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Original Article Date: May 2003
Updated: June 2012
If you're an AutoCAD user who has been thrown into our world and are finding yourself struggling then this is a must read. Then again, this article also applies to MicroStation users as well. Follow along as I show you a few tricks to simplify your life.
By far the most difficult part of your learning curve is understanding the picking and clicking. So, rather than picking, poking and praying that your actions will work, read and study this section first. Once understood, the rest is a breeze. The Left Mouse ButtonThe left mouse button can be thought of as the YES button and it's real name is Datapoint. This mouse button is used for positive input functions such as:Selecting tools and those coloured lines, arcs and circle things on the screen. By the way, those things are called elements.Placing graphical input points in the file such as the endpoints of a line. In MicroStation we call these things datapoints.Picking, poking and proding items on the screen.And finally accepting or telling MicroStation "Yes, I want to do that."The Right Mouse ButtonThe right mouse button is the NO button, but we actually call it Reset. You'll be using this button to enter actions into MicroStation that are negative in nature. For example:To cancel a command.To interrupt a drawing tool when you want to change the view magnification.To reject or say no to MicroStation in response to a prompt.This button is sort of the same as the ESC function in AutoCAD.The Left/Right Button comboThe left/right button combo can be thought of as the MAYBE key, but it's really called the Tentative button. Basically what you're doing here is issuing a datapoint that needs to be accepted and is similar to AutoCAD's Snap function.
The Middle Mouse Button
The middle mouse button is used to pan the view which is similar to many other software packages.
MicroStation is as easy as 1-2-3!!As a new user of MicroStation, you'll find it helpful to understand that the majority of graphical work follows these three easy steps.1. Pick the toolWell this should be obvious....if you want to draw a block/polygon, you would choose the Place Block tool, likewise if you want to copy an element the tool would be Copy.
2. Adjust the settingsNearly all drawing and manipultion tools have various options associated with them. As an AutoCAD user, you may be accustomed to using the keyboard to navigate and select specific option. With us, things are a bit different in that MicroStation will display a small dialog that contains the various options for the selected tool. This dialog is called the Tool Settings box and if you watch it carefully it will alter it's contents with every tool you activate. At this point you can explore and pick the necessary settings for the tool that you selected.
3. Follow the promptsSo, you've selected the tool and adjusted it's settings....now what? How do you use the tool? Easy, you look at the bottom of screen and note the left side...this is called the Status Bar and it will display instructions, prompts or even questions for you to follow. It's at this time that you'll need to decide what mouse button to use...will it be Yes / Datapoint, Maybe / Tentative or No / Reset?
To sum this section up, write this down and paste it to your monitor!1. Pick the tool2. Adjust the settings3. Follow the promptsThe RulesThe last thing to chat to you about is the rules. They don't need any explanation, so here they are:Rule #1 - Always follow the prompts.Rule #2 - Never draw the same thing twice. Rule #3 - If all else fails, read the prompts!You can find a listing of the default buttons and function keys here:http://communities.bentley.com/communities/other_communities/askinga/w/askinga/default-button-and-function-keys.aspx
AskInga Article #139