How do you add color coding to an element?

Product(s): Bentley WaterGEMS, WaterCAD, HAMMER, SewerGEMS, SewerCAD, StormCAD, CivilStorm, PondPack
Version(s): CONNECT Edition, V8i
Area: Output and Reporting


When modeling, it can be helpful to use different colors to distinguish certain attributes of an element. For example color coding pipes by diameter to easily see larger diameter pipes vs. smaller diameter.

You can add color coding through Element Symbology. The steps to do this can be found below in this article. First one must understand the Element Symbology Manager. 

Element Symbology Manager

The Element Symbology manager controls the way elements, and their associated labels are displayed in the drawing area. You can create multiple symbology definitions in which you can create different combinations of color coding and annotations for different scenarios and quickly switch between them.  The Symbology Definitions manager lets you add, edit, and remove and manage the symbology definitions associated with your model. To change the settings for a definition, change the current symbology definition to the one you want to edit in the Element Symbology Manager (using the dropdown at the top) and make the desired changes there (i.e. turn on/off the desired elements, create new annotations and color coding and turn them on or off, etc.).

Note: The element types that are not used in the current model are marked with an icon.

Also, you can create different folders within a symbology definition which can have a collection of color coding and/or annotation that can be turned off as one entity. To create a folder in the Element Symbology Manager:

  1. Click View > Element Symbology.
  2. In the Element Symbology Manager, right-click an element and select New > Folder.
  3. You can drag and drop existing annotations and color coding into the folder you create, and you can create annotations and color coding within the folder by right-clicking the folder and selecting New > Annotation or New > Color Coding.

Color Coding an element 

Note: It is not possible to have more than one color-based (or size-only based) color coding entry active at the same time. The first time in the list will be the one that is displayed in that case. It is possible to use the Shift Up or Shift Down buttons in element symbology to move the color coding or annotation items in the list to that the more important one is active if more than one item is checked. However, it is possible for a color-based and a size-based color coding entry to be active at the some time. So if you wanted to have color-based entry based on flow and a size-based entry based on pipe diameter, you could have these active at the same time.

To color code elements, use the Element Symbology Manager. This is sometimes docked on the left side and can also be opened by going to View > Element Symbology. In CONNECT Edition, you can also use the ribbon search (top-right corner) to search for Element Symbology. In Element Symbology, right-click on the element type of interest such as "Pipe" and choose New > Color Coding. 

This will open a new dialog that will allow you to set up the color coding. You can then choose the field you want to color code by clicking the dropdown menu for "Field Name":

If you only want to color code a certain selection set of items, you can choose that in the Selection Set field. Next you will need to set a range for the diameter. This can be done automatically by clicking the "Calculate Range" button. The program will detect the smallest and largest value for the property. The default number of steps is 5. These values can be manually adjusted.

On the left side of the color coding dialog is where you set the colors that will be used. In the upper-left, you can select the dropdown windor for "Options" do define if you want to use Color, Size, or both color and size. If the size option is used, different elements will not only have a different color, but also a different size.

To automatically assign a range of colors, click the Initialize button on the left side of the color coding properties dialog.

By doing this, the program will assign colors to the property field range you assigned on the right side of the dialog.

These colors can be adjusted manually by selecting the cell in the Color column. If you use the Size or Color and Size option, a Size column will be added as well. This can be manually adjusted.

To apply the color coding properties to the drawing, click Apply, then OK. The color coding should be applied. If not, try going to View > Refresh Drawing.

Note: If the property field you are color coding by is a calculated results field, you may need to calculate the model before the color coding will appear in the drawing. In addition, not all calculated results fields will be available all calculation types. For instance results that are specific to water age or fire flow will only be available for those types of analyses. Otherwise, the results will be listed as "N/A" and the range will not be available.

See Also

How do I annotate model elements?

Transfering color coding and annotations between elements and models