Customization Blog Series - Screen Menus - Blog 1 of 3

Introduction

In MicroStation, there are three commonly known ways to access tools: from the ribbon at the top, from ribbon group pop-ups, which are in-place at the cursor position, or using keyboard shortcuts. There is one more relatively uncommon but very interesting way to access tools, that is screen menus. Let us learn to create and use them in this blog series.

Using screen menus, you can build your own UI layout and access tools from it. Screen menus provide many advantages over the regular UI:

  • Fully customizable free-form UI – The screen menu UI can be designed in any way you want.
  • Easy to build and use – Being based on saved views, screen menus are easy to create and update. Also, using screen menus is easier as they can be activated using keyboard shortcuts or always displayed in a separate view window.
  • Hierarchical menus – You can have levels of sub menus in the screen menu.
  • Context sensitive – You can control the display of tools depending of rules created via visibility expressions.
  • Display style support – This helps in highlighting the tools.
  • 3D - Supports 3D objects.

If you work primarily on a limited set of tools and desire more screen space for working on your designs, screen menus can be very useful for you. You can create screen menus consisting of your frequently used tools and minimize the ribbon. The screen menu can be popped up with a keyboard shortcut or kept active at one corner of the view, thereby freeing the space occupied by the ribbon and increasing the design space. Screen menus can also be very useful when you mostly use a limited set of tools and need more design space.

The following video shows few screen menu samples.

In the next blog, you will learn to create a simple screen menu.