When reference is changed - is it possible to display what has changed before reference update?


During collaboration involving many many models with many many changes a designer should be able to spot changes in reference files with aid of the software. Is something like this possible in Microstation?

Imagine there is 30km model of road and one column changed its location. It is impossible for a designer to spot the change when the reference is updated after it had been changed. There must be a dedicated tool for this.

I have seen latest versions of Autocad has this feature called dwg compare which probably does what i am talking about but i have not seen how it works with 3D. 


  • You might like to consider using Design History as an option to show changes that have occurred in your files.

    What Is Design History?

    Working With Design History In MicroStation V8

    Andrew Bell
    Technical Support
    Bentley Systems

  • One way without design history and without projectwise versioning is to implement some rules / discipline that if you must change a reference file  you have to save as in a superseded folder and  put a version number or date infront so that  you can keep old and new alive .. but where the xref has been used will stay ref attached and you only make changes to the current xref... and as its not renamed it can have the previous version ref attached  and hilight on and you can see the changes ...

    oh I forgot another way I used a long time ago in a previous role...

    You can copy the default model inside the same file and name it with a date or Version No or a simple short description like Option A.

    The default model then is the one that is ALWAYS the current  modified  version and is attached to all your plan sets and to see the changes you can self reference the duplicated original pre changes model  into the active default model with highlight set in ref manager .. this is  a very  easy way but it does make your files bigger and bigger but so does history option... but this way does save having a superseded directory.. I have used this method for optioneering  and have various models in the same file for default ( which is always current  on do not change it from default)  , option B, option C etc   very easy  to swap out which option become the current version to use later ...


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  • Design History

     suggested Design History.

    Working With Design History In MicroStation V8

    Is there a version of that Wiki for the CONNECT era?

    You can copy the default model inside the same file and name it with a date or Version No

    You've described a manual implementation of Design History.

    An option to consider which I use for comparison is to save a copy of the file in its original state, then reference it into the file where you are making the changes and use Level Overrides with 2 colours to visually differentiate changes between files

    Another manual implementation of Design History.

    Is something like this possible in Microstation?

    What is the exact version no. (e.g. v10.x.y.z) of MicroStation that you are using? Use key-in VERSION to see the version no. in the MicroStation Message Center, or Help→About MicroStation in the backstage.

    See this blog that shows you how to obtain MicroStation's version number.

    Regards, Jon Summers
    LA Solutions

  • latest Microstation connect.

    We use comments when changing something and checking in inside projectwise but it is dependent on a user and you only see text thats something has changed but user needs to see visually what has changed. if i move one pad footing out of hundred 5cm in one direction i leave a comment "i have moved a pad" but the user referencing my model needs to also spot it visually. Does design history enable this? like clicking on the history record whos whats has been added/modified, etc. ?

    All other proposed workarounds from other comments are unfeasible, no manual copying and comparing is the option. I am talking about dedicated tool to aid the designer.

    In project wise we use versioning only for major changes. During design process in the early phases there are many changes within a day, its impossible to create new version all the time, there would be thousands of them eventually. 

  • Does design history enable this?

    What can I write that isn't in MicroStation help?

    There are a number of viewing and recovery options. You can:

    • Track all committed changes
    • View changes before and after
    • View changes on an element level
    • Select changes via a list filter
    • Undo historic changes
    • Redo historic changes
    • Restore revisions by date and number
    • Return to element changes within revisions

    That's a large topic.

    I am talking about dedicated tool to aid the designer.

    Design History is that dedicated tool.

    Regards, Jon Summers
    LA Solutions

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