User-Interface Enhancements: Dialog Flyouts and expanded Dialog Docking

For a very long time now, MicroStation users have had the capability to reduce screen clutter by pinning docked dialogs. As you may know, users that would work with dialogs such as Explorer, Properties, Level Display etc., would find that the size of the View was reduced in which they are designing by working with the various dialogs. While they could dismiss these dialogs are recall them via toolboxes, the Tasks Interface (V8i), or Ribbon (MicroStation CONNECT) when required, the other option would be to dock dialogs and thereby, 'Pin' these docked dialogs.

Once a docked dialog is pinned, they are reduced in size to roll-out tabs. During the design process the user could move their cursor over these roll-out tabs to expose the dialog and the appropriate action can be taken, then once complete move the cursor off the pinned dialog to collapse the dialog.

For MicroStation V8i users, the good news is that the MicroStation CONNECT Edition features many updates to various parts of the software.  As part of that, those who utilized dialog docking will be happy to discover that the MicroStation CONNECT Edition further expands this capability and also introduces a new wrinkle – Dialog Flyouts.

Dialog Flyouts

Let’s start with Dialog Flyouts!  For MicroStation users who have transitioned to the MicroStation CONNECT Edition, users will be able to select from the Ribbon, the mode in which their dialogs will open.  In the Primary ribbon group of the Home tab, next to the icons where you would select dialogs to open, you will find a drop-down arrow.

Clicking this arrow will expose a menu where you can select two options.  The first option opens the dialog of choice the traditional way.  That is, as a free-floating window that you will need to close after you interact with it.  The second, “Flyout”, will create a temporary pop-up window.  Once you interact with the dialog and move your cursor off the dialog, it will automatically disappear.  Furthermore, the mode that you choose will be exclusive to that particular dialog.

Whatever mode that you select, the next time you wish to interact with the respective dialog, you only need to click the icon, itself.  Not the drop-down arrow.  The only time you need the click the drop-down arrow is when you want to switch modes.

Expanded Dialog Docking

Now, for users who like to dock dialogs such as Explorer, Level Display etc., in V8i certain dialogs could only dock to certain areas of the application.  Take for example, the References dialog.  It could only be docked to the top or bottom.  With the MicroStation CONNECT Edition, the References dialog can be now docked to the left, right, top and bottom!  Many dialogs have been expanded on this capability and they are listed below.

List of Dockable dialogs in MicroStation CONNECT Edition 

The following is the list of dockable dialogs, and which edges they can be docked to (Note: The way in which you dock one of these dialogs is different from the way in which you dock a toolbox):

  • Tool Settings window (left or right)
  • Properties dialog (left or right)
  • Explorer dialog (left or right)
  • Markups dialog (left, right, top, or bottom)
  • Details dialog (top, or bottom)
  • References dialog (left, right, top, or bottom)
  • Raster Manager dialog (left, right, top, or bottom)
  • Models dialog (left, right, top, or bottom)
  • Saved Views dialog (left, right, top, or bottom)
  • Level Manager dialog (left, right, top, or bottom)
  • Level Display dialog (left, right, top, or bottom)
  • Environment Manager dialog (left or right)
  • Render Setup Manager dialog (left or right)
  • ACS dialog (left, right, top, or bottom)
  • Animation Producer dialog (left, right, top, or bottom)
  • Design History dialog (left, right, top, or bottom)
  • Display Rules dialog (left, right, top, or bottom)
  • Light Manager dialog (left, right)
  • Macros dialog (left, right, top, or bottom)
  • Material Editor dialog (left, right, top, or bottom)
  • Named Boundaries dialog (left, right, top, or bottom)
  • Named Groups dialog (left, right, top, or bottom)
  • Multi-line Styles dialog (left, right, top, or bottom)
  • Point Clouds dialog (left, right, top, or bottom)
  • Variables dialog (left, right, top, or bottom)