annotation scale can be used to ensure readability of annotations on sheets of any scale. For this reason, it is sometimes referred to as sheet scale…

  • Add and Delete Links to an Element

                    In this discussion you will learn a very handy and important use of Links. Let's take a real scenario, suppose you are working on a big project and the specification of a particular part of the model is taken from a different model or stored in a XML file. If multiple people are working on that project and you don't know where the files are located but you want to make sure that the data is consistent as per CAD/Company…

  • Modes in Project Explorer

                    In this blog you will be familiarizing yourself with the different modes of linksets in Project Explorer and concepts related to Harvesting.
                    The modes in PE actually refer to the source of linksets, the DGN files from where you actually read the linksets. These are the linksets that you can see in the Manage Linksets dialog. You have three options to select the source:


    1.  Active File:
    - If you…

  • Sheet Boundary Tool

    What is a Sheet Model?

                    A type of model that serves as an electronic drawing sheet. It typically consists of design model references that are scaled and positioned to create a printable drawing. By default, the view windows of a sheet model have white backgrounds.
                     When you create a new sheet model, you see a rectangle with grey background; this is called as "Sheet Boundary". You can associate a sheet border attachment…

  • How to Change the Orientation of a Reference Attachment?

                    Sometimes we need to change the orientation of a reference attachment on a sheet, may be from one floor plan to another or from east elevation to north elevation. The traditional method is to delete that attachment and manually attach a new one. MicroStation V8i introduces a quick tool to seamlessly swap the orientation of an attachment.
                     In Figure 1, Look at the new column in the References dialog, titled Orientation…

  • Links and Linksets in Project Explorer

                    This blog explains the concept of links and linksets in Project Explorer (PE). This also gives a background of how we can create a new links and linksets. I'll also discuss about portability of links.
    This blog is valid for MicroStation XM and onwards.
                    As I explained in my last blog (Project Explorer-101), PE consists of links.. A Linkset is a hierarchical collection of links. The hierarchy is meant for organizing…

  • Automatic Hatching / Patterning in Dynamic Views

                    When you place a dynamic view as a reference attachment on a sheet, you can set up your solids to automatically generate hatching / patterning on the section plane. This is a big relief because you no longer need to manually apply hatching / patterning by using the Hatch / Pattern tools and selecting specific areas.

                    Just so you know, the graphics displayed on the section plane are not real elements. They are…

  • Save Settings and User Preferences

                    Have you come across situations where MicroStation doesn't seem to remember what area of the model you were working on last time or what active color you used last time, while it does save the elements you created or modified?

                    The fact is, there are different categories of changes and MicroStation treats them differently. This blog attempts to explain them.

    There are three types of changes are Saved…

  • Lost Clip Volume?

                   Sometimes you may need to clip a portion of your model, in order to hide the clutter around that area. This is where clip volumes come in handy. MicroStation supports various methods of creating clip volumes, the most popular ones being Fitted Sections.



                    If you used clip volume tools before and wondered why your changes weren't saved when you closed the file, read on. When you reopened that file, you would have…

  • Project Explorer - 101

                   In this article let's take a look at the basic roles that Project Explorer can play in our day to day life with MicroStation. I will try to answer several questions on what is Project Explorer doing and how can it help in sheet composition and managing your AEC data. I will also describe the basic fundamentals behind Project Explorer.

    This blog post applies to MicroStation XM. Some of the content is from newer…