Why doesn't CE View allow you to 'Copy to Clipboard'?

Why doesn't CE View allow you to 'Copy to Clipboard'? The previous versions did, but the new one doesn't. This is a feature that I used a lot. 

  • I have noted that this was previously discussed by yourself a while ago which resulted in Defect # 354633. This defect has been looked at by our development team and deemed to be Working As Designed. Bentley View is a viewer and not something a user should expect to be performing a Copy&Paste within.


    Andrew Bell
    Technical Support
    Bentley Systems

  • Hi Andrew,

    Bentley View is a viewer and not something a user should expect to be performing a Copy&Paste within.

    despite of I am not using clipboard copy/paste in Bentley products too often, I strongly disagree with the decision and such justification. To remove already implemented feature from a product, especially when it existed in the past, just makes the product worse and UX worse ... and user more dissapointed, which is something that unfortunately CONNECT Edition from its release is about.

    I think clipboard support is not required for "certified for Windows" by Microsoft, but it's expected any Windows application supports it and as Mark noted, viewing software like Adobe Reader supports it ... and it's not only Reader, which makes the justification void.

    I can imagine a lot of workflows and situations where to use "copy from View" makes sense. It's not about how Stuart use it, but e.g. when documents are created, to copy graphics inside them is big help. Do you recommend to use complete MicroStation to do it? To capture picture is not alwyas proper solution.

    With regards,


  • Hi Dan,

    As a viewing application, we only allow viewing of the file and do not allow you to copy the elements to the clipboard and then paste them into a authoring application.

    with all respect, I totally disagree with your explanation. I am not able to find any logic in the justification: Bentley View is viewing application, so the most of (maybe 99%?) of installations is on computers where there is no "authoring application". But you explain a lack of functionality using Stuart's workflow, which is, in the context of View users, probably very rare. Such explanation is more a tergiversation, especially when the functionality existed in the past ... and probably all other vieweing applications, regardless CAD or common office apps, offer it as a standard functionality.

    This would minimize any potential issues of something going incorrectly when copying to the clipboard outside of MicroStation and then back into the DGN

    Maybe it would be more efficient to design and implement copy tool in a professional way and at similar level as competitive products offer it? I have been working with Bentley products for nearly 30 years, doing literally everything from support and sales to development and on-site consultancy and customatization, and inability to efficiently copy an element from one file to another has been discussed ... hmmm ... all this time?

    I think Stuart uses the described workflow and the clipboard because he wants to use View in not standard way, but it's "simply to be used" workaround, because Bentley do not offer proper functionality in core product.

    This would minimize any potential issues of something going incorrectly when copying to the clipboard outside of MicroStation and then back into the DGN, I suggest you reference the file into your DGN and then use the MicroStation Copy tools.

    Do you use MicroStation on some real project? There is a model with plenty of (tens and hundreds) nested references, thousand of levels, so when a reference will be attached (again with many references and levels), you have to change MicroStation setting (probably open a new view, switch off unwanted levels, find the element in complex model...) to navigate to the element and be able to copy it somehow, which sometimes will require to break MicroStation setting, workflows or MicroStation customization (Global Display...).

    Instead of very vague formulation, can you provide exact step by step description how to do it using reference, on real project? I have discussed it with my customers several times in the past and we always ended with at least several not very simple and intuitive steps. So maby be your recommendation is valid and better, because a shortcut exists and I have overlooked it.

    With regards,


  • Hi Dan,

    then please create an Idea and we can evaluate it.

    I like Ideas a lot, but unfortunately it has become universal solution for Bentley when original design of a feature and its implementation is not done properly.

    I am aware I am hijacking the discussion a bit, but let's make a research how MicroStation Ideas looks today:

    • Ideas are not reviewed by Bentley: Even a year old and older posts are still new, which means Bentley do not take care about it not too mcuh. I have not found any "rejected" or "implemented", only "under review" and "future consideration".
    • There is close to zero feedback from Bentley: It seems the most of comments come from users, not Bentley. Looks weird, because when reading ideas, usually I thought further discussion and justification is needed.
    • No information about a decision, progress...: When an idea is "under review", often Defect number (not sure if always) is mentioned. Except that when Defect number is created, the ideas cannot be "under review" anymore, I have not been able to find any information abou further progress, in what version it was implemented or what is life of the defect or the idea itself.

    As one from my customer and my friend told me, when I recommended him to post an Idea: "I will wrote the ideas and my complains on papers and will throw them out of the windows. An effect and output will be the same, but it will be more fun."

    My formulation is that it should be win-win, but it's win-lost. As wrote in other discussion about commenting blogs: When Bentley colleague creates a blog, he is obligued to answer consequent questions in forum. It's not usually happening. I would apply the same rule to Ideas: When Bentley asked users to invest their time to formulate Ideas, add images or videos and other users comment them, Bentley should be obligued to don't use Ideas as a trash, but to keep the Ideas living and to provide consistent feedback how Ideas are processed.

    Because it's not happening, I understand that some users dislike Ideas and treat them as useless and lost time.

    With regards,


  • I'll discuss this with the team to see how we may enhance it in the future

    Why do you consider it an enhancement to provide clipboard copy in Bentley View CONNECT, when it was an existing capability of previous versions?  From the customer's point of view, it's not an enhancement request.  It's a plea to maintain the same functionality as before.

    Regards, Jon Summers
    LA Solutions

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