• Stinking Pile of Directories

    So, what does STD_APP have to do with anything?

    Well, while worrying about how to sort out everything else, I forgot one thing. Up until now I’ve been able to keep applications separated from each other, but with Workspace\Workset, most of the application files are stored at the Workset level and what became really apparent is that there’s no consistent approach across all of the products on how directories are installed…

  • Stuck with It – WorkSpace and Workset

    I tried. I really did try.

    We had a win with MicroStation, No workspace and no workset. Only to have it taken away again by the developers of the other applications.

    The reality is Bentley developers have decided to change the way applications, and their configurations, run and load.

    In the past we’ve had the freedom to chop and change how we pleased. For some of us it’s meant a complete customization of the front…

  • User Files – Wherefor Art Thou

    One of the first issues raised during the beta process was the changes to the location of user files. During beta and the initial release of Connect, user preference files were locked to be stored as part of the user windows location. This caused quite a stir:


  • My CADmanage Journey V8i to Connect

    This next series of blogs have been more than a few years in the coming. Any of you who have been around Bentley products since the days of version 4 and 5 know just some of the frustration many of us have with Connect. Right or wrong, these are just my opinions and my journey to get me to where I am today. I hope that there are at least some lessons in here that can't be learnt by all parties. So, I hope you get at…

  • How to Configure OpenPlant Modeler to Use Workspace from Shared Location - without Editing Local cfg

    It disappoints me when I see suggestions like those in https://communities.bentley.com/products/plant/w/plant_design_and_engineering__wiki/28289/how-to-configure-openplant-modeler-to-use-workspace-from-shared-location when options exist to avoid editing local cfg files.

    I was lucky enough to come across this one from one of the Bentley Developers. You CAN use a custom cfg file in the appl directory. 

    The key here is to…

  • Function Key Cut-Out

    Been meaning to add this for a while. It's the base cut-out for your keyboard so you can list what you have on your function keys. I find this great for new users especially. Easy enough to customise for different keyboard styles.

  • MicroStation Connect – Control Workflows via Named Expressions

    With so many changes between V8i and Connect it’s been a lot of work to go through how we can have the same control over custom interfaces, especially when we want these customisations to be dynamic. One way in which we can create a dynamic Workflow is with the help of Named Expressions. If you’ve not used these before, then check out one of my earlier blogs:


  • Where Has All the Training Gone?

    It’s a subject that has fascinated me for most of my working life. Why are companies so against training staff to get the experience they are after? I don’t mean training in how to do the job, but why overlook a very good candidate purely because they don’t have experience in one program or another? A good candidate will have experience in a number of different packages and should be able to get up to speed in a short…

  • Don’t Let CAD Standards Hold You Back

    Don’t Let CAD Standards Hold You Back

    It’s something, to me at least, that’s just stating the obvious, but so many firms seem to fail the test on many levels. This isn’t just about how standards are implemented, but having them in the first place. I find it hard to believe that in this day and age firms and senior staff are incapable of implementing even the most rudimentary of standards for a design office.…

  • ‘Who is That Masked Man?’ – The CAD Administrator

    It’s a feeling I’ve had from time to time while trying to justify my existence to different people and companies. The reality is that many firms have tried to go down this path, in one way or another, only to end up with the wrong person and approach and be sworn off employing the right person for the job.

    So, what should you be looking for when it comes to a CAD Administrator and why are they necessary…

  • cfg My Way – How to Configure Your Own Build - Bear's Alternative

    It’s probably the most asked question for any new starter when it comes to playing with cfg files and setting up your own build. As far as many of us are concerned, the golden rule of cfg editing is:


    ‘ Don’t edit any of the delivered cfg files.’


    There is no negotiation in this one as you’re only opening yourself up to issues with versioning and much more.


    OK, with that rule burned…

  • The Build - Part 7 - Who Needs pcf Files???

    In last nights tech tip:


    I mentioned that the lock cfg files will only effectively work if we bypass the need for pcf files. The reality for many of us is that the fixed approach Bentley takes to cfg load order just isn't adequate. To be honest, the beauty of Bentley products…

  • Tech Tip - Easy Method of Locking Variables

    Not long to go now to Christmas so I've got a bit of catching up to do. I hope to have a few more blogs out to keep you all going until after the Chrissie break.

    Tonight I was to go through a really easy way of locking your variables from a single cfg file.

    You may remember the Config Loading tech tip I put up:


  • ProSteel in CADmanage and Admin Tips - SS5

    I've always tried to share what I can as it's hard enough to find admin docs on many of the applications Bentley now own, and my recent dive into ProSteel on MicroStation (PS) was no different. In fact, it's probably been one of the harder applications I've played with in recent times. More on that throughout this blog.

    As with all of the applications I work with, my main aim was to be able to deliver…

  • Basic Stroke and Compound Linestyle Example

    There has been a few conversations on custom linestyles so I thought I'd post up a good basic example of setting up stroke line styles and then combining several of them into compound styles. These are just road line markings, but are a good example of how easy it can be.

    Just rename the attached file to road.rsc.

    More soon.

  • Batch Over Short Cut - Part 1

    There have been a lot of discussions on how you can access your build and set variables for user, project and even custom variables for client and so on. Over past blogs I have shown a lot on how these can be controlled and set using hta files, but if you're not confident at playing at that level then there is another answer over using edited shortcuts to your applications. On of these is to use a batch file, mainly because…

  • Context Menus

    Probably one of the most underutilised tools available to you in any Bentley package are Context Menus. The most common of these are the right click menus that change depending on the tools and element you have selected. Right click in an empty part of a model and this is what you see:


    The one difference you may see are the tools at the top of the menu. This is because Context Menus are customisable based on what each…

  • Jagged Graphics in a Rendered View in MicroStation

    Ever come across a situation where the view your modelling in looks almost jagged when you render it? This doesn't just apply to MicroStation.



    Well, best bet is you’ve turned off Clip Front and Clip Back in the view attributes:



    Simply turn them back on and your graphics will return to normal.



  • AECOsim - Matching Structural Attributes From a Placed Member

    Probably one of the most annoying things missing from the structural tools is the ability to match the attributes from an element already placed member.

     The fact is you can. There is a keyin: 

    match element fromcursor 

    edit your function key menu and add this to a function key. What you then do is let the structural snaps select\snap to a member and then hit the function key you have assigned the keyin to. This matches…

  • The Build - Part 6 - Named Expressions


    This was a great starting platform for me, but also left a few questions.

    The first of these was how exactly are Named Expressions pick up and under what variable? The reason for this is that it wasn't clear what variable set the path to the dgnlib with the Named Expressions…

  • Tech Tip - Managing Seed Files

    Lets get it out there right to start with. I know this could be a LOT slicker and in environments I manage on my own it is, but this is a good alternative where you have users who may need to edit this without a LOT of vb knowledge.

    Now we have that out of the way, one things that gets users to this day is seed files and how\when to use them. To work around a user needing to know what seed does when I have written…

  • MicroStation Project Security App

    Big thanks to Barry Lothian for the basics of this code. 

    In the past, firms I've worked for have had vb in place that checks where you open files from and alerts you based on a level or security.

    Level 0

    Nothing happens. Pretty much a free for all.

    Level 1

    If a user tries to open a file from a location that is not defined by the project then a message box will open up alerting them to the error and suggesting…

  • Stu's Solution - A More Traditional Alternative

    OK, I admit it. This is one beast of a build and the collection of a LOT of work and work arounds, but what if you want to use something more traditional? No problems, it's very easy to use the same principles we have gone through to date in a much more simplified system if that's what works for you. the hta then becomes a way to manage users and take much of the hands on work out of the situation.

    To that end…

  • The Ultimate Portable Build - Part 3 - Scripting

    As you can gather by now, I don't like to edit delivered Bentley files and avoid using any installed directories when it comes to users files. To that end I've always used a custom area, something along the line of c:\Apps and had a series of batch files within the build do all the work for me. My aim has always to have CADmanage fill in the blanks and take the manual work out of setting up a lot of the build. To this…

  • The Ultimate Portable Build - Part 2 - The appl.cfg

    Hard part done. By using the location of CADmanage.hta as a start point, we've now been able to go ahead and set the variables for our critical locations, but what does this mean for the config files we've been using to date? Well the first of these that will need to be edited is the appl.cfg file that we use to trigger the location of _USTN_SITE. To date we've been setting a few hard coded locations at the top of the…