CONNECT Edition - Automation

Batch Process Utility

Use for straightforward repetitive operations.

The MicroStation Batch Process Utility enables you to select groups or folders of files then run a series of key-in commands on them. The commands are stored in a simple text file as a sequential list. This command file is then applied to the selected files with options to process selections and choose whether to process the default model or all models within the selected files.

To build a command file; simply identify the commands that you need to use, run them one at a time via the key-in dialog to confirm that the sequence is valid then paste them into a new command file.

The Batch Processor is also used by some other tools including: the Batch Convertor; Compress > Include References.

Please refer to the 'Batch Process Utility ' help topic for more information.

(The Batch Processor in not available in PowerDraft.)

Macro Recording/VBA

Use for more complex operations where simply executing a list of commands is insufficient.

In MicroStation, Microsoft VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) has been extended with additional MicroStation specific commands that allow most MicroStation features to be directly scripted.

Macro Recording

For those with limited knowledge of VBA the Macro Recorder can be found in the Utilities tab of the Drawing or Modelling Ribbon workflows.

Press the Record button then execute the series of operations that you wish to repeat. These can include changes to settings made inside dialogs. Press the Stop button to finish.

The resulting macro will in most cases include data points specifying particular locations used during the recording so the VBA script produced will need some manual editing before reuse. Many simple tasks can be automated by this method.

Marco Recording can also be a quick way to identify the key-in commands used by a sequence of operations, they can then be used in a Batch Process command file.

VBA Scripting

For more sophisticated requirements VBA is a fully featured programming language that can be used to carry out complex tasks including user interaction via custom dialog boxes.

General guidance on using VBA is widely available online.

Help documentation about MicroStation's VBA extensions is available in:


C:\Program Files (x86)\Bentley\MicroStation V8i (SELECTseries)\Documentation\basic_help.chm

CONNECT Edition:

C:\Program Files\Bentley\MicroStation CONNECT Edition\MicroStation\MicroStationVBA.chm

(VBA is available in PowerDraft)


GC (GenerativeComponents) adds a computational design toolset to MicroStation. It is currently available as an installable option for AECOsim Building Designer now including many fully integrated AEC specific tools. For more information on GC start at the GenerativeComponents community.

Obsolete Tools

MicroStation Basic

This was Bentley's own scripting language introduced prior to V8, that was superseded by VBA.

It is possible to covert MicroStation Basic scripts to VBA if the uncompiled text (.BAS files) exists; compiled (.BA files) cannot be converted.

In most cases it is better to rewrite from scratch in VBA so the new macro is well structured and properly understood so it can be maintained in the future.

User Command Files

This was technology dating back to v4 (or earlier!) and has not been supported for many versions. The text contents of a .UCM file may reveal the intentions of its creator that may be a start point for a new VBA.

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