Using it! - Input Focus

Focus is where input from the keyboard will take effect.

Unlike an application such as Microsoft Word, where the input focus is essentially either in the document or in a dialog; MicroStation has several points where keyboard input can be applied.

While most of the time focus will follow your flow of activities, there are many occasions where you need to be sure you are at the right point before entering your input keystrokes.

Therefore it is important to be familiar with the focus scheme.

The primary input foci are:




What it does



Esc or F12

With the focus at Home you can use the Keyboard Shortcuts and, if enabled, Position Mapping keys.


F11 (and in V8i only: Spacebar)

This gives access to all of the familiar AccuDraw shortcuts and a series of new ones.

With focus in AccuDraw press '?' to see a list of the keyboard shortcuts.

Tool Settings.


Pressing F10 takes you to the Tool Settings dialog. Once there you can use the up/down arrow or Tab keys to move up and down the available options, Spacebar to display pop-up option menus followed by up/down arrow to select from the pop-up menu.


F9 or Enter

Opens the Key-in dialog at the cursor, moving the mouse away from the Key-in window closes it.

An icon showing the current focus is displayed in the status bar at the lower right of the main application window:

Icons matching the active dialog will be shown in most cases, including these:

For V8i users: note that the only change between V8i and CONNECT Edition is that the Spacebar now opens the Popups toolbar

  • To move between inputs press Esc followed by the appropriate focus key.
  • If in doubt about where your focus lies, press Esc then the appropriate key to move away from Home focus.