Renaming Sheet Files prior to sharing externally

When creating drawings the names of the containing DGNs would ideally all be known in advance allowing these to be entered as files are created. Sometime this is not possible or project requirements may change after files have been named.

Drawings created with MicroStation's Callout tools are linked by the names of the containing files and the Design, Drawing or Sheet Model containers within these files. Our tools automatically manage these links, but what if the names of the deliverable files needs to change? One option if exporting to another format is simply to make that change during export. However if DGNs are being shared needing to create a duplicate set of files just to handle filenaming is an unwanted burden.

The solution lies in the properties of the Source Saved Views from which drawings are referenced to Drawing and Sheet models.

The following simplified example will demonstrate.

In 3D_Design.dgn I've created a simple design model (named by default 3D Metric Design) then used the 'Place Plan Callout' tool to create a plan called 'PlanFrom3D_Design' using the Create Drawing option:

The outputs from this callout are sent to two separate files: 2D_Drawing.dgn and 2D_Sheet.dgn.


  • I have also turned on the 'Replicate Drawing in Sheet File' option, this includes a copy of the Drawing Model in the sheet DGN file making it a self contained 1:1 model plus paper scaled sheet once shared. While part of the originating project file system the cached graphics both Drawing models will be linked back to the source Saved View so can be updated by cache update operations. In this workflow any supplementary annotation required on the drawing should be created in the Sheet Model, not the intermediary Drawing Model.
  • The purpose of the replicated Drawing Model is to present a view of the design at 1:1 that other applications, particularly those based on DWG, require/find useful.
  • When in the originating project file system the 2D_Drawing Model displayed on the sheet is referenced from 2D_Drawing.dgn. Once isolated in an external file system it will refer to the replicated Drawing Model contained in 2D_Sheet.dgn.

Looking at the properties of the resulting Saved View (named PlanFrom3D_Design) we can see that it contains a Drawing Link (1) and  Reference Link (2):

In the general Panel shown above:

  • Link Name concatenates: File Name, Model name, Drawing Name
  • File Name is the target DGN file containing the Sheet Model.
  • Drawing Name is the source Saved View Name.
  • Model Name is the name of the target Sheet Model in the sheet DGN file displaying the saved view referenced from the Drawing Model.

The Drawing Link (1) points to the Sheet DGN enabling the hypermodelling links between the source 3D model and the sheet representation.

The Reference Links (2) enable hypermodelling links between the source 3D model and the two Drawing Models

  • If the 'Replicate Drawing in Sheet File' option is not selected the second Reference Link to the replicated Drawing Model will not be present.

In the event that the Sheet DGN at the end of this reference stack needs to be renamed, some of the hyperlinking between models will fail, particularly the ability to display drawing annotation in the Design Model.

The remedy for this is to modify the properties of the source Saved View.

To demonstrate I have renamed the Sheet DGN: 2D_Sheet.dgn to 2D_Sheet_renamed.dgn.

In the saved View properties shown above click the File Name field to display the browse icon

Browsing to 2D_Sheet_renamed.dgn

Hypermodelling links will now be updated in each context, the links in any referenced Marker popup toolbar are all populated by the Saved View properties in the source model:

The same thing can be done with the Drawing DGN file name:

This is common to all Power Platform (MicroStation) based applications that utilise the Create Drawing tools.


Similar steps can be taken in V8i applications, note that the properties are not presented as clearly in earlier versions.