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Original Post Date: February 2001
Updated: July 2011
This tutorial will walk you through the steps to create a simple custom line style of a geological fault line. If you've dabbled with creating your own custom line styles and found it to be a frustrating experience, then read along and in no time at all you'll reap the rewards of increased productivity and reduced file sizes!Let's start with the a quick review of the basics and get some theory out of the way:In order for MicroStation to know how to represent a custom line style on your screen, it reads the definition of the selected style from an external file called a Line Style Resource File, or simply a Line Style Library. This resource file has the extension of .rsc and can be found in .../wsmod/default/symb/ for MicroStation SE and .../workspace/system/symb/ for MicroStation V7 and V8.
MicroStation searches for and automatically opens the line style libraries as specified by the MS_SYMBRSRC configuration variable setting. If MS_SYMBRSRC is not defined or the specified file(s) are not found, MicroStation automatically opens the default lstyle.rsc in the directory specified in the MS_RSRCPATH setting. The files are opened in the order they appear in the directory list as seen in Workspace > Configuration > Symbology with the last one having the highest priority.
A custom line style definition consists of the following parts:
Stroke Pattern – A series of dashes and gaps.
Point Component – A repeating symbol such as a text character or other group of elements.
Compound Definition – The combination of stroke patterns and point components.
The line style we're going to create represents a geological fault line and is typical of what you might find on exploration maps.
To successfully create your own custom line styles, just follow these six easy steps:
1. Open the Line Style Editor: There are several methods to get to the Line Style Editor. In V7, navigate to the Primary tool box, select Edit from the Line Style pick list, or just key in mdl load lstyle;linestyle edit. In V8i, choose Element > Line Styles > Edit.
The Line Style Editor dialog opens and provides everything you need to create, modify and save your custom line styles.
2. Create a new line style library: Before proceeding, we need to open an existing resource file or create a new one. Both of these functions can be accessed via the File menu from the Line Style Editor. When a new line style library is created it will contain the eight delivered internal line styles. The graphic below shows the contents of a newly created library called Tutorial.
3. Create a new line style name: From the menu bar select Edit > Create > Name. MicroStation will automatically insert a new Unnamed line style. Since this is the name which appears when you choose your active line style, change the word Unnamed to something more logical or descriptive. In this example, I've called the new style Fault.
4. Create the stroke pattern and point components:
To create the stroke pattern: Select Edit > Create > Stroke Pattern and change the name from New Stroke Component to Fault Stroke Component. Renaming the various parts of your line styles will help you to manage and organize the contents of the library.
We now need to define the dashes and gaps of our new line style.
The stroke pattern is going to be three dashes, so click the Add button three times to insert three new segments.
Each segment shown is a button that needs to be clicked in order to define its characteristics. Click on the first segment, adjust it’s settings to read: Fixed Length: 1.0 Stroke Type: Dash. All other settings will remain the default values.
The middle segment is Fixed Length: 0.5 Stroke Type: Dash.
The last segment is Fixed Length: 1.0 Stroke Type: Dash.
To create the point component: Select Edit > Create > Point and change the rename to Fault Point Component.
Identify the Base Stroke Pattern by clicking the button labeled as such and select the Fault Stroke Component.
Note, each of the items in this section of the dialog are buttons.
To create the triangle point symbol: Using ordinary MicroStation drawing tools, draw the triangle symbol so that the top horizontal edge measures 0.5 units. This will allow it to fit exactly in the middle segment of the stroke pattern defined earlier.
Place a fence around the symbol (or select the elements with the Element Selection tool) and click the Create button on the dialog box. Note that this button will only be active if you’ve got a fence or selection set in the file. Enter a name and define the origin or insertion point as the midpoint of the top horizontal line. The symbol will then be added to the library.
Note: To snap to the insertion point, hold the CTRL+SHIFT down which will enable AccuSnap for this particular task.
Tip: To place an existing point in the design file, use this keyin: place symbol [name]. (ie: place symbol fault)
Tip: To delete an existing point from the library, use this keyin: delete symbol [name] (ie: delete symbol fault)
To insert the point symbol to the base stroke: Since we want the symbol to appear on the middle stroke, click it to make it active.
Then click the Select button and pick the symbol created above. The selected symbol will appear in the dialog when the center segment is selected.
5. Create the Compound Definition: We now have to create the compound definition for our line style. This is simply a combination of existing stroke and point components, that when put together, creates the line style.
Select Edit > Create > Compound and change the name accordingly. MicroStation will then open the appropriate dialog which will allow us to insert the newly created Fault Stroke and Fault Point components.
Once the compound has been created, click the Insert button and select the Fault point and stroke components. Since these two components will lie over top of one another, there's no need to adjust the offset option.
6. Link the compound to the name: Almost done! We now need to link the name (Fault) to the compound definition created in Step 5.
Ensure that the name Fault is highlighted on the left side of the dialog and that the Fault Compound is highlighted on the right side. Then select Edit > Link and MicroStation will add a >> in front of the line styles name. This indicates that the name has been linked to the Fault Compound.
Finally, to save your work, select File > Save. The new line style definition is now ready to be used on your drawings!
Here's a copy of the completed linestyle:
With a little imagination and creativity, you can incorporate custom line styles just about anywhere! Just think of all the benefits:
Have fun! AskInga Article #49